Festival Director's Message

Not until we are lost, do we begin to find ourselves.

Welcome to another edition of SMU Arts Festival, with the theme of Lost & Found. The theme is a provocative call to reflect on what we may have lost and inevitably gained in these times. Or what we may need to give up, in order to move forward. It is also an invitation for student artists to explore the cyclical nature of trends and forms in the arts, how stories and styles from earlier generations can often find their way back into relevance today.  

In the curation of our 6 programmes, we look at Lost & Found from different perspectives. re:site, re:play and re:turn ruminate on displaced landmarks, disappearing artforms, and forgotten tunes of the collective consciousness. On the other end, re:collect, re:frame and re:act examine the hopes and dreams of individuals, taking to heart that what is lost can always be found.

This edition also marks the return to live performances, a platform which we once lost and now found, as we welcome back audiences who have stood by us in our last 2 online editions. We have deliberately scheduled one performance on every weekend of September to bring people back to physical venues. Programming it this way also allows our student performers in the SMU Arts and Cultural Fraternity to attend and learn from one another’s productions. Meanwhile, our two exhibitions in visual arts and media arts will be on SMU campus for the entire month of September.

This year, we are particularly honoured that SMU President, Prof Lily Kong, has contributed an original poem titled Remembered Places, specially written and recorded for the Festival. This poem will be presented in re:site, as the foundation of the students’ creative responses. 

We also would like to thank Pathlight School for coming on board our Festival in re:collect, adding another layer of collaboration and creativity to the visual arts exhibition.   

We continue to position SMU Arts Festival as a commercially accessible and attractive event in the calendar of Bras Basah.Bugis Precinct. And we persist with providing a meaningful platform for student artists to be mentored by our industry’s best, and experiment with inter-disciplinary collaboration and integration. On behalf of SMU, I would like to express our deepest gratitude to all our creative directors, music directors, choreographers, coaches and the students for the months of searching and creating.

And to you, our audience, we hope you may find lost memories, meaning, strength and hope in these artistic expressions.  We lose ourselves in the arts we love. May we find ourselves there too.  

Warmest wishes,

Seah Wee Thye
Head, Arts & Creative Experience
Office of Student Life