One Day We’ll Understand

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 granddaughter, opening up ways to think about our pasts and futures.

One Day We’ll Understand is commissioned by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, and produced by CultureLink Singapore with the producing partnership of Chamber Made.