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What's On in Singapore: 10 Unmissable Events this Autumn
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What's On in Singapore: 10 Unmissable Events this Autumn

Picture of Jess Dawdy
Updated: 9 February 2017
With its glossy malls and busy streets, Singapore doesn’t always stand out from the crowd, yet underneath the surface, this eclectic city reaps the cultural benefits of its combined Chinese, Indian, Western and Malay influences. This diverse heritage has fueled Singapore’s expanding artistic scene, which reveals the city’s true soul to inquisitive visitors. We take a look at ten of the best festivals and events happening in Singapore this autumn.

Art l Sensorium 360

31 July – 22 October 2014

Sensorium 360 is an imaginative exhibition exploring how our senses help us to understand ourselves and the world around us. The event features 11 different artists from Singapore and other Asian countries, presenting exhibitions related to nine different human senses. For example, Bui Cong Khanh explores how taste is connected to culture and memory with an installation dedicated to the evolution of Vietnamese Hoi An chicken rice and Alecia Neo brings a new perspective to the sense of sight with her suite of braille drawings. A number of related tours, talks, and workshops take place in conjunction with the exhibitions, including the ‘Sensoroom’, where visitors can get in touch with their senses through browsing books and taking part in unique activities.

Sensorium 360, Singapore Art Museum, 71 Bras Basah Rd, Singapore, +65 6589 9580

Culture l Deepavali

12 September – 2 November 2014

Deepavali, or Diwali, is one of the most important Hindu celebrations. The event takes place all over the world, but with almost 10% of Singaporeans claiming Indian descent, the festivities are on a particularly grand scale in Singapore. Colloquially referred to as the Festival of Lights, Deepvali celebrates the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. During the festival, the streets of Little India, particularly along Serangoon Road, will be decorated with colorful ornaments. Numerous cultural events will take place during this festival, from roadside bazaars to street parades. You can see locals dressed in beautiful traditional attire and women having their hands and feet painted with henna.

This event will be held in various locations across Singapore.

NANU A Capella group | Courtesy of The A Capella Society
NANU A Capella group | Courtesy of The A Capella Society

Music l International A Cappella Festival

1 October – 31 October 2014

Now in its 7th year, the International A Cappella Festival features more than 100 singers from Switzerland to Taiwan, showing off their vocal skills in ten fantastic concerts. Although many of the concerts come with an admission fee, the festival’s grand opening concert at the Botanic Gardens is completely free. This first show features highlights from the month-long festival, in which all singers perform without any musical accompaniment. Performers include vocal quintet NANU and contemporary choir Vocablends.

International A Cappella Festival, Aliwal Arts Centre, 28 Aliwal Street, Singapore, +65 9647 6856

Art l Singapore International Photography Festival

3 October – 30 November 2014

Celebrating its 4th year, the Singapore International Photography Festival is Southeast Asia’s largest international photo festival. Featuring photographers from 23 different countries, the festival in 2014 will focus primarily on photography from Southeast Asia. More than 105 artists will present their work, and eight of the exhibitions are free to attend. Highlights include Ao Guo Xing’s The Ode of Happiness, which focuses on abandoned amusement parks as a reflection of China’s rapid modernization and Fabrice Fouillet’s Colosses, which takes a detached approach to the photography of important statues and works of art.

Singapore International Photography Festival, 116 Prinsep St., Singapore, +65 6339 8655

Food and Art l Kranji Countryside Farmers’ Market

4 October – 5 October 2014

Kranji Countryside Farmers’ Market is a quarterly market showcasing fresh, local farm produce. The event features more than 30 stalls, many of which are part of the Kranji Countryside Association, a coalition of farms responsible for hosting the fair. Everything sold at the market – from fresh goats milk to quail eggs – is produced, grown, or reared locally. Previous editions of the event offered an excellent selection of produce, including fruits, fish, vegetables, dairy, and herbs. Visitors can also expect to find herbal skincare products and crafts; as well as locally-made products like jams, peanut butters, sauces, and granola.

Kranji Countryside Farmers’ Market, 240 Neo Tiew Crescent, Singapore, +65 9739 6677

Film l Perspectives Film Festival

16 October – 19 October 2014

This year, the Perspectives Film Festival features seven award-winning films from around the world, each focusing on the theme of displacement. Highlights include Short Term 12 by Destin Daniel Cretton, which is based on his experience at a youth facility; and the Singapore premiere of Salaam Bombay! by Mira Nair, the first Indian film to win the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The festival also features a number of workshops and talks regarding the expression of social justice through creative works. The festival is organized by undergraduates from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), providing an opportunity for the students to gain real-world experience putting together a film festival.

Perspectives Film Festival, National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Rd., Singapore, +65 6332 3659

Food l Restaurant Week

25 October – 2 November 2014

Now in its ninth addition, Restaurant Week is a popular biannual event offering diners a chance to sample dishes at some of Singapore’s top restaurants. During Restaurant Week, more than 100 participating restaurants offer special 3-course prix fixe dinner and lunch menus. The theme for this event is ‘An Experiential Journey Through Chocolate’, with restaurants creatively incorporating chocolate into one of their three courses (and not necessarily dessert). This year, the event is also introducing a special Kids Restaurant Week which takes place one week before Restaurant Week. The idea is the same with children enjoying three course menus in kid-sized portions. Accompanying adults benefit from the opportunity to try the Restaurant Week Menu in advance of the official event.

This event will be held in various locations across Singapore.

Fashion l Digital Fashion Week

31 October – 3 November 2014

Digital Fashion Week is one of Asia’s top fashion events, highlighting the work of some of the world’s most talented emerging fashion designers. Highlights of this year’s event include an appearance by the world’s oldest supermodel, Carmen Dell’Orefice, who will walk the runway in apparel by Singaporean designer Max Tan; as well as the latest collections from international guest designers Cristiano Burani and Fyodor Golan. The event features a number of Singapore-based labels, including Depression, Good Company and CYC. The unique feature of this event is its digital component. Although the event takes place at Singapore’s National Design Centre, the shows are also broadcast live on the event’s YouTube channel, helping to bring Singapore fashion to a worldwide audience.

Digital Fashion Week, National Design Centre, 111 Middle Rd, Singapore, +65 6222 5087

Art l Singapore Art Fair

27 – 30 November 2014

The Singapore Art Fair is the first art fair in Asia to focus on modern and contemporary art from the ME.NA.SA region (Middle East, North Africa and South & South East Asia). The festival aims to promote cultural exchange and highlight the rich talent of these emerging artistic regions. Celebrating its first edition, the fair features more than 80 international galleries including 20 solo show booths. For many artists, the event will be a chance to exhibit their work internationally for the first time. Highlights include a Lebanese Pavilion curated by art collector Janine Maamari and a selection of videos from the ME.NA.SA artists which will be screened at the entrance to the fair.

Singapore Art Fair, Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Center, 1 Raffles Boulevard, Suntec City, Singapore, +65 6292 7577