Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts 2024

16 – 25 Feb 2024

Soar fearlessly into a new year with Huayi

Producer’s message

“Son, this Sunday I’m off, any nice movie that we can catch?”


This was a question my dad used to ask me when I was a young man living with my parents. My dad worked all his life as a hawker. On his rare days off, I tried to join him to watch his beloved heroes in the Hong Kong gongfu or action movies beat up all the baddies. I realised from these experiences that, regardless of one’s interests or place in life, there is an irreplaceable joy of spending time with family or the people who matter most to us.  


Esplanade’s Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts is timed to coincide with the Chinese New Year. This festive period is the most significant time of gathering for families and loved ones for most Chinese people around the world. The programmes we plan for Huayi are therefore carefully curated with this implicit goal: to provide an unforgettable experience in the arts that you can share with your loved ones, young or old. 


In 2024’s edition of the festival, watch the heroes of Cantonese opera in Woman Warrior: Mu Gui Ying and The Sassy Princess (starring veteran Hong Kong actress and actor, Liza Wang and Law Ka-ying) prove that this age-old genre is still a timeless delight. In Everything For You, our commission with Singapore theatre company Nine Years Theatre, witness how family ties provide much needed comic relief and unexpected support in life’s seemingly insurmountable problems. Laugh till your sides split with the witty crosstalk of Dear Governor Bao by Comedians Workshop of Taiwan. Show the young ones that there is so much more magic in live stage performances with the interactive production The Dog Who Wasn’t Useful. The crime and police thriller is a genre that has defined many acclaimed Hong Kong films—now watch it as an engaging stage production 13•67 by Zuni Icosahedron and witness the poignant history of the Fragrant Harbour unfold. Revel in the elegance and charm of the traditional pingtan art form with the Shanghai Pingtan Troupe and get to know The Four Beauties of ancient China.  


More adventurous audiences can explore the similarities and differences of port cities Singapore and Taiwan’s Kaohsiung through the mesmerising language of dance in Dance a Dance from My Body. The classic story “Painted Skin” from Liao Zhai has been made into numerous films—now watch it retold in a refreshing interpretation featuring puppetry and metal music by the talented Oliver Chong and The Finger Players in Transplant. With many concerts featuring artists such as waa wei (Taiwan), Gareth.T (Hong Kong), WUTIAOREN (China), music lovers are in for an aural and experiential treat at Huayi 2024.  


Finally, a special shout-out for our rich and entertaining free programmes. A worthy highlight is the lion dance curtain-raiser which my dad particularly enjoys. This year’s is by the award-winning Yi Wei Athletic Association. We make it our mission to ensure that those who choose to spend time at Esplanade during Chinese New Year, whether for our ticketed or free programmes, will be amply rewarded. We are thankful not only to those of you who return each year, but also encourage you to bring more people with you to enjoy the celebrations! 


Our heartfelt thanks also go to our Principal Sponsor Knife Cooking Oil, Supporting Sponsor Berries 百力果 and Supporter Polar Premium Drinking Water.    


Wishing that our programmes at Huayi 2024 will help usher in an auspicious New Year for you and your loved ones for a loooooong time!  



Delvin Lee   
Senior Producer, The Esplanade Co Ltd 
Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts  

About the festival


Launched in 2003 during the Chinese New Year, Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts was introduced as one of three annual cultural festivals at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay celebrating Singapore’s multicultural heritage. 


We aspire to make Huayi the pinnacle festival for Chinese artists, and to be internationally recognised as an arts festival that showcases the works of the most outstanding Chinese artists. 


Through commissions, co-productions, presentations and showcases, Huayi enables audiences to experience some of the most dynamic forms of artistic expression by Chinese artists.


Huayi introduces our audiences to works that reveal the unique individual voices of Chinese artists, and as a multi-genre arts festival, the works curated for each Huayi range across a wide spectrum, from the traditional to the contemporary, the mainstream to the cutting-edge.


Huayi is committed to working with Singapore artists and making them known to an international audience as well, by fostering collaborations or partnerships with arts centres and arts festivals.


We are humbled and yet also heartened that Huayi has grown into one of the most warmly embraced arts festivals in Singapore, and a sought-after platform for Chinese artists all over the world.


And as it takes place during the Chinese New Year, we celebrate the occasion with an inspiring and exciting line-up of arts programmes, both ticketed and non-ticketed. We invite people from all walks of life to come enjoy and participate in our programmes, and we hope that they will encounter much inspiration and positivity so as to start the year on a cheery note.


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