Sunday, 23 May 2010


In the worst case of civil unrest in Singapore since 1969, Esplanade Concert Hall - Singapore's icon of cultural superiority - was sacked and pillaged. Concertgoers to the Singapore Festival Orchestra concert on 21 May were greeted with scenes of mayhem and disorder. These photos illustrate the extent of the damage, thought to be in the millions of dollars. More severely hit is Singapore's prestige as the cultural capital of Southeast Asia and the paradigm of cleanliness and sterility.
Graffiti covering windows of Esplanade Concert Hall.
Barricades at the foyer,
a scene resembling downtown Bangkok.
More litter about. How could people do this?
Grand staircase no longer.
More carnage at the concert hall seats.
A blow to Steinway,
as even the stage was not spared the damage.

Said Benson Puah, CEO of Esplanade and the National Arts Council (NAC), "This is a total disgrace. How dare these people desecrate Singapore's greatest cultural icon? And on the wake of Dr Goh Keng Swee's funeral too. This is a triple blow to everything our great nation has stood for. What have we done to deserve this? There will be a full-scale investigation and inquiry, I assure you." Meanwhile, it is thought that the perpetrators behind this orgy of destruction are the Pink Shirts, a militant group protesting NAC's $20,000 cut of the annual budget of the radical theatre group Wild Rice. Fortunately, there have been no casualties. Several Esplanade front-of-house staff have been treated for hyperventilation and syncope, having previously only been accustomed to ticking off patrons for taking photos in the hall. Cleaning staff have also gone on strike.


Vincent4Wang said...

I was in the concert hall for the 2nd night of SFO concert. I really thought this was part of the setting done by Kamchatka Theatre Company...

Chang Tou Liang said...

Of course it was part of the act. Really crazy, isn't it!