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Singapore Season receives good reception in Beijing and Shanghai

21/11/2007

The Singapore Season, a multi-agency effort to showcase Singapore’s artistic and cultural achievements in key global cities, had a successful run in Beijing and Shanghai from 12 October to 10 November 2007.

2.     During the one month, audiences in Beijing and Shanghai gained an insight into Singapore’s diverse arts, including music, dance, theatre, literature and visual arts. The arts programmes were presented in conjunction with two of China’s most prestigious arts festivals – the Beijing Music Festival and the China Shanghai International Arts Festival. A series of lifestyle, creative and business events supplemented the arts programmes to give the Chinese audience a better understanding of the opportunities that Singapore offers in live, work and play.

3.     The slew of 27 arts programmes and 17 lifestyle, creative and business programmes attracted more than 165,000 people in the two cities. 17 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) facilitating bilateral government cooperation, media research and business projects, as well as academic exchanges worth at least $33.4 million were signed during the Singapore Season. This included the government-led MOU on media cooperation between People’s Republic of China’s State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) and the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), as well as the MOU between the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and MDA to set up the China-Singapore Institute of Digital Media in Singapore. The Singapore Art Museum also signed an MOU with the National Art Museum of China to jointly curate exhibitions, organise public programmes and facilitate exchanges.

4.     The Singapore Season provided a strong platform for the 300 artists and arts groups to engage the Chinese audience and gain further international exposure. Prominent art groups and performers such as the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Dance Theatre, Drama Box, the Chinese Theatre Circle, Mark Chan and Singapore pop star JJ Lin received warm reception and even standing ovations for their performances. The average house attendance for the ticketed arts programmes was 84%, with some performances attracting almost full houses.

5.     The Chinese audience were also exposed to Singapore’s multi-ethnic literary works, presented by a multi-cultural delegation of 11 Singapore writers, in a series of exhibitions, readings and forums. An eclectic mix of paintings, photographic works and sculptures by pioneering and contemporary artists such as Chen Wen Hsi, Wong Keen, Goh Beng Kwan, Vincent Leow and Chua Soo Bin gave the locals a good introduction to Singapore’s visual arts heritage and character.

6.     Response to the outreach shows was overwhelming and drew more than 17,000 people, who were treated to a colourful sight of Singapore’s multi-racial arts and cultural performances at outdoor venues in Shanghai. The SingArt – A Brush with Lions exhibition and the Unique2Me Photo Exhibition, presented by the Singapore Tourism Board, showcased Singapore as a unique destination, a vibrant global city combining the best of modern world and rich diverse cultures.

7.     The exhibition titled "Hybricity : Singapore" in Beijing’s 798 Arts District profiled seven Singapore designers and their creative works and explored the discourse on Singapore design in contemporary China's context. More than 10,500 visited the exhibition.

8.     As Singapore films' first major foray into China, the Singapore Film Festival in Beijing and Shanghai had an encouraging start. The Festival's 13 screenings saw an average of 70% and 60% audience attendance in Beijing and Shanghai, respectively. This is a positive sign given that Singapore films are generally unknown in China. The Singapore Short Film Festival attracted an enthusiastic crowd of 2,600 film aficionados and students.

9.     The Singapore Season was also a productive platform to showcase Singapore's vibrant media industry and foster closer media collaborations between China and Singapore. The China-Singapore Media Business Forum saw a strong turn-out of 270 delegates from 128 China and Singapore companies, agencies, academic and research institutes. The strong turnout reflected the keen interest of media organisations from China and Singapore to deepen our engagement.

10.     Led by the Economic Development Board, eight government agencies and the Singapore Exchange Limited presented the latest partnership and internationalisation opportunities in Singapore to 200 Chinese business leaders during Singapore Seminar in Beijing. The business leaders from diverse sectors including IT, chemicals and professional services interacted with Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng, Minister of State (Trade & Industry) Lee Yi Shyan and senior government officials.

11.     Contact Singapore’s exhibition themed ‘ Singapore – Your World of Possibilities’ showcased Singapore’s vibrant industries, employment and education landscape, multicultural heritage, cosmopolitan lifestyle and new and exciting developments in various fields. Over the four-day event in both cities, more than 7,000 people registered through online and on-site registration platforms.

12.     The Singapore Evening also provided an excellent platform for corporate networking. Some 1,200 guests were treated to a colourful cultural extravaganza of fusion cuisine, Singapore fashion, music and dance, put together by more than 100 performers. The entertainment segment was well received by our Chinese guests, who accounted for over 70% of the turnout.

13.     Singapore Season in China was made possible through the strong support of the public, private and people sectors in Singapore, and the fruitful partnerships with the arts organisations and various agencies in China.

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS

20 NOVEMBER 2007

About Singapore Season

First launched in London in 2005, Singapore Season is a cultural diplomacy effort to raise awareness of Singapore as a multi-cultural global city and showcase its global connectivity and attractiveness as a place to live, work and play. The patron of Singapore Season is Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

Singapore Season in China 2007 is organised by the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts and the National Arts Council, in collaboration with Contact Singapore, DesignSingapore Council, Economic Development Board, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, International Enterprise Singapore, Media Development Authority, Ministry of Trade and Industry, People’s Association, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore Tourism Board, SPRING Singapore and Urban Redevelopment Authority.

For more information on Singapore Season, visit http://www.singaporeseason.com/

- The End -

Media contact:

Ms K Bhavani

Director, Corporate Communications

Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts

DID: (65) 6837 9865

Email: bhavani_k@mica.gov.sg

Ms Quek Ai Choo
Asst Director, Corporate Communications

Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts
DID: (65) 6837 9841

Email: quek_ai_choo@mica.gov.sg

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