1. Indulge in local nostalgia on Netflix

Ilo Ilo. Image courtesy of Netflix

Netflix‘s August offerings include a special section dedicated to Singapore – a whooping 106 local films and TV series will be made available on the streaming platform in batches starting from August 1, made possible through partnerships with local studios Clover Films, Mediacorp, MM2 Entertainment and Memento Films. Looking through the list, there are plenty that will invoke a heavy bout of nostalgia – there are classic dramas including Phua Chu Kang Pte LtdGrowing UpUnder One Roof, Return of the Condor Heroes, The Unbeatables series, as well as critically acclaimed works such as Mee Pok Man, Ilo Ilo, A Yellow Bird, A Land Imagined, Shirkers and 881. 

From August 1

2. Tune in to an all-women arts festival

Singapore punk band Fuse, shot for Female’s February 2019 Music edition

Beloved local theatre company T:>Works (formerly known as TheatreWorks) is presenting an extensive virtual festival celebrating the lived experiences from a wide range of women. Titled Festival Of Women: N.O.W. 2020, there’s plenty on offer, including the company’s popular 24-hour playwriting competition, a spotlight on little-heard narratives such as transnational divorce stories from migrant women as well as a discussion among female musicians from Singapore’s punk scene. Intrigued? Check out the full line-up of events here.

On now till August 2, various dates and times

3. Check out National Gallery Singapore’s new initiatives

National Gallery Singapore (NGS) is launching a series of initiatives to commemorate Singapore’s 55th year of independence and the most obvious show-stopper among them is Gallery Light Up, where the exterior of the NGS’s veiled canopy facing the Padang will feature rotating projections of 60 original artworks by local artists (pictured above is Blue Hand by Jonathan Liu) from July 24 to August 30. Other goodies to look forward to include free admission to all exhibitions at the NGS and the chance to redeem a free one-year membership.


4. Support a specialist cinema

Oldham Theatre opened last year to the delight of film buffs – it was a new screening space dedicated to showcasing classic and contemporary films produced by Asian directors. Like all other cinemas, it’s been closed the past several months but they’re officially back to showing in-person screenings come July 31. They’re reopening with the multiple award-winning Gully Boy, which follows a shy rapper from the slums of Mumbai as he battles class and social barriers and rises to fame. Check out the rest of their line-up here.

From July 31

5. Check out all the new art exhibitions

The Mirror Experiments (2020). Photo: Rifdi bin Rosly

Take the chance this long weekend to check out the numerous art exhibitions around town that have recently debuted. If Gillman Barracks is your regular go-to, writer Helmi Yusof has the lowdown on what to look out for in the enclave. We’re looking forward to checking out A Self I Once Knew, photography space DECK’s new exhibition. It features the works of two young photographers, Fitri Ya’akob and Rifdi bin Rosly, who are the 2019 recipients of the prestigious Kwek Leng Joo Prize of Excellence in Photography.

The exhibition and works by the duo address a deeply poignant topic: the desire to hold onto or to recapture a familiarity within one’s self which has been lost. As young creatives moving past the comforts of school to develop their nascent artistic careers, this exploration of identity definitely makes sense, especially when you consider that one’s sense of self is always fluctuating – caught between the innate image we have of ourselves and the one imposed onto us via uncontrollable external factors such as social constructs.

Cover Photo Courtesy of National Gallery Singapore