ad info

TIME Asia Home
Current Issue
Magazine Archive
Asia Buzz
Travel Watch
Web Features
  Photo Essays

Subscribe to TIME
Customer Services
About Us
Write to TIME Asia
TIME Canada
TIME Europe
TIME Pacific
TIME Digital
Latest CNN News

Young China
Olympics 2000
On The Road

  east asia
  southeast asia
  south asia
  central asia

Other News
From TIME Asia

Culture on Demand: Black is Beautiful
The American Express black card is the ultimate status symbol

Asia Buzz: Should the Net Be Free?
Web heads want it all -- for nothing

JAPAN: Failed Revolution
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori clings to power as dissidents in his party finally decide not to back a no-confidence motion

Cover: Endgame?
After Florida's controversial ballot recount, Bush holds a 537-vote lead in the state, which could give him the election

TIME Digest

TIME Asia Services
Subscribe to TIME! Get up to 3 MONTHS FREE!

Bookmark TIME
TIME Media Kit
Recent awards

TIME Asia Asiaweek Asia Now TIME Asia story
  S I N G A P O R E   C I T Y   G U I D E

Singapore: The Art and Soul of Asia in 1999

Artwork for TIME by Suzanne Li; photograph by Danny Chiu


The contest is over. Singapore has prevailed in its bid to become Asia's arts capital. No other city in the region can come close to matching the range of cultural events that Singapore plans to offer in this year-long runup to the millennium. Just yesterday, it seemed that the tourism board's former slogan "Surprising Singapore" missed the point that there were few surprises in the region's nanny state. But now, it's "New Asia Singapore"--a much livelier place, in part because the government is trying to generate more buzz to lift both morale and the economy.

The music scene is certainly humming. The Singapore Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a stellar lineup: standout guest performers include Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie on March 8 and 9, cellist Yo-Yo Ma on March 12 and 13 and violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter on June 3 and 4. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 65-348-5555 or online at

Can't decide which of Singapore's two new museums to visit? Check out both. The Asian Civilizations Museum is home to a large and superb collection of rare artifacts. Through May 30, it will host the must-see "Eternal Egypt: Treasures from the British Museum," which made its Asian debut in Hong Kong last fall. The Singapore Art Museum, meanwhile, showcases local modern art as well as other Asian and international works. Two shows of Chinese painting are set for this year: contemporary mainland works in ink are on view March 24 to June 20, followed in the fall by paintings--some of them sanctioned copies of the masters--from the Ming dynasty to the present. Other highlights include the ASEAN art fair (on display Oct. 21 to Nov. 22 before heading to Europe) and Singapore Art 2000, a series of exhibits, lectures and other events running from Dec. 2 to Jan. 21. Both museums are closed on Mondays but can be visited online anytime at

Prepare to kick up your heels at lively events like Dance Space '99 (at the Substation until March 21) and Viva Brazil!, a samba-fest of music, art and food (March 12 to 14). April Fool's Day ushers in a comedy festival (April 1 to 20), with local and visiting entertainers competing for chuckles. The annual Singapore International Film Festival (April 16 to May 2) will unspool more than 250 films from 35 countries. This year's focus is on Indonesian directors; tickets are $5 for most films and can be booked by calling 65-222-5953.

The Singapore Arts Festival will dazzle audiences from May 29 to June 20. Theater buffs are eagerly anticipating Fabric, local playwright Henry Ong's story of Asian immigrants, and Canadian avant-garde director Robert Lepage's Geometry of Miracles, a visual poem that pays homage to American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Coinciding with the festival is Volume and Form, an environmental and urban sculpture exhibition with works on display all over town from May 21 to Sept. 5. Sculpture fans should also check out a landmark exhibition of works by local artist Ng Eng Teng, taking place all year at the National University of Singapore. And for those interested in the art of shopping, the Great Singapore Sale, an annual spree-for-all, returns May 28 to June 27.

Although Singapore is an eater's paradise any time of year, save some room for the annual Singapore Food Festival (July 2 to 23). For this event many of the island's top eateries serve up a feast of special dishes and deals for locals and visitors alike. And if you're still not full, the World Gourmet Summit (July 24 to 31) brings some of the globe's top chefs to town to create their fave dishes.

On a musical note, the River Fiesta (Aug. 1 to 15) brings live tunes and entertainment to the great outdoors. The fun continues in September, when world music collective WOMAD (short for World of Music, Art and Dance) returns to Fort Canning Park hot on the heels of a wildly popular debut last year.

November brings a buskers' festival to the riverfront along Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, as well as a charity rubber-duck race on the river. At the end of the month, Canadian circus troupe Cirque du Soleil unveils its dazzling Saltimbanco. December will see a model of the starship Enterprise touch down in Singapore for the Asian leg of the Star Trek World Tour. The month promises to be one long pre-millennium party. For details, read on--or just swing by and let Singapore show you into the next century.

With reporting by Ravi Velloor/Singapore

Lonely Planet
When to Go
Facts for the Traveler
Money & Costs
Facts at a Glance
Economic Profile

Off the Beaten Track
Getting There & Away
Getting Around
Recommended Reading
View a Map

Back to the Singapore City Guide Home

2000 Things to Do
"MillenniaMania" celebrations

Step inside Breathing Space

Off the Shelf
Tiger Balm Gardens

Short Cuts
Singapore Airlines' stopover package

Web Crawling
17,000 Singapore-related websites

Asia's cultural capital?

To Singapore websites

From Lonely Planet

When to Go
Facts for the Traveler
Money & Costs
Facts at a Glance
Economic Profile
Off the Beaten Track
Getting There & Away
Getting Around
Recommended Reading
View a Map

Travel Watch Home

ASIANOW Travel Home | TIME Asia home



U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

Thai party announces first coalition partner


COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state


COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness

Launch CNN's Desktop Ticker and get the latest news, delivered right on your desktop!

Today on CNN

Back to the top   © 2000 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.