Singapore: Inside Out & Takeout – A Double Bill Creativity Showcase

It was an evening where I kept saying to myself, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

And the cause for my constant incredulity was a visit to the Singapore Inside Out and Singapore Takeout twin events that showcased the creativity of Singaporean artists and culinary maestros.

Sitting side by side on the grass field lining Tan Quee Lan Street (Bugis), this double bill creative showcase offered up quite some delightful surprises with its gathering of creativity across a multitude of disciplines such as architecture, installation art, performance art, product design, lighting design, and food all in one place. It’s like the walk-in version of a “Best of” CD compilation, but instead of songs, we experience the crème de la crème of Singapore’s creative spirit.

Having paid legwork over the years to a number of free-for-public art events such as iLight, Night Festival, Future Everything, and a slew more artistic exhibitions presented by the collection of local museums, this is the first time I’ve walked into a multi-disciplinary creative showcase that is wholly Singaporean. From the exhibition “housing” to the art installations to  performances to products to gastronomic creations, all of them have been the brainchild of some of our nation’s new breed of celebrated artists, performers, innovators and chefs.

So what can you expect at Singapore Inside Out and Singapore Takeout that could possibly get you saying “You’ve got to be kidding me!”? Here’s a peek…

Singapore: Inside Out (SG:IO)

Returning home after a multi-city tour to Beijing, London and New York, SG:IO is a conversation with the world about our cultural soul expressed creatively through contemporary art forms. The exhibition is on from 27 Nov – 6 Dec 2015.

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Tickle your artistic senses at SG:IO.

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You’ve got to be kidding me… with an exhibition that is being uncontained by an installation of scaffolding instead of walls to define the activity space.

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The mind behind the curation of SG:10 – Randy Chan, an award-winning architect of Zarch Collaboratives. I have the privilege to work with Randy on a couple of gallery projects with Pico and this man is simply brilliant in the way he interprets spaces to form the spine of an exhibitory experience.

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My favourite installation at SG:IO has got to be the nondescript set up of a study table. There’s a big twist in this piece which I won’t divulge so as not to spoil the surprise. On the wall are the words “有影無 wu ngia bo” (Hokkien for “really?” or “is there a presence?”) which questions the existence of an art scene in Singapore. The work is also an invitation to visitors to step into a playground of creativity. How are all these messages apparent from this scene? Well, get a docent to explain the full artistic intent behind this work when you are there and be prepared for your mind to be blown away.

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A wall of rat traps juxtaposed with the nostalgia of traditional Chinese medicinal halls.

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Would you rather be in a rat race or a rat trap?

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An installation that welcomes visitors to co-create the interior of a room.

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Graffiti welcomed.

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In addition to static installation pieces and conceptual spaces, SG:IO in also an interactive showcase where visitors can interact with the works.

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I had a Hansel and Gretel moment when I stepped into this candy-coloured room because lollipops sticking out from the ceiling can be eaten and the paints and decorations are apparently edible! Except for the lollies, I won’t recommend licking the paint off this piece.

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Not your usual lollipops, the ones found at SG:IO has such “you’ve got to be kidding me!” flavours such as bak kwa, chilli, laksa, etc!

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Didn’t get to spend a lot of time to explore SG:IO as I would like to as there was a launch event happening. When I returned later, a long queue has formed at the entrance so if you plan to visit, go early. Having worked up an appetite milling through some of the SG:IO exhibits, we headed over to the Singapore Takeout culinary showcase just a couple of steps next to SG:IO.

Singapore Takeout

A sister event of SG:IO, Singapore Takeout offers a spread of local favourite hawker fare and ethnic recipes that have been marinated with imagination by a new breed of Singapore’s designer chefs.

Singapore Takeout happens over 2 weekends : 27 – 29 Nov and 4 – 6 Dec 2015.

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Love the playful, funky, and artsy visual mascot of Singapore Takeout.

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Eat in or takeout, an taste adventure awaits!

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Interior of Singapore Takeout… Smart, stylish and rather chic.

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Started our creative food trail with a delicious concoction of Kopi & Kaya Vodka that is both hot and cold at the same time! Mixed by Masterchef Asia finalist Lennard Yeong, this alcoholic embodiment of kopitiam flavours has a warm layer of kaya foam afloat on iced coffee. Equally intoxicatingly fragrant is the Ice The Halia (ginger tea) Tarik with Cognac. S$10 each.

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Chef Han and Chef Wayne with their “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!” experiments… Chilli Crab and Black Pepper Crab Ice-Cream! I’m not talking about adding a scoop of vanilla ice-cream onto chilli crab or black pepper crab but ice-cream that actually tastes like chilli or black pepper crab. Does that make your stomach crawl?

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I had my doubts but the savoury ice-creams turned out to be surprisingly appetising. S$10 per flavour that comes with soft shell crab and mantou.

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Can’t get enough of Chef Justin Quek’s Kagoshima Kurobuta Wantons with Diced King Prawns in Laksa Espuma. S$10 / bowl.

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A traditional Indian dish that has been lost in time… Kothu Parotta (S$8).

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Indian desserts are usually very sweet and heavy but Chef SR Bala’s Masala Chai Jelly is delightfully pleasing and refreshing (S$4).

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Getting bowled over by the Kueh Pie Tee with Laksa Sphere and Coconut Espuma (S$12) at Singapore Takeout.

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Peranakan food with a twist… Buah Keluak Maggi Goreng with Grilled Pork Cheek (S$8) by Chef Malcolm Lee.

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The Kurobuta Bak Kut Teh by Chef Lee Boon Seng from RWS has been stewed for 8 hours to achieve a soft texture with fat that melts in the mouth (S$15).

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A mosaic of creative new tastes on traditional local favourites at Singapore Takeout… Buah Keluak Maggi Goreng, Mao Shan Wang Durian Pengat Waffle, Kothu Parotta (Indian’s answer to chai tow kway), Kueh Pie Tee with Laksa Sphere and more!

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We completed our taste adventure with a German vintage that was refreshingly fruity and light at the Takeout bar.

It has been a fun night out feeding the senses at both Singapore Inside Out and Singapore Takeout. Hopefully this will make it into our art calendar as a permanent feature.

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