Singapore in spotlight at Taiwan NPM arts festival

A replica of Singapore’s iconic Merlion is set to welcome visitors to the 2018 NPM Asian Art Festival running Oct. 6 to Nov. 4 at NPMSB in southern Taiwan’s Chiayi County. (Courtesy of NPMSB)

A replica of Singapore’s iconic Merlion is set to welcome visitors to the 2018 NPM Asian Art Festival running Oct. 6 to Nov. 4 at NPMSB in southern Taiwan’s Chiayi County. (Courtesy of NPMSB)

The arts, culture and cuisine of Singapore will be celebrated at the monthlong Asian Art Festival that kicks off Oct. 6 at National Palace Museum Southern Branch.
 
Focusing on a different country from the region each year, the event underscores the efforts of the institution in southern Taiwan’s Chiayi County to improve local understanding of the diversity of Asian civilizations, according to NPMSB.
 
A major highlight of the festival is an exhibition on the traditional culture and lifestyles of the Southeast Asian country’s Peranakan— descendants of Chinese immigrants to the region between the 15th and 17th centuries.
 
Visitors will learn about tok panjang—a lavish feast reserved for special occasions like Lunar New Year or family reunions—and the sarong kebaya, a smart long-sleeved blouse paired with a tubular skirt.
 
Singapore’s vibrant film industry will also be highlighted, the museum added, with nine movies selected to show different perspectives on its society. These include Cannes Film Festival winner “Ilo Ilo,” about a caregiver from the Philippines and Eva Tang’s “The Songs We Sang,” which traces the influence of Taiwan’s university folk music movement of the 1970s on the city-state’s Mandarin language songs.
 
Food markets will be set up during the festival serving Peranakan cuisine including steaming bowls of laksa, a spicy noodle soup made with a curry coconut milk base.
 
Running through Nov. 4, the museum will extend its closing time to 7 p.m. and will allow free admission after 4 p.m. (CPY-E)