All stories are told in, and of time. 

 

This one begins with a family portrait captured in a faded photograph, a telling relic of time. 

 

Past . Presence . Future . is a witness to a memory from long past, surfaced by the photograph as a jolt – a shock, a prick, a wound. The jolt of recognition here, is not in the details of the portrait but instead, the force of time’s passage and the acute sense of an inherent loss: an aching absence, or a missing presence. 

 

In Past . Presence . Future . thus, is this sense of time passing, its inherent motion, and of things changing, coming into effect and fading away. It watches as a family reckons with ill-fitting memories that cannot seem to fit within chronological, familial frames. Just as memories access the past so that they may inform our present, they too are highly transgressive acts, digressions of the present moment that are outside of time – and that act out of time. 

 

And so too with Past . Presence . Future ., do we encounter a story full of memories and gaping absences, silent moments on stage filled in by time and the life-stories we choose to tell ourselves.

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NUS Arts Festival 2021
Past . Presence . Future .
Tan Ean Kiam Arts Award