Organised by Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, Wan Qing CultureFest 2019 seeks to celebrate the rich diversity and beauty of our cultural traditions. This year’s festival will showcase four key pillars of cultural heritage – Social Practices, Food Heritage, Performing Arts, and Oral Traditions and Expressions.

Wan Qing CultureFest 2019 will be launched in conjunction with the Memorial Hall’s new special exhibition, “From Brush to Lens: Early Chinese Photography Studios in Singapore”. The exhibition showcases over 90 artefacts from the late 19th to early 20th century, including carte de visites and photographs by European, Chinese and Japanese studios in Singapore. Plus, admission is free!

Here is everything you can find at Wan Qing CultureFest all happening this 9 – 10 November.

9 November (Performing Arts)

1. Auspicious Tidings: Art of Lion Dance

(Supported by Ngee Ann Polytechnic)
Time: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Admission: No registration required

Visitors can learn more about the history of lion dance, the differences between the Northern and Southern forms, martial art influences, and the elaborate art of lion dance costume design.

2. Stories for Children

(Supported by the Speak Good English Movement and Speak Mandarin Campaign)
Time: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM; 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Admission: No registration required

Join this interactive storytelling session and learn more about the ancient Chinese art of lion dance through a selection of fantabulous tales. Each session will include a simple craft activity.

3. Interactive Station: DIY Lion Dance Mask

Time: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Admission: No registration required

Learn more about the differences between the Northern and Southern Lion dance styles as you design your very own lion dance face mask in this drop-in craft station.

4. Interactive Station: Create Your Own Wushu Sword

Time: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Admission: No registration required

Learn more about the weapons used in Wushu and have fun designing your very own Wushu swords using simple materials like aluminium foil.

5. Interactive Station: Dragon Dance Puppet

Time: 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Admission: No registration required

Create your own dragon dance puppet in this fun craft station.

6. Interactive Station: DIY Chinese Opera Mask

Time: 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Admission: No registration required

Colour and design your very own opera facemask and take on a new character for the day.

7. Cultural Experience: Shadow Puppetry

(Supported by Ngee Ann Polytechnic)
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Admission: No registration required

Explore this traditional Chinese art form in this in-depth sharing session, complete with simple shadow play craft activities and a live shadow puppetry demonstration that utilises musical rhythm, active role-play, and vivid storytelling.

8. Cultural Experience: Sights & Sounds of Cantonese Opera

(Supported by Kong’s Chinese Opera)
Time: 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Admission: No registration required

Watch a live demonstration of Chinese street opera, try on opera costumes and make-up, and learn operatic movements in this interactive session.

9. Evening Concert: Cultural Arts Extravaganza!

Time: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Admission: No registration required

Catch an exciting selection of iconic Chinese performing arts such as traditional lion dance performances, a wushu showcase, Chinese street opera, and more.

10 November (Oral Traditions and Expressions)

1. Lai ah Lai: Learning About Dialects

Time: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Admission: No registration required

In this series of activity stations, visitors will be able to rediscover their roots and learn more about the unique cuisines of each dialect group, pick up simple words and phrases in dialect, and even play fun games to identify famous Singaporean figures according to their dialect group.

2. Stories for Children

(Supported by the Speak Good English Movement and Speak Mandarin Campaign)
Time: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM; 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Admission: No registration required

Join this interactive storytelling session and learn more about the different ways of oral expression through a selection of fantabulous tales. Each session will include a simple craft activity.

3. Cultural Experience: Heritage Kueh Soap Crafting

(Supported by Crafter’s Studio)
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM; 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Admission: No registration required

Learn a thing or two about Singapore’s colourful kueh culture and watch artisans transform simple bars of organic cold-processed soap into realistic traditional kuehs in this soap-crafting demonstration.

4. Sharing Session: Cultural Characteristics of Dialect Nursery Rhymes

(by Dr Kang Ger-Wen Oliver)
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Admission: No registration required

Join this light-hearted sharing session by Dr Kang Ger-Wen as he explores the symbolism and imagery in dialect nursery rhymes and uncovers a whole new meaning and appreciation of these familiar and well-loved tunes.

5. Cultural Experience: Chinese Calligraphy

(Supported by Hua Yi Cultural Pte Ltd)
Time: 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Admission: No registration required

This demonstration will be led by Mr Ma Shuang Lu, renowned calligrapher and practitioner of Chinese cultural arts, and will include a sharing session on calligraphy techniques and its significance in Chinese culture. Visitors can also learn basic calligraphy and put their skills to the test through simple writing exercises.

6. Evening Concert: Lai Lai Getai!

Time: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Admission: No registration required

A glittering night filled with live music, exciting performances, and good cheer as the Memorial Hall transforms into a smashing getai venue.

9 and 10 November: Other Events

1. Heritage Hunt

Time: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Admission: No registration required

Put your knowledge about Chinese customs and practices to the test in a series of fun and engaging tasks including charades, crossword puzzles, memory cards and more to win a mystery prize.

2. Special Exhibition Guided Tour: “From Brush to Lens: Early Chinese Photography Studios in Singapore”

Time: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM (Chinese); 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM (English)
Admission: No registration required

This exhibition examines how the migration of skilled Chinese artisans and professionals, such as painters and photographers, led to the proliferation of photography studios in the region.

3. Permanent Galleries Guided Tour

Time: 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM (Chinese); 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM (English)
Admission: No registration required

A guided tour of Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall and hear the stories behind this century-old villa that trace Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s revolutionary activities in Southeast Asia.

4. Balestier Heritage Trail

Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Admission: $5.00

From landmarks like the Maha Sasanaramsi Burmese Buddhist Temple to heritage stops such as Lam Yeo Coffee Powder Factory, delve into the architectural and cultural developments of Balestier and discover the unknown stories behind these places.

For more information on Wan Qing CultureFest 2019, please visit here.