Singapore Arts Festival 2012 – Arts Festival Village

Our Lost Poems

This year’s theme, Our Lost Poems, look at myths, legends, wandering thoughts, reflections, lost riddles and hidden stories. It is a discovery of tales and aspirations that need to be told and retold. Stories that inspire us, legends that have deep cultural roots and riddles that reveal the secrets of the world. This festival finds us at a crossroad, waiting to reaffirm our sense of place in time as we uncover refreshing facets of ourselves:

Something ancient. Something lost. Something hidden. Something new.

As General Manager of Singapore Arts Festival 2012, Mr Low Kee Hong shared at the Media Launch, if you ask any young Singaporean to draw upon a Singapore identity, you may be greeted with the majestic architecture of MBS and the Singapore Flyer. We used to rely greatly on Merlion and the control tower of Changi Airport being the icon of Singapore, but that has changed.



Judy Ngo, Koh Wan Ching, Li Xie, Liu Xiaoyi, Oliver Chong, Peter Sau, Zelda Tatianan Ng, Crtl Fre@k


In the publicity write-up, it reads:

Co-created, devised and performed by a group of seven veteran theatre artists ad local show design company Crtl Fre@k.

Twelve contenders will vie to be the ultimate national icon, amid a backdrop of myths, stories and drama. Out for the kill, they will “spar” for your vote.

This is a “match” where audiences will get to make an informed choice. If you didn’t vote at the last General Election, this will (kind of) make up for it.

The ultimate Singapore icon shall survive!

Replacing the usual stage platform with a wrestling ring, the performers posed as commentators in black vests, referee in black-and-white stripes top and taking turns to take the ring (stage) as various surprising Singapore icons! We have the honour to watch Merlion and Hungry Ghost Festival Ge-Tai having a match that evening.

A list of nominated contending icons has been selected prior to the performance and audience may vote for their favourite at the performance days and witness the crowning of the winning National Icon.


As performer Oliver Chong states:

‘The offspring of our way of life is our culture and the uniqueness of which has inevitably become iconic of Singaporeans. These are memories that we share with our fellow Singaporeans. They (have) either demolished, forgotten, suppressed or upgraded, re-packaged and glorified. Of course, there are other icons that were fabricated overnight for the sake of tourism. As they are for our survival, they are arguably products of our way of life too. Happy tourists from all over the world pose in front of the Merlion, documenting his continual regurgitation of our memories with their cameras. The spew should not stop, for when whatever that is left of us is emptied, he can use that of our posterity.’

The familiar stories (fights) get close to the heart of Singaporeans in English, Mandarin and Dialects. When was the last time you get to laugh loudly watching a match in a park? Check out the dates for the performances, or, erm, fights.

I used to hang out with my friends after watching a performance at the busy S11 by the old National Library. Now, that is a Singapore Icon to me.






Production Credits

Co-created and Performed by
Judy Ngo
Koh Wan Ching
Li Xie
Liu Xiaoyi
Oliver Chong
Peter Sau
Zelda Tatianan Ng

Jeffery Yue (Ctrl Fre@k)

Ang Hwee Sim

Special Thanks to Drama Box

Date: 18 & 19 May, 25 & 26 May, 1 & 2 Jun

Time: 7pm and 9pm (60 minutes)

Venue: Arts Festival Village (Esplanade Park)

More info about XII – IN SEARCH OF 13 is available at the SIngapore Arts Festival website