Esplanade Presents


Yellow Rhapsodies and Homelands: Music as Social Memory and Ideology

Ming Wong (Singapore/Germany) and Wichaya Artamat (Thailand)
Moderated by Phan Ming Yen (Singapore)

17 Aug 2024, Sat, 4pm

1hr 30mins

(Intermission: None)

Esplanade White Room

Free, registration is required


Registration begins 1 Aug 2024, Thu


Music is more than just ordered sound. Depending on who produces it and why it is performed, music shapes our perception of the physical landscape around us and the emotional and mental landscape within us. Drawing on the varied use of music in works by Ming Wong and Wichaya Artamat—each portraying dramatically different socio-historical contexts—this panel explores how music becomes an embodiment of personal and social memory and ideology. Ultimately, they examine how music expresses the innate human instinct to belong, whether to a community or a place.


This is a companion programme to Rhapsody in Yellow (16 & 17 Aug 2024) and This Song Father Used to Sing (Three Days in May) (6 & 7 Sep 2024) at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. The Studios companion programmes are an invitation to deepen engagement with the artistic works and conversations raised in the season.

Admission Age:
6 and above.
Language: English
Things to Note:
Accessibility Advisory: We provide a range of access services and relaxed performances for patrons with access needs. For wheelchair-accessible seats, please call Esplanade Customer Experience at 6828 8377 for assistance. Concessions for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and up to one accompanying companion are available. | View our accessibility guide
Artist Information

Ming Wong

Ming Wong, born in 1971 in Singapore, is an artist working with performance, video and installation to consider the construction, reproduction and circulation of identity. Wong represented Singapore at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009 with the solo presentation Life of Imitation, which was awarded a Special Mention. He has had solo exhibitions at leading institutions worldwide, including UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo; Singapore Art Museum; REDCAT, Los Angeles; and Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai. Wong has been included in numerous international biennials, including the Venice Biennale; Performa, New York; Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane; Sydney Biennial; Shanghai Biennale; Lyon Biennale; and the Liverpool Biennial. He lives in Berlin. 

Wichaya Artamat

Wichaya Artamat is a co-founding member of For What Theatre. He has been long captivated by performances, even when he was still studying film. He started working in theatre as a project coordinator for Bangkok Theatre Festival 2008. He joined the New Theatre Society in 2009, during which he grew to become a director recognised for various experimental forms and unconventional theatrical approaches.


Wichaya’s work was awarded Best Play for two years in a row (2014-15) by the International Theatre Critics Association, Thailand Centre (IATC). His international exposure started when he worked as an assistant director to Toshiki Okada’s Pratthana which toured Bangkok, Paris, and Tokyo. Since the European premiere of his most prominent work This Song Father Used to Sing (Three Days in May) at Kunstenfestivaldesarts 2019, Wichaya has been extensively touring and creating in Europe, Asia and beyond.


Hailed as “one of the most promising contemporary theatre creators of Southeast Asia”, Wichaya is especially interested in exploring how society remembers and unremembers its history through certain calendar days. He co-founded For What Theatre in 2015 and is also a member of Sudvisai Club and Collective Thai Scripts.  

Phan Ming Yen

An independent writer and researcher, Phan Ming Yen has been involved in Singapore’s arts and culture scene as a music critic, journalist, writer and arts manager for the past 30 years.


He has written on music in 19th century Singapore and on the Syonan Symphony Orchestra during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore for Cultural Connections, the journal of the Culture Academy of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. He was also a contributing writer to the book Singapore Soundscape.


Aside from his continuing work on music in wartime Singapore, Phan also researches into the history of the Chinese diaspora, tin and small towns in Perak’s Kinta Valley, Malaysia. He is currently setting up a heritage and documentation centre in a pre-World War 2 shophouse of a prominent pre-war tin ore dealer in the town of Kampar in Perak.


Phan’s fiction and poetry has been published online in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore and by Ethos Books. He was a featured writer in the 2016 and 2022 editions of the Singapore Writers Festival. 

Date & Time

17 Aug 2024, Sat


Esplanade White Room

Become a member

Three membership cards depicting each membership tier, Discover, White and Black.

Great arts experiences begin with Esplanade&Me. Join this membership to enjoy ticket specials on shows at Esplanade, early bird specials, promotions at Esplanade Mall, unlimited access to Offstage and more.

Never miss a show again. Get on our mailing list.