Stage is set for a vibrant arts scene

Stage is set for a vibrant arts scene
Rayqal is one of the two short films commissioned by the National Arts Council (NAC) for Silver Arts 2017. Photo: Sufyan Sam'an

Koo Hong Ying

Published: 10:00 AM, August 8, 2017
Updated: 1:44 PM, August 8, 2017

Contrary to popular belief, our arts industry — ranging from exhibitions in museums to events like the Singapore Night Festival — is thriving (“Homecoming for 10 local acts at S’pore Night Festival 2017”; July 13).

The Government and the National Arts Council have invested effort and thought into cultivating the arts, as well as interest in them, which is the first step towards a vibrant arts scene.

The scorn for artistic pursuits as flights of fancy has been dampened over the years with the recognition for local artistes, most recently Ilo Ilo director Anthony Chen, in international arts circuits.

One festival planned for next month is the Silver Arts festival, with the theme of “passion and fun through intergenerational interaction” (“Silver Arts festival returns with more senior talents this year”; Aug 1, online).

The festival targets both the elderly and the young, utilising the arts as a platform — be it through working together on a film or a theatre production — to reconcile and bridge the gap between Singaporeans of different ages and backgrounds.

In a rapidly-developing society, there may be little common ground between millennials and seniors. Forging closer intergenerational ties may be a Sisyphean task. That said, this is essential for the continued prosperity of a country with an ageing population.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mentioned in 2014: “Singaporeans young and old must take care of one another and not allow the generation gap to cause friction.”

If the Silver Arts festival is a bid to strengthen cohesion and community-mindedness, on the basis that humans have an inherent appreciation of the arts, then it is another step in the right direction.