Seminar | Post Museum: Unpacking Nanyang with Lim Cheng Tju | Yeo Workshop | 8 August 2019

24 Jul 2019 Gallery

Remember Ah Shui? The hardworking rubber plantation worker and later coolie from the TV series, The Awakening (雾锁南洋). What does Ah Shui have to do with the Bi-Centennial celebrations and Singapore’s historical narrative? Find out more in this seminar as we watch The Awakening with historian Lim Cheng Tju.

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Lim Cheng Tju is an educator who writes about history and popular culture in Singapore. His articles have appeared in Southeast Asian Journal of Social Science, Journal of Popular Culture and Print Quarterly. He is also the country editor for the International Journal of Comic Art.
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About Unpacking Nanyang:


Unpacking Nanyang is a comparative study of two period dramas The Awakening (1984) and The Journey: A Voyage (2013), both dramas are set in Singapore in the 1920s. The Awakening was produced by Singapore Broadcasting Corporation to celebrate the nation's 25th National Day celebrations in 1984 and seen as one of Singapore's pioneer Chinese Drama. It is considered a Classic among Singaporeans and has its place in the history of Television in Singapore. The Journey: A Voyage premiered in 2013 as a year-end blockbuster celebrating 50 years of Television. Both the dramas are made 30 years apart but have similar plots which follow the lives of Chinese Immigrants who set foot on the island of Singapore to seek their fortunes and future.

The dramatisation of the Nanyang as celebratory commissions was meant to construct a national imagination - and hence, implicated in Singapore’s founding narrative. What can we learn from these two versions of ‘Nanyang’ from both these dramas? Unpacking Nanyang will be unfolded over seminars where a provocateur would present highlights from both dramas and facilitate debate and discussions between the participants.

[Unpacking Nanyang Seminar Series is by Theatrex Asia x University Of Life]