Top 10 Singapore Arty Dos in November

With the Singapore Biennale 2014 running and new events starting, art lovers have plenty to keep themselves busy over the coming weeks. Indeed November will prove to be a jam-packed month with several must-see events and plenty of international stars in town guaranteed to draw the crowds.

1. Brush up on your local art history with the National Museum of Singapore’s “A Changed World” exhibition, which focuses on the changes in Singapore post-war, from the island under colonial rule and steadily heading toward independence to its move to sustainable development. It was a time of rapid modernization, including in the art world itself as artists absorbed Western genres, from cubism to abstraction.

Until March 16 at National Museum of Singapore

2. Exercise your wallets at the Affordable Art Fair: Now in its 4th edition, the fair is a great introduction to contemporary art, with three quarters of the works on offer priced under S$7,500. You’ll have to separate the wheat from the chaff, but there are always great works to be picked. This year, organizers have included space for an “Under S$1000 Wall,” making it easy for visitors to take home a piece without breaking the bank.

November 21 to 24 at the F1 Pit Building

3. Take in a musical. This month, there are a few to choose from:

- “The Merchants of Bollywood,” a musical jammed packed with upbeat songs and dance numbers, brings the exuberance of Indian cinema to life with a storyline that explores the history of Bollywood viewed through the eyes of different generations. The plot is loosely based on the life of Bollywood choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant, granddaughter of one of the founding fathers of the Bollywood industry.

November 5 to10 at the Sands Theater

- The futuristic tale “Starlight Express” will roll into town with its award-winning sets and costumes and roller-skate choreography that has made the musical unique and one of the longest-running around the world since its creation in 1984.

November 13 to 24 at the Sands Theater

- A local production, the musical revue “French Kiss in Singapore” brings together Hossan Leong, George Chan, Linden Furnell, and Robin Goh to perform well-known songs from Charles Aznavour, Serge Gainsbourg, Jacques Brel, and Charles Trenet.

November 27 to December 17 at SOTA Drama Theatre

4. Watch great theater: As part of the series “Three Titans of Theatre,” this month sees the staging of “Musashi” directed by Yukio Ninagawa, a critically acclaimed play about the an iconic duel between two Japanese warriors in 17th Century feudal Japan and the futility of vengeance (November 8 and 9 at Esplanade Theatre), as well as the staging of “The Suit” directed by Peter Brook about a tale of simmering resentment and tragedy between a husband and his cheating wife (November 22 and 25 at DBS Arts Centre).

5. Support local artists: “Ang Ah Tee: Reminiscence” explores the career of Ang Ah Tee, who studied under the mentorship of ‘first generation’ artists like Cheong Soo Pieng and Georgette Chen and received Singapore’s Cultural Medallion award in 2009. On display are more than 50 acrylic landscape paintings of Singapore landmarks and sites abroad, along with a selection of sketches, all of which provides a glimpse into the artist’s creative process.

Until November 13 at NAFA Galleries 1 & 2, NAFA Campus 1

Meanwhile, Ho Tzu Nyen is showing his latest film-installation, “Pythagoras,” which explores the ghost of his past artworks as the artist looks at the notion of concealment and the power of voices

Until December 15 at Michael Janssen Singapore, Gillman Barracks

6. Catch the 10-day-long Kalaa Utsavam 2013 Festival at the Esplanade. Celebrating Indian art, highlights include “Angkor — An Untold Story” by Apsaras Arts that will showcase traditional dancing (November 15 and 16 at the Esplanade Theatre), well as “Taal Express,” a multi-media musical journey by Temple of Fine Arts (November 16 at the Esplanade Concert Hall).

7. Have a laugh with W!ld Rice’s annual pantomime offering: This year’s show is Jack & the Bean-Sprout! Audiences can expect catchy songs, colorful costumes, and a good dose of satirical humor poking fun at a range of contemporary local issues.

November 21 to December 14 at the Drama Centre

8. Catch some stars: The world-famous Bolshoi Ballet will perform the much loved ballet “Swan Lake” by renowned choreographer Yuri Grigorovich. Need we say more? (November 20 at the Esplanade Theatre), while virtuoso pianist Lang Lang will perform his rendition of Prokofiev’s classical masterpiece, Third Piano Concerto with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (November 28 at the Esplanade Concert Hall).

9. Check out Gillman Barracks’ latest offerings. Mizuma Gallery presents “VERSUS – Indonesian Contemporary Art,” an interesting group exhibition featuring artworks by I Made Djirna, Heri Dono, Indieguerillas, Yoga Mahendra, Nasirun (currently also showing at the Singapore Biennale), Agus Novianto, and Made Wianta (until December 22). Another highlight is Space Cottonseed’s exhibition of Nam Jun Paik’s small-scale works from the 1990s that showcase the artist’s humor and vision (Until December 8).

10. Visit “The Little Black Jacket,” a travelling photographic exhibition that showcases the work of Karl Lagerfeld as a photographer as he shoots the iconic Chanel jacket modeled on a range of celebrities and friends of the House, who have each adapted the garment to reflect their own inimitable style.

November 9 to January 1 at the ArtScience Museum- See more at: