UNRESERVED Recommends: Your August Entertainment Diary

Step out of the house and get your fill of adventure, dance and art. Here are our suggestions for August.
Thursday 2 August 2018
Selflessness / Thoughtlessness/ Timelessness, Kamin Lertchaiprasert. Photo: Kamin Lertchaiprasert/Chan Hori Contemporary


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When: Through August
Where: Chan + Hori Contemporary, Singapore

Renowned Thai contemporary artist Kamin Lertchaiprasert is featured in a solo exhibition hosted by DISINI festival and Chan + Hori Contemporary. This is the second solo exhibition as part of the gallery’s ‘From the Studio’ series. There is no mistake in Kamin’s mysterious exhibition title, ” “; it does exactly what it’s supposed to do for you – draw a blank. As all contemporary art goes, the exhibition is there to make you think about emptiness itself and your own state of mind. The artist is following his previous series of work aptly dubbed ‘Emptiness’ which he developed in Chiang Mai.

The current exhibition is not only inside the gallery, it also connects to an outdoor installation named The Ground which took 18 years to produce.


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Zulkhairi Zulkiflee’s work Untitled (Type as abstraction) I 2017, print on calico. Photo: Zulkhairi Zulkiflee

The Direction I Rub One Matters
When: Until 25 August 2018
Where: Grey Projects, Singapore

This group exhibition by non-profit art space Grey Projects explores the provocation of tactility. Tactility can come in many forms, from an accidental brush or touch to intimacy with another person. The emotions and feelings invoked by these touches vary from person to person and range from comfort to security. ‘The Direction I Rub One Matters’ exhibits works by artists Ian Tee, Moses Tan, Zarina Muhammad and Zulkhairi Zulkiflee, and explores these notions in various forms. Open your mind to the thought-provoking questions raised in this exhibition: the sensation of fabric against skin, or skin against skin can trigger the strongest memories and most intense experiences.


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Shayne Phua Shi Ying, ‘Blossom’ 2018, Ceramic (White Sonteware and Coloured Slip). Photo: Gajah Gallery

The New Now 2: Vivid & Veiled
When: Until 12 August 2018
Where: Gajah Gallery, Singapore

Emerging artists come under the spotlight at Gajah Gallery’s exhibition of curated works from art students and graduates. The second in their ‘The New Now’ series, this exhibition features a diverse selection of Singapore artists such as Gerald Tay, Jay Ho, Masuri Mazlan, Ong Si Hui, Shayne Phua, Tan Shao Qi and Vivian Loh. Taking elements of the past to present, the exhibition plays with notions of ‘memory’ in various forms, from hazy to vibrant. The aim is to have viewers ponder on the recollection of memories and emotions, how they are reimagined through the works, as well as how some memories can be forgotten.



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Breathe life into August with ‘Into Thin Air’. Photo: Damansara Performing Arts Centre

Pass Through
When: 10 to 12 August 2018
Where: Damansara Performing Arts Centre, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Hot on the heels of the Damansara International Arts Festival comes this dance performance straight out of South Korea. Malaysia’s renowned dancer and art director Pexstret Liu Yong Sean, who is based in South Korea, will be making his debut on Malaysian soil, alongside famous Korean dance company Soo d Art & Co’s artistic director, Soodong Jung. They will present five dances – ‘Terminal’, ‘Into Thin Air’, ‘Balance’, ‘I Am Not Alone’ and ‘Pass Through’ – which tell a different story each, and they are all summed up in the final performance, ‘Pass Through’.


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Outdoor dance at Sibu International Dance Festival 2017. Photo: Sibu International Dance Festival Facebook

Sibu International Dance Festival
When: 21 to 25 August 2018
Where: Sibu Civic Centre and Kutien Memorial Park in Sibu, Sarawak.

Organised by the Hornland Dance Theatre in Sibu, the Sibu International Dance Festival is back for its seventh year. The annual festival presents a world-class platform for local and international dancers to showcase their talents. Previous festivals hosted dancers from countries such as Lithuania, Thailand and Singapore. This year’s event has been extended to include outdoor and indoor performances. Have your pick of traditional and contemporary dances. After the festival, grab the chance to explore the sights and sounds of Sibu while you’re there. Stay tuned for more details on the website.



Kelab Malam Bijan
When: 18 August 2018
Where: Bijan Bar & Restaurant

Enjoy an early Merdeka celebration with Bijan this August. For some, the nation will be celebrating more than just our independence from the British on the 61st Merdeka. It will be a night of music, dancing, fashion and food to reminisce the golden era of the Sixties. Renditions of classic Malay songs and joget and ronggeng performances will lull you back to the 60s. Chef Syawal has prepared a special menu to spice up the occasion. Do come dressed up in fashion from your favourite era; time to look for that mini shift dress and big bauble earrings. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Tabung Harapan.


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Photo: Bras Basah Bugis Facebook

Singapore Night Festival
When: 17 to 25 August 2018
Where: Various places around Singapore

Explore Singapore at night because the city is not sleeping this August. With various spots to visit throughout the eight days of this festival, we picked out two you’ll definitely want to catch. The Private Museum presents the exhibition ‘Benny Ong: Walking the Thought’ in celebration of Singapore’s 52nd anniversary of Independence. Benny Ong is Singapore’s most renowned fashion designer and textile artist. He has designed uniforms for hotels and his high-profile clients included the late Princess Diana and Queen Noor of Jordan. Don’t miss his first showcase of textiles and fashion which runs from 24 to 26 August at the Private Museum. Head on over to the National Design Centre after that to experience the light installation called Phosphene by Praxis +. The installation is one of the few transforming the Bras Basah Bugis Precinct this August with its fascinating light structures. Walk around Singapore this August and find yourself in a very lighted wonderland.


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Catch comedian Kavin Jay this month at various locations around Malaysia.

Kavin Jay: Anger Management
Where: Around Malaysia
When: 3 to 18 August 2018

Kavin Jay joined the ranks of international comedians with his own Netflix special Everybody Calm Down! that aired earlier this year in February. Self proclaimed grumpiest comedian in Malaysia, Kavin embraces his weight, pokes a little fun at Singaporeans and picks apart everything Malaysian. To celebrate his recent accession to Netflix, shuffling in between the likes of Ali Wong and John Mulaney, Kavin is travelling all across Malaysia for several live shows. Breaking into the international market, this may be the time to catch him before he’s too big. Get yourself a chuckle at one of his shows nearby you this August. Don’t worry, if you miss it you have seven more to catch. Tagging along on this tour is well-loved foodie Papi Zak and up-and-coming comedian Brian Tan.


The Innocents
When: 24 August 2018

Tales of star-crossed lovers rarely ever end well and The Innocents does not look like it’s going to break that curse. Teenagers Harry and June run away from their repressive families only to run into a different kind of roadblock, the shape-shifting kind. June discovers that she can shape-shift when she accidentally does so in the form of a middle-aged man. Confused and in a bit of a mess, the kids are discovered by Halvorson, a mysterious professor whose promises of a cure and reunion with June’s mother seems too good to be true. Love may be the central theme of this show but there are also shades of subtle fantasy. Created and written by Hania Elkington and Simon Duric who also executive produced the show, The Innocents stars Sorcha Groundsell as June, Percelle Ascott as Harry, and Guy Pearce as Halvorson.

The Sinner Season 2
When: 1 August 2018

Following the success of the first season, Jessica Biel continues to executive produce the second season of the new thriller The Sinner, but this time she’s not involved in the killing. Season two follows an 11-year-old boy who murdered his parents for no apparent reason, sounding eerily similar to season one. Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) is back in his hometown to investigate the murder. He is pulled into another mystery of a murder with no apparent motive – the deep dark secrets of a seemingly good hometown. The trailer also teases us with a glimpse of Carrie Coon’s character, who is said to be a mysterious woman who struggles between upholding the ideals of the community she leads and fulfilling her own desires.


Crazy Rich Asians
When: 22 August 2018

At long last, the prodigal child returns. Hitting cinemas this August is the long-awaited Crazy Rich Asians movie, the big screen adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novel of the same name. This movie has been making waves in the media since the announcement of its cast and recent trailer. Terrible though is the curse of overhyped movies in the cinema nowadays, and Crazy Rich Asians is most definitely one of them. We can only pray that the catty gossip in Kwan’s guide to surviving what seems to be the worst introduction to the in-laws survives this curse. We all know there is nothing worse than meeting the parents; throw in exorbitant piles of money, notions of family responsibility and a copious amount of glitter, and you get this crazy Singaporean tale of the life and times of the uber rich. Starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding.

When: 24 August 2018

Yet another remake. Will Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek hit the right notes with this re-adaptation of Papillon? Based on the bestselling book of the same name by Henri Charrière and adapted from the 1973 movie which saw Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman in the main roles, Hunnam easily steps into the shoes once filled by McQueen, while Malek’s grisly voice comes as a surprise in the trailer. Dubbed the greatest escape movie of its time, will the new Papillon be appropriately harrowing or will it degenerate into another action-packed film with no character?


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Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

We don’t like self-help books here at UNRESERVED, but isn’t Crazy Rich Asians basically one that deals with kay poh (busybody) Asians? Kwan describes the species of kay poh so thoroughly, you’d know enough to avoid them in real life. This book was published years ago, so consult Dr Google if you want a plot outline. For us, this book should remind you to watch the film adaptation starring Henry Golding, our April cover guy. You’re welcome to tut-tut your way through infuriating Asian stereotypes, but still enjoy conversations peppered with Singlish, Malay, Cantonese and Hokkien. Kwan doesn’t write in riddles, and his gossip is so irresistible that it’s impossible to put the book down (but please don’t read and jaywalk). When you’re done, go point out the differences between the book and the movie to your friends. We can’t guarantee you won’t get eye-rolls though. – Andrea Tim

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Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller is harrowing but utterly compelling.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

As much as it is about the horrors of the Holocaust, The Storyteller asks the all-important question about identity. Who do you think you are? Are you who you thought you would be? Are you the person you want to be? These are never easy questions to answer, more so through the tragic lens of World War II, but Picoult explores it with heartbreaking complexity by bringing together Sage, a baker with baggage, and Josef, an elderly man with a secretive past. It also poses the question of forgiveness: if it is asked of us, are we always in a position to grant it? Picoult expertly tackles and weaves these concepts through one another, taking the reader on what is at times, an excruciatingly honest but incredibly compelling and impressive read. – June See

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