As we are kicking off in 2023 – January is definitely packed with plenty events to choose from. Starting off with mega arts festival Singapore Art Week and a whole slew of attention-grabbing marquee and fringe events. Chinese New Year is starting early this year too, so get your new year clothes ready for all the red and rabbit-y festivities hopping your way. Here are top 8 things to do for January 2023!
1) Singapore Art Week
Singapore’s mega art event Singapore Art Week (SAW) returns from January 6 to 15 with the theme of Play. Expect over 130 diverse arts events across Singapore, taking you from the familiar four walls of museums and right into the heartlands. From renowned arts fairs and exhibitions to smaller – but no less interesting – events, experiential trails, tours, and talks across the 10-day event, SAW is a sprawling showcase of Singapore’s vibrant arts scene.
Marquee events include Light to Night Festival, which will see beloved cultural institutions in the Civic District illuminated in colourful, projected ‘skins’ alongside commissioned installations and multidisciplinary programmes. Other highlights include Aliwal Urban Art Festival, which celebrates street culture movers and shakers through workshops, dance battles, and an art market.
2) Light To Night Festival
One of the most anticipated events on Singapore’s annual calendar is Light to Night, best known for its stunning illumination of key cultural institutions in the Civic District. This year, Light to Night returns with the theme of Here and Now, featuring immersive installations, interactive artworks, and more well-loved programmes and performances to celebrate the present moment.
Organised by the National Gallery of Singapore – this beloved festival village Art X Social also returns with over 50 food and beverage stalls, new art and craft brands, as well as live performances and outdoor workshops. Light to Night also features a slew of programming meant to help you gain a better appreciation of the arts. Soak in the festival vibes at Gallery Gigs and Gallery Mix, which will feature live performances by the likes of Aisyah Aziz, Lalit Kumar and Anise x Sonia Kwek; speak to Gallery curators and artists at Artsplaining; or have a laugh at Funny Fridays, a free-for-all stand-up comedy series featuring talents like Patricia Mok and Siraj Aziz.
3) We Will Rock You Musical
If you are a fan of the rock band, Queen, you definitely do not want to miss this. Catch this rock concert-slash-musical We Will Rock You that runs from 5th -22nd January 2023 at the Esplanade Theatre. The reimagined production, directed and choreographed by Olivier Award nominee Nick Winston, presents 24 of Queen’s greatest hits. Sing along to favourites like Killer Queen, Under Pressure, We Are the Champions, Radio Ga Ga and, of course, We Will Rock You. The premise? Follow two revolutionaries as they go on a quest to save rock’n’roll music in a post-apocalyptic world. Expect a spectacular set, of cool costumes, rock flaming dance performance and amazing vocals in this high-octane production.
4) Wan Qing Festival of Spring
Swing by the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall to ring in the lunar new year with auspicious performances, bunny exhibits, and cultural workshops for children. Now, you can visit ‘Bunny-ful’ Blessings, a lawn installation by Hong Kong artist, illustrator and designer Chan Siu Kau featuring two of the artist’s Bit Bit Forest character. Children can also take part in cultural workshops to learn lion dance, Chinese drums, or tang yuan making, among other free sessions available.
Now in its 9th edition, the 2023 Museum Roundtable Lunar New Year Hongbao Campaign returns with new red packet designs based on the Zodiac Year of the Rabbit! From 6 January to 3 February 2023, visitors will be able to collect a set of unique red packet designs at 39 participating museums, heritage institutions and galleries, while stocks last. Each set will contain eight pieces of red packets, themed respectively to the 39 participating museums.
Limited edition Collector’s Albums are back by popular demand! Each Collector’s Album contains a unique set of MR Rabbit Year red packets from all participating 39 MR members. This year, in celebration of National Heritage Board’s 30th anniversary, each Collector’s Album will also contain an additional special NHB red packet design!. Please note that the red packets in the Collector’s Album are not identical to the red packets available for collection at participating museums and galleries.
5) Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebrations
Chinese New Year is coming early this year and there’s much to celebrate. The Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebration is finally retuning to its former glory after two years of subdued celebrations. It’s painting the town red with towering street displays, which are set to light-up spectacularly every night from January 3 to February 19. Get a chance to see the mega massive 10-metre centrepiece of a multi-generational family of bunnies. Beyond the attention-grabbing display, you can also gather the family for a countdown party, weekly stage shows, as well as a bustling festive and food fair.
6) M1 Singapore Fringe Festival
According to TimeOut Singapore – The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival is back with more thought-provoking live performances by Singaporean and international artists. This year, performers are challenged to explore the greatest issues faced by the communities they belong to – resulting in puppet plays and dramatic performances that investigate issues as diverse as climate change, migrant work, and mental health. More information is available on 2023.singaporefringe.com.
7) Art Exhibition @i12 Katong
i12 Katong will be spotlighting the first-of-its-kind Chinese zodiac animals art sculptures, made completely from upcycled flip-flops. Commissioned and handcrafted by six talented Kenyan artists from OCEAN Sole Africa, a non-profit and social enterprise with a mission to clean polluted beaches and provide careers to artisans in high-impact communities; the spectacular displays are inspired by the legacy and tale of the Chinese New Year zodiac animals.
From left to right: Handcrafted dragon, horse, tiger and snake sculptures made from used flip-flops
The zodiac sculptures are a part of i12 Katong’s drive to spotlight novel art collaborations driven by sustainable practices, in line with Keppel Land’s commitment to sustainability. By raising awareness of the importance of sustainable living, the artists behind these exhibits aim to not only create beautiful works of art, but to also promote conversations about environmental issues.
8) River Hongbao 2023 – Gardens by the Bay
River Hongbao 2023 will be back at Gardens by the Bay to celebrate the Chinese New Year Festivities from from 20-28 January 2023. Come and join the festival’s latest mascots, Fu-er and Shou-er to usher in the Year of the Rabbit 兔(to)gether. Be dazzled by the lantern displays, spectacular stage performances and a host of other festivities at River Hongbao 2023. The event is FREE and no tickets are required for admission.
9) Pongal Open House 2023
Themed as Farm-tastic, why not plan a visit to Indian Heritage Centre this January and discover how Pongal is celebrated in Singapore with an exciting array of FREE cultural activities & hands-on-craft workshops at the IHC Pongal Open House celebrations from 7 to 15 Jan 2023. You can make your own cattle magnets and photo frames which you can bring home as a souvenir.
Whether your 2022 has been good, bad, or downright ugly, 2023 is a new start with fresh opportunities and more new things that can spice up your year. With everything from an authentic experience at the museums, or for the foodies at various eclectic range of food stalls at Chinatown to a new hotel for those who still need a break, there’s something for everyone this January.
From all of us at The Wellness Insider, here’s wishing everyone a prosperous, blessed 兔gether Chinese New Year.
Images: Envato, National Art Gallery, Light To Night Festival, Singapore Art Museum, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, Singapore Tourism Board, M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, Sistic