Photo by Joie Koo
CONTACT 2020’s Message from Festival Director, Kuik Swee Boon
(translated from original Chinese text below)
No one could have anticipated the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19 this year. Just like global warming, environmental pollution and other global social and political crises, the viral epidemic is yet another predicament and calamity in human history where we directly experience the fragility of life. It further compels us to reflect on cultural hegemony that governs the relationship between humans and nature, human to human or even amongst organisations and countries, and yet it also reminds us that the clock is ticking.
Because we live in such an interconnected and borderless world, my perspective is that this is a problem for all of mankind to solve together. It makes more sense to worry and experience fear, anxiety and anger together, rather than regard it as the responsibility of an individual, organisation, governing body or country. After all, the situation has only proven that national borders and human boundaries are expendable against this ‘terrorist’ virus, as it will probably be with other man-made or natural forces, whether tangible or intangible.
Is it then attainable for us to enliven, democratise and open up possibilities of cross-border international cooperation within the next decade?
The recent happenings have ignited my artistic impulse and I am more eager and hopeful than ever that the arts can play a role in influencing and pushing the boundaries of the status quo.
Photo by Shaun Ho