“What should an arts festival for the future look like?”
As a critique of existing festivals that often emphasise productions and audiences and are framed from a Western perspective, Southernmost proposes a festival format that is process-driven, artist-centric and Asia-based. Audiences are invited to immerse themselves in a week of artistic experimentation and dialogue across art forms, cultures, time and space, as part of an ongoing exploration of how the arts festival model can be a platform for cultural exchange.
Through examining the relevance of the traditional to the contemporary, and drawing on the process of critique and self-critique, Southernmost is an attempt to develop a long-term vision for how exchange and change can happen.
Embark on an intimate journey of cultural dialogue between yesterday and tomorrow, in a dream of searching for the festival for the future.
The first of its kind in Singapore, the first edition of Southernmost featured 9 international artists of differing backgrounds and practices across 9 programmes. Among these artists are Danny Yung (Hong Kong) and Makoto Sato (Tokyo), Javanese Dance master Didik Nini Thowok (Yogyakarta), Kunqu Opera master Wang Bin (Nanjing), Classical Cambodian Dancer Nget Rady (Phnom Penh), as well as Artistic Director of Emergency Stairs Liu Xiaoyi (Singapore).
Southernmost 2018 was presented in Centre 42. Other than traditional Noh master Kanji Shimizu (Tokyo) and returning artists Nget Rady (Phnom Penh), and Didik Nini Thowok (Yogyakarta), among the artists were Singaporean traditional artists Elizabeth Chan, Andy Chia, Loi Ee Vian, and Amin Farid. It culminated in a new creation, Journey to Nowhere, a creative response of the Singapore Arts Plan in 2018.
This year, Southernmost continues its journey in Centre 42, along with its mix of programmes which invites audiences closer to the process and dialogue, culminating in the presentation of the new work, Journey to a Dream. The participating artists this year will be Liu Xiaoyi (Singapore), Danny Yung (Hong Kong), Makoto Matsushima (Tokyo), Nget Rady (Phnom Penh), Didik Nini Thowok (Yogyakarta), Shen Yili (Shanghai), as well as emerging traditional and contemporary artists Amin Farid (Singapore), Nattapon Wannaun (Hat Yai) and Sabrina Sng (Singapore). Southernmost 2019 is also co-produced together with Zuni Icosahedron.