Raffles’ Tropical Traumas
When we visited Gardens by the Bay last weekend, in order to enjoy the giant lantern displays from Mid-Autumn @ Gardens by the Bay, we ‘accidentally’ also saw the show Tropical Traumas in Ron Arads 720°.
The performance is part of SIFA and was performed last weekend only.
I know that Ron Arads 720° is part of the Mid-Autumn festival at Gardens by the Bay, but was not aware of the show Tropical Traumas.
We arrived at ‘the scene’ just when the play began. Fortunate coincidence.
Our own tropical trauma that day
While the play was centered around the traumas in the tropics during the time of Raffles, conquerors and colonials, Frits and I lived our own tropical trauma during the play.
It was super hot that day, even after 9 pm, and not knowing that we just landed in a 70 minute show, we came unprepared. We had no water on us and nothing to wave some coolness in our direction. I’m telling ya, I thought I would die. Really!
Frits was kind enough to get out and search for water (which took him about 20 minutes). Waiting for him I was melting AND almost having a melt-down.
Sweat dripped into my eyes, I was soaking as if I just took a shower, and my camera slipped out of my hands. I got seriously overheated and the only mantra that went through my head was ‘WATER! WATER!!!.
When Frits arrived with the water that was such a relief. The debilitating heat and sweating did not stop, but at least my throat was in a good place;-).
The tragedies in Raffles life
Tropical Traumas is a multi-media play, loosely based on the life and times of Sir Raffles, founder of Singapore.
His first wife died young, his second wife gave him 5 children which all died young and Raffles himself also died young.
Living in the tropics back then was dangerous and hard. Not only due to all the diseases, but think about it: a letter could take up to a year to arrive ‘back home’. Imagine writing to your family that you gave birth to a daughter, and by the time they receive that news, your daughter has already died. And another year before you receive their responding letter…
Ron Arads 720°
Although Tropical Traumas cannot be seen at the Gardens by the Bay any more, Ron Arads 720° is still on!
Every night until september 17th you can see films and projections on and in this outdoor Colosseum-style installation.
I’m definitely going back to the Gardens to check out the different ‘films’ that are shown.
Wanna find out more?
- You can find out more about who Raffles was and what he did here.
- Here is an extensive and quite critical review of Tropical Traumas. It gives you a good idea of what went down during the 70-minute performance.
- Read about Ron Arad and his 720° installation here and here.
Snap shots from Tropical Traumas
Although I found 70 minutes a bit too long (40 minutes would have done just fine), I overall liked this show. It was entertaining, different, weird, divers and a feast for the eyes.
There was acting, dancing, music and movie-projections. It was at times funny, dramatic, theatrical and poetic.
That’s why I think it’s fun to have a look at my pictures, even though you cannot see this show for yourself.
Did you see Tropical Traumas? Or Ron Arads 720°? Did you like it?
Would this be a show that you would see? Or does it look a bit too weird for your taste?