The grand opening of the National Gallery coincided with SG50 - a year-long celebration of Singapore's fifty years of independence. We were commissioned by the gallery to showcase Singapore's stories of adversity, in the areas of farming and food. And, we had just the story to tell, and we'd wanted to tell it in the most captivating and creative way. Adapted from our founder, Cynthea's grandparent's real life stories of sailing from China to fight the enemies in Singapore during WWII, and how they'd lived and foraged for food inside our jungles for two years, we created an installation within the festival grounds at the Padang, and produced a skit about surviving through foraging, that was as close to an actual scenario as possible. We conducted interviews with Cynthea's surviving war veteran grandmother, and worked with the costume department of Mediacorp and weapon aficionados here who were well-versed with the weaponry of the early 1940s. It was an emotional process that brought us back to pre-independent Singapore, and the hard lives of those who had fought for our freedom. What resulted was a story told through theatrics and an interactive skit that involved the audience to learn to forage for food.
Script-writer, Producer and Director: Cynthea Lam. Cast: Cynthea Lam, Ho Jianing, Shannon Tsai, Shaun Ang, Jimmy QuekMake-up: Charmia Grace Jose AbesamisPhotography: Natalie Cheng