Art and the Animal: M1 Fringe Festival 2016

by Seewah Ho
November 1, 2015 by Seewah Ho

Art and the Animal: M1 Fringe Festival 2016

The M1 Fringe Festival will be happening from 13th to 24th January 2016, with a wildly exciting theme: Art and the Animal! Well into its 11th year, this annually held festival brings together both local and international artists to present to you all things art, ranging from installations to live performances, and many, many more!

Art and The Animal promises to be a compelling and thought-provoking theme, as we are offered a critical glance into the animal kingdom and our relationship with the creatures that roam this earth with us. Instead of being the passive observer of animals in zoos, on screens, or simply treating them as household pets, Art and the Animal beckons us to really acknowledge these creatures as entities in their own right. Who knows, perhaps we might even realise how we are much more similar to animals than we think!

m1 Fringe festival1

The upcoming festival boasts 19 events from over 12 different countries, with no less than 5 world premieres. What’s more; for the first time ever, Gillman Barracks will be used as a venue as well, housing one of the festival’s highlight, Railtrack Songmaps.  This art installation, which involves the use of multimedia to provide a more interactive experience, explores the relationship between man and bird. Rest assured that this is definitely an event that you would not want to miss, judging from the passion and fervor exuding from Lucy Davis (the conceptualiser behind this migrant ecologies project) as she talks about this exhibition. What’s more, this exhibition is totally free of charge, so be sure to look out for that!

The Chronicles of One and Zero: Kancil is yet another festival highlight that should not be missed. Combining historical Malay poetry with present-day technology, this live performance revitalizes the ancient fable in a way that is simply captivating.  Having the opportunity to check out a preview of it, what makes this performance so unique is that as the actress steadily controls her body to mimic the actions of a mousedeer, the animated mousedeer projected on the screen follows her actions exactly with the use of body projection mapping! This was a beautiful and alluring sight to behold as we see the grace and nimble actions of the actress and mousedeer moving together in tandem and harmony, inviting us to peer into the world of this creature through taking their perspective via the actress’ embodiment. The accompanying live singing by the other performer further heightens the otherworldly retelling of this fable, providing a chilling and mystical tone to the production. An evocative piece indeed as this enchanting performance will be sure to draw you into the world of the mystical animal kingdom.

M1 Fringe Festival

Then there is the very powerful work, BI(CARA), which literally asks us to ‘discuss, how’. An extremely physical piece, Sharda Harrison does an excellent job in portraying an animal, with its energy, anger, and fear clearly shining through the riveting physicality of her performance. This compelling performance is further alleviated by the haunting narrative that plays in the background, chronicling our relationship with animals, and at the same time, implores us to reflect upon the very real and drastic consequences that we have affected upon our animal companions, amidst our human race for ‘civilization’.

Where are all these exciting and intriguing pieces going to be at? Well, the M1 Fringe Festival will be held at these various locations: The Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, National Museum of Singapore, ION Orchard, Centre 42, The Substation, Objectifs, and of course, Gillman Barracks.

Tickets are priced at $22, and at $19 for students, NSFs and senior citizens. Also, M1 staff and customers get an exclusive 20% off regularly priced tickets. So what are you waiting for? Get your tickets today to discover the animal in you!

For more information, please visit the website:

Photos and words by: Seewah Ho


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