This year marks the 10th anniversary of the passing of Kuo Pao Kun, an iconic figure of the theater scene in Singapore. Several of his most salient plays are enjoying a revival at local theaters and the National Museum of Singapore is presenting an exhibition bringing together a selection of intimate photographs, manuscripts, letters, theatrical costumes and interviews with his peers and co-workers, all of which underline Kuo’s instrumental role in developing the local arts scene.
In 1965, after graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Australia, Kuo returned to Singapore and with his beautiful young wife Goh Lay Kuan established the Singapore Performing Arts School, which encourages bilingual theater – the school was renamed The Theater Practice in the late ‘90s and is now headed by his daughter Kuo Jian Hong.
In 1990, he also founded The Substation, a small multicultural and multidisciplinary arts center with a wide array of programs that encourage discussion, exploration and innovation. The Substation created the first black box theater in Singapore which propelled the local ‘Little Theater Movement’. This movement was based on the Independent Theater Movemen twhich advocated non-conventional and non-commercial theatrical performances and organizations and was itself inspired by Théâtre Libre founded by André Antoine in 1887 in Paris.
“A Life Of Practice - Kuo Pao Kun” runs at the National Museum of Singapore until Feb 24, 2012.
As published in ARTINFO.com