Five things to do this weekend (May 19-21)

From paintings and exhibitions to traditional storytelling and workshops, there is an activity for everyone.

Kelly Chin

Gets emotionally attached to fictional characters.

Published: 19 May 2023, 9:50 AM

If you’re looking to unwind or have fun this weekend, here’s a list of events that will make you feel immersed in the arts.

Here are five things to do this weekend (May 19-21):

1. Join in the festivities at Pesta Raya – Malay Festival of the Arts

The inaugural Pesta Raya – Malay Festival of the Arts is returning to the Esplanade from May 18 to 21.

The yearly event celebrates Malay arts, heritage and culture, spotlighting contemporary and traditional theatre, dance and music. 

This year’s lineup features traditional storytelling, musical performances and concerts.


From May 19 to 21, participants can also enjoy a traditional storytelling performance by Pak Romli Mahamud, the last awang batil of Perlis. PHOTO CREDIT: ESPLANADE – THEATRES ON THE BAY


More information on the festival’s programmes can be found on Esplanade’s website.

2. Take part in workshops or shop at the bazaar at IMH open house

The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) will celebrate its 95th year with an open house on 20 May from 9am to 3pm.

The open house will feature mental health workshops and a car boot bazaar selling a variety of items like hand-made accessories and crafts by local makers, plant collectibles, toys, gifts, clothes, bags and essential oils.


One of the workshops allows participants to harvest vegetables at IMH’s campus hydroponics garden. PHOTO CREDIT: INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH SINGAPORE


Visitors can also look forward to mental health talks and wellness sharing sessions.

The Institute of Mental Health is located at 10 Buangkok View, Singapore 539747.

3. Try out games at the Olympic Esports roving trailer

If you’d prefer something with more action, try playing with the various consoles and VR headsets at the Olympic Esports roving trailer.

The trailer is part of the initiative to welcome the first-ever Olympic Esports Week (OEW) run in a partnership between the International Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.


Try out the racing station and put your driving skills to the test. PHOTO CREDITS: YOUTHOPIA/TRICIA KUAN


The trailer will be stationed at Somerset Youth Park from May 19 to 21.

4. Visit Singapore Art Museum’s new exhibitions

Art enthusiasts can look forward to three new contemporary art exhibitions at Singapore Art Museum (SAM) at Tanjong Pagar Distripark from May 18 through September.

Visitors can play with perception and reflections at Lila: Unending Play by Jane Lee, watch videos in a room lined with blue neon grids at Hito Steyerl: Factory of the Sun and explore humanity’s relationship with land at SAM Contemporaries: Residues & Remixes.


If visitors look closely, a small hidden detail can be found on the hilt of the swords. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/FONG WAI KEI


General admission for SAM is free for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents.

5. Step into the colourful world of GIFFEST

Asia’s largest showcase of GIFs will be held at the National Design Centre from May 18 till Aug 26.

Titled GIFFEST III: IMPERFECT, this interactive exhibition uses GIFs to showcase the beauty and value of imperfections.


Saeko, a Japanese creator, writes codes that deconstruct famous paintings, such as Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring. GIF CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/KIRBY TAN


This exhibition aims to present novel viewpoints and works that represent how creativity arises from imperfection though both hand-drawn and AI-generated. 

GIFFEST III: IMPERFECT is free to enter from 9am to 9pm.

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