From The Community

Committee Picks: Open Category

Nicholas Damien Goh

I live 2 streets away from a temple, and during festive periods, the strident sound of music, the rhythmic patterns, the highly vibrant and stylised costumes - all seem to serve as constant reminders that I should probably feature a Chinese opera performance to my works and I did.

Curious and nervous, I stepped in without expectations. The troupe was relegated to a non-existent audience, and my presence certainly caught their attention.

I had the wonderful opportunity to capture numerous behind the scenes, and a couple of engaging conversations.

“Aunty, why do you keep doing what you do?”

“Passion! But we now seek to foster public appreciation for this art. What you are experiencing now, was what I experienced in my childhood, and I’m happy we shared that with you today!” She grinned in amusement.

It was a spellbinding moment.

On my way out, I took one last look. Beyond the sounds of opera, tradition does not have to mean we are simply mired in old ways, but rather how the past invigorates the life of the present.