One Day We’ll Understand World Premiere Season


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Image by Joseph Nair

World Premiere Season 

A CultureLink Singapore Production with the producing partnership of Chamber Made

Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

Friday 30 August – Sunday 1 September

This new multimedia performance explores memory, inheritance and the family history of visual artist Sim Chi Yin against the setting of the Malayan Emergency.

Part documentary and part a speculative look at how we might deal with the past, One Day We’ll Understand excavates hidden histories, Chinese diasporic experiences and the long legacies​ of colonialism. Through the lens of Sim’s life and camera, we time-travel into her family archive, recovering traces left in the wake of the anti-colonial war in British Malaya and beyond.

Drawing on Sim’s large body of evocative photographic and filmic work, probing questions both personal and universal, One Day We’ll Understand transcends the autobiographical to a larger canvas that speaks to memory, loss, trauma, restitution and repair.

Led by a Singaporean-Australian creative team, One Day We’ll Understand combines haunting imagery with narration, archival footage, and a driving ​live score by percussionist Cheryl Ong​, giving voice to Sim’s multiple personas as ​artist​, historian, writer, mother and granddaughteropening up ways to think about our pasts and futures. The work is directed by Chamber Made Artistic Director Tamara Saulwick with dramaturgy by Kok Heng Leun, video art by Nick Roux and lighting design by Andy Lim.

One Day We’ll Understand has been commissioned by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. It received partial funding support from the National Arts Council, Creative Australia, and contributions from Ho Bee Foundation, and Foundation for Arts and Social Enterprise.