Guilt becomes gilded - the politics of fun
Insomnia48 will reflect the changing circumstances of different countries in Southeast Asia where artists are retreating from the bastions of overt politics to a highly personalised and individual expression which can sometimes be mistaken for apolitical art. perhaps the political act is in the movement back into a personal freedom of expression sans gender, race and post-colonial politics. this is particularly so with artists who are in their twenties, no longer bound by historicisations which limit their territories and align their politics, these artists are liberated to enter into eccentric spaces which are terribly free in their irreverence towards genre. they are glib and savvy, embracing the language of globalisation, consumerism, appropriation without guilt and with a deliberate naiviete which is refreshing in the face of the gloom and doom of world politics. in their ironic refusal to comment is the comment. this is the politics of fun.
This politics of fun has been a big inspiration for me in the last years. It will definitely be a strand of work that I will continue next year in TheatreWorks’ new inclusive regional nucleus, the ICAA (International Centre of Asian Art).

Ong Keng Sen actively contributes to the evolution of contemporary identities and aesthetics. His juxtaposition of different art forms and cultural styles has created a trademark interdisciplinary approach. He is the first to receive both the Young Artist Award (1992) and the Cultural Medallion Award (2003) for Singapore. He is the Artistic Director of TheatreWorks (Singapore).


[back to top]