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By Ray Chong
- December 20, 2020

Explaining the Esplanade, the Central Hub for Performing Arts

Art & Culture . Singapore

As home to the musical arts in Singapore, Esplanade hosts dozens of concerts and performances every month. You can come here to catch local and international artists on the main stage or out on the plazas - some are needed to be paid for but many are free!

However, there’s more than just music to listen to. The Esplanade has its own mall, lifestyle and restaurant services, and other art installations for you to visit. Head down to the Esplanade and check out all there is to do!

Public Performances

Public Performances
Free performances are constantly offered and rotated for your viewing and listening pleasure! | Esplanade Facebook

The Esplanade isn’t just home to the largest concert hall in Singapore. It also has an outdoor theatre and a public atrium where performances are regularly put on for free! 

Even if you don’t have a ticket for a show, you might still have the opportunity to listen in on artists at their craft!

The Library @ Esplanade

The library@esplanade is a public library, and uniquely dedicated to the performing arts! The library itself is split into four quarters, or ‘villages’ for the different aspects of performing arts: Dance, Film, Music and Theatre. You can peruse the shelves for a large number of resources like dance performances, DVDs, instructional videos and even sheet music!

Esplanade Mall

If you’ve just got done watching a concert, you might need to stretch your legs, or find a place to eat! The Esplanade Mall has plenty of places to eat. There are restaurants aplenty, with bars and cafes thrown into the mix as well. You can find anything from Italian to Japanese cuisine, or even grab a bite at a very familiar Toast Box!

Food in Esplanade Mall
Mala Guinness Popcorn Chicken served at Harry's, at the Esplanade Mall | Harry's Facebook

If you’re not feeling hungry, there’s plenty of shopping to do as well! In keeping with Esplanade’s theme as the hub of music and culture, there are various shops to purchase artistic goods and musical instruments.

Visual Arts Displays

Aside from music and theatre, the Esplanade also plays host to a number of interesting visual arts exhibitions. These are normally setup in corridors and set locations, so feel free to walk around and explore them

At the moment, there are currently three to take note of.

Diver(sea)ty

Diver(sea)ty
Many different monsters and creations come together to create a colourful display | © thebadstocking

This exhibition is made entirely out of crochet by the artist Mulyana! It depicts Mogus, an octopus monster alter-ego as he rallies his underwater friends to unite with one another. This wild and fun-filled display is the artist’s reflection on the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it has had on the world. It’s primary themes are respect for diversity and unity regardless of differences. Enjoy the artist’s whimsical artistry through a toy-like world!

Combing for Ice and Jade

If you’ve never heard about the Comb Sisters - a community of women in Southern China who took a vow of chastity and declared themselves free of obligations towards their parents - then this exhibition is for you. Made primarily of photographs and artefacts, this multimedia project covers the life and times of Mak Ngan Yuk, Kurt Tong’s nanny. It explores her turbulent life through her decision to become a Comb Sister. An emotional display, this exhibition will pique your interest and touch your heart!

In Order

In Order is an interesting display made primarily by repetitive patterns! Some are made from paper, hand drawn or sculptured from wood, stacked and ordered together to create interesting shapes and geometric models that catch the eye.

The artist, Fiona Seow, built these displays to track time and establish a semblance of order during the pandemic. Though the fundamental thought behind the display is extremely nuanced and complicated, the display is fun to look at and is worth checking out if you’re exploring the area!

Esplanade Park

Esplanade Park
Lim Bo Seng Memorial at the Esplanade Park

It’s not very big, but Esplanade Park has quite a few points of interests to explore. Situated throughout the small space are various monuments like the Lim Bo Seng Memorial and the Cenotaph (a war memorial), recognising significant events and figures in Singapore’s history.

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