From Kamuning to Bras Basah — 07.09.2020
Green Papaya’s 10th year celebration did not end in London. As a bonus, Papaya participated in the Night Festival: New World 2010 in Singapore from July 16 to 17.
The festival was spread over eight different locations in the Bras Basah district: the National Museum of Singapore, Singapore Management University, Singapore Art Museum, SAM at 8Q, Peranakan Museum, The Substation, Dance Ensemble Singapore, and Fort Canning. All venues had simultaneous programming featuring performances, film screenings, video installations, street theater, graffiti murals, carnivalesque play, live music, and dancing. The lineup featured a mix of international and Southeast Asian companies, artist collectives and independent platforms, among them were Compagnie Off from France, ruangrupa from Indonesia, The Propeller Group from Vietnam, Green Papaya Art Projects from the Philippines.
Papaya’s two-night program (No) Bleeding Hearts Club was staged at the Glass Atrium, Level 2 of the National Museum Singapore and delivered crowd-favorite performances by Radioactive Sago Project, Transitopia’s contemporary dancer/choreographer Jose Jay Cruz, Manila’s powerhouse sound and new media artists Tad Ermitaño, Caliph8, Malek Lopez and Ria Muñoz, and live performance and video screenings of 20 short films by Khavn de la Cruz.
With 15 artists, plus technical director Roman Cruz and executive producer Red Lasam, we were possibly one of the biggest foreign contingents in the festival. How did we get there?
New World 2010 was conceived and curated by Ong Keng Sen and produced by Theatreworks. Keng Sen, who is also artistic director of Theatreworks, founded Arts Network Asia (ANA) in 1999. ANA funded Papaya’s Wednesdays I’m-in-love Residency Program in 2008, and in 2009, Keng Sen and ANA’s entire board hosted an Interface Meeting with Papaya’s community in Manila. Months before the festival in 2010, Keng Sen flew me to Singapore to discuss Papaya’s participation, programming, and logistics.
Our proposal to bring the program (No) Bleeding Hearts Club to the Night Festival was fully supported. This time, there was no panic about funds. The Singapore government was generous enough to provide full funding for travel, accommodation, production, and artist fees. For this, we again take this opportunity to express our gratitude to former Theatreworks’ managing director Tay Tong and founder Ong Keng Sen.
July 9, 2020