Miss traveling? Get a chance to experience France in Singapore with a special edition of the Voilah! France Singapore Festival 2020 from 22 October 2020 to 22 November 2020. Presented by the Embassy of France in Singapore, this year’s line-up carries a diverse range of on-site, and for the first time, virtual experiences to showcase the best of French and Singaporean innovation and creativity.
With a total of 110 Singaporean and French participating partners, the festival provides a line-up of close to 50 exciting and authentic French experiences through a unique Singaporean lens to help us discover a slice of France close to home.
Exclusive and Diverse offerings For Every Singaporean Taste
Get ready for a plethora of experiences and activities made possible by the multitude of French-Singapore exchanges including art, food and more! One such exchange is Gardens, Plants and Spices, an exhibition curated through a collaboration between one of France’s most renowned garden and plant experts, Pascal Garbe and the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
The exhibition will reveal Singapore’s lesser-known footprints on French art by exploring how plants in the region intertwine with French perfumery, gastronomy and decorative arts. French experts including Michelin three-star chef Anne-Sophie Pic and representatives from the Singapore Botanic Gardens will also engage in a thought-provoking dialogue to shed further light on how Southeast Asian plants have made their mark in the French art of living.
Running out of date night options? Why not impress both you and your date’s taste buds by the selection of food workshops and bespoke menus designed by partner restaurants for the festival?
You and your date can even embark on a garden food tour before learning to prepare classic French cuisine at the Open Farm Community, or even learn from experts like Singaporean Sommelier Gerald Lu, celebrated chef Justin Quek and chefs at the Ti Yan Academy who will introduce you into the many varying flavours of French cuisine.
In addition to these dishes rich in France flavor, you will also get a chance to feast on unique fusion creations, including a pastry named Le Paris-Brest-Singapour, created by Odette’s three-star Michelin chef Julien Royer that merges flavours of gula melaka, coconut and a rich kaya cream into the classic French dessert.
Tiong Bahru Bakery will also retail the Kaya Croissant for a limited period as a spin on our favourite breakfast food, the humble Kaya Toast. If you are keen to learn how to whip up these dishes, be sure to tune in to the online classes that will be conducted by both chefs!
Besides engaging our sense of taste, the festival will also engage our other senses through innovative new formats such as a Virtual Reality (VR) experience at Gardens by the Bay titled ‘A Virtual Voyage through Masterpieces’.
Offering an intimate experience with famous French painters, it allows us to literally walk into renowned masterpieces including Monet’s iconic water lilies, Gauguin and Manet’s masterpieces. If you are feeling creative or just like the arts, be sure to check out the festival’s series of workshops! These workshops not only teach you how to create immersive art installations, but also, lets you hear from the creators themselves through live-stream sessions with French VR film producers and directors.
In partnership with the 7th edition of the Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF), vOilah! will also bring to Singapore the Inside Out project by acclaimed French artist JR, a recipient of the 2011 TED Prize.
A mobile photo booth will make several pit stops around different parts of Singapore to capture the portraits of everyday people that form the country’s diverse cultural make-up. These portraits will subsequently be printed and exhibited at various locations island-wide.
New Patrons And Virtual Programmes
Due to the current situation, sixty per cent of the programmes are virtual, allowing us and people from other countries to participate from the comfort of our homes. A key highlight would be the festival’s finale, National Orchestra of Paris Region conducted by Kahchun Wong.
An astounding artistic collaboration, the performance features innovative technology by French Classical music startup, NomadPlay, and will see Singaporean instrumentalists playing alongside the Orchestra to present French classics.
Other virtual musical collaborations with local performers include a night of French baroque music that will be performed by Red Dot Baroque, as well as a presentation of the film William Christie – the Art of Giving, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Les Arts Florissants, a world renowned ensemble. It’s founder William Christie will also join in the screening to share more about its history and future plans for the ensemble.
As part of the exhibition by artist Marie-Hélène Le Ny, Infinités Plurielles is an exhibition that shines a spotlight on the important female figures in the scientific field. Through this exhibition, you will get testimonies first-hand through an online conference with women scientists, including former astronaut and minister Claudie Haigneré and gain critical insight into the topic of gender equality.
In addition to virtual programmes, the festival also features not one, but two familiar faces as patrons who will share their love for French culture, and introduce it to local audiences. A familiar face on local television, Sharon Au has been a vocal supporter of all things French and she has been living and working in France since 2018.
“We are fortunate to live in a world where global communities can come together on creative
platforms to hold dialogues on important issues, and innovate to bring new ideas to life. Culture should travel, even when we can’t and I’m excited to be part of the festival and to bear witness to this unique blend of Singaporean and French experiences. I hope it will spell bigger things for more cultural collaborations on the horizon.” shared Sharon Au.
Also coming on board is internationally acclaimed and award-winning theatre practitioner, Ivan Heng. The founder of leading professional theatre company Wild Rice, Ivan actively seeks to promote local theatrical talent and bring Singaporean theatre to the world through their productions. Ivan was also a recipient of the Cultural Medallion in 2013, an award that honoured his artistic excellence and contributions to the cultural scene in Singapore.
“I’m glad that through Wild Rice and my role as Festival Patron that I can play a part in helping
people fall in love with the boldness and vibrancy of French ideas. Culture and the arts can bring people together across the borders of time and language. It is an excellent way to maintain relationships between people and vOilah! serves as one such platform to bring different communities together – providing an opportunity to celebrate the beauty of diversity even in the midst of a crisis.” shared Ivan Heng.
Click HERE for more information about the festival.