Wayang Spaceship Wayang Spaceship

Wayang Spaceship

  • 15 July 2022 to 31 July 2024

  • Container Bay, Rear Entrance of SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark

  • Public outdoor work.

  • Enjoy $5* off your Gojek ride to SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark (39 Keppel Road) with the promo code, 'GOSAM'

A Wayang Spaceship has landed on our shores. It stands witness to the rise and fall of dynastic and colonial regimes, and the industrial, technological and ecological crises that have taken place throughout time. During the day, it is seemingly dormant, its reflective surfaces mirroring the bustling traffic around the container seaport. Its own inactivity is interrupted by the occasional stray radio transmission relayed from another dimension. At dusk, the spaceship reclaims its former role as a travelling Cantonese theatre, illuminating the past, present and future with an operatic symphony of light, sound and image, as though it is livestreamed from the memory of a time-travelling scholar-warrior. After the Singapore Art Museum closes each day, a time portal on the Wayang Spaceship opens, allowing for the public to commune with this solitary anti-hero of Cantonese opera, displaced across time, gender and space: from the edge of the coast to urban metropolis, ritual stage to the silver screen, Pearl River Delta to the cosmic ocean.

The Wayang Spaceship will evolve over a two-year period featuring a range of performances and access programmes. It is commissioned by The Everyday Museum, a public art initiative by Singapore Art Museum, and made possible with the generous support of Sun Venture.

Conception and Lead Artist: Ming Wong
Architecture and Design: Randy Chan, ZARCH Collaboratives
Wayang Stage: Lee Beng Seng
Lightboxes and Projection: Liam Morgan
Video: Eric Leen
Sound: Wu Jun Han
Sound design consultant: Shah Tahir
Technical Production: ARTFACTORY
Graphic Design: CROP.SG
Curatorial and Texts: Shabbir Hussain Mustafa, Syaheedah Iskandar
Production Management: Teo Loo Bing

Supported By:
Logo of Sun Venture

about The Everyday Museum

The Everyday Museum brings art to everyday lives and demonstrates the possibilities and potential of art and creativity for our society. Siting projects in publicly accessible spaces, these are artworks that will spark curiosity, activate imagination and ignite conversations, transforming everyday experiences into memorable encounters that offer new perspectives on life and society. Dedicated to supporting artistic practice in the public sphere, The Everyday Museum is a platform for creative production and experimentation, where every space is a cultural space, created for and with communities. Its diverse programming creates physical and virtual nodes for engagement and interaction where everyone can participate.

The Everyday Museum is a public art initiative of the Singapore Art Museum and part of the museum’s new direction of infusing meaningful art encounters into the everyday, inspiring change through art and collaborations.

about the artist

The world of cinema is Ming Wong’s gateway to imagination. In many of his works, he subverts the role of the actor in order to reveal how gender, race, nationality, language, body-types and other categories are always a form of performance. Sometimes Wong plays all the roles himself—even learning different languages to do so. Wong has maintained a particular interest in Cantonese opera, having grown up with it in Singapore. Since 2012, he has investigated various aspects related to the modernisation of Cantonese opera, including its scenography and cinematic transformations, and its unlikely relationship with the development of science fiction in the Chinese speaking world. Alongside the Wayang Spaceship, other works that address this theme include Windows on The World (I-IV) (2014–), Blast off into the Sinosphere (2014–), and Scenography for a Chinese Science Fiction Opera (2015). The latter was a work that invited the public to walk through a full scale hand painted stage set of a hypothetical science-fiction themed Chinese opera inspired by cosmological motifs from from Buddhist cave paintings and Eastern Bloc science fiction movies. Wong represented Singapore at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009 with Life of Imitation, which won a special mention. The Wayang Spaceship will evolve over a two-year period featuring a range of performances and access programmes. www.mingwong.org