Marc Abensour Voilah!

HIS EXCELLENCY MR. MARC ABENSOUR

AMBASSADOR OF FRANCE TO SINGAPORE

Voilah! Festival marks Singapore’s culture calendar with a showcase of the best of France-Singapore partnerships and innovation in the arts, culture and science. As a meeting point between French and Singaporean communities, this edition of the festival pays homage to 10 years of cultural cooperation between the two countries.

Beyond their intrinsic beauty, the arts and culture are important to inspire and galvanise communities. They have the ability to bring together audiences from various backgrounds and challenge our perspectives towards the issues of our time.

With climate change becoming the world’s new reality, Voilah! 2018 kicks off with a visit to the Arctic with French photographer Michel Rawicki. His photo exhibition, “Touched by the Cold”, documents the impact of climate change on this beautiful ‘white world’. On display at Gardens by the Bay, his work hopes to help raise collective awareness on the challenges of global warming.

There is also beauty in the lessons learned from history, and in tales to be told. In “Angkor: Exploring Cambodia’s Sacred City”, treasures from Paris’ Musée Guimet will be displayed at Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum. This initiative is part of a partnership agreement between both governments to introduce and present Asian art in Singapore, and dovetails with Singapore’s Chairmanship of ASEAN.

Under the auspices of the 2018 France-Singapore Year of Innovation, our artists have created works with new interpretations or technologies – be it Matali Crasset’s re-imagination of playspaces in the National Museum of Singapore; an interactive and immersive exhibition on Artificial Intelligence by Mathieu Briand; or sound artist and composer Tarek Atoui’s Southeast Asian debut exhibition that draws inspiration from everyday sounds.

On behalf of the French Embassy and the Institut Français, I would like to express my utmost gratitude to our Singaporean partners; it is with their support and initiative that we are continuously able to put French artistic and scientific talents on display. The long-lasting bilateral partnerships developed are essential and priceless.

I would also like to thank our sponsors, whose generosity is the main reason we can continue our commitment to sharing the essence of French culture with a passionate and enthusiastic audience in Singapore.

This year, I invite you to see the world in a new light as you uncover another facet of French innovation! May Voilah! 2018 embolden and empower you.

HOSSAN LEONG

ACTOR AND CHEVALIER DE L’ORDRE DES ARTS ET DES LETTRES

Voilah! French Festival Singapore has become a much expected cultural event, and I am so proud to be this year part of it: I have been invited to be the “Singaporean Patron for French Culture” (Yes, not joking!), and also to perform in the Opening Show of the Festival. Do not miss “The Rock’s Clown” on April 1st at Garden by the Bay, a fantastic and unusual performance mixing circus, humour and poetry!

Voilah! French Festival showcases lots of co-productions with artists from both countries working together: actors, dancers, musicians, visual artists sharing their idea of cultural innovation. It is a major opportunity to build bridges and connect cultures; I believe these links help us to know each other better, to share our passions, for a better and happier society.

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Voilah Festival by Hossan Leong

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