This year, we commemorate a decade of co-presenting and producing Both Sides, Now (BSN) with Drama Box. We are excited to announce that ArtsWok Collaborative will now take the reins of BSN and transition the project to an ArtsWok flagship programme, featuring localised arts-based community development projects and capability development initiatives for living well and leaving well.

We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Kok Heng Leun, BSN’s Artistic Director from 2013 to 2022, and his team at Drama Box, for their invaluable partnership in building BSN with us to what it is today. Even though Drama Box will continue on its journey of socially engaged theatre making and cease involvement in BSN, Heng Leun will still be involved in BSN’s capability development initiatives.

To mark this occasion, we are working on a new website that will launch in late 2023.

We can’t wait to share more updates with you on what’s in store for BSN this year! Follow us on social media @bothsidesnowsg for the latest happenings.

Presented and produced by ArtsWok Collaborative, Both Sides, Now (BSN) is a multi-disciplinary arts-based community programme about what it means to live well, and leave well.

Formerly co-presented and produced with Drama Box in various neighbourhoods up until 2022, our programme aims to develop spaces that encourage end-of-life conversations through arts practices and creative approaches. We do this by working with and equipping individuals, families, and communities to explore, express, and enact what living well and leaving well might mean to them.

To date, over 28,500 audiences and participants have experienced BSN, with more than 500 volunteers and facilitators over the past decade.

BSN’s first presentation dates back to 2013 at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, and it was commissioned by the Lien Foundation and the Ang Chin Moh Foundation, who continued their support until 2019.

In 2014, BSN headed to Khatib and Toa Payoh, and toured 50 senior centres across Singapore between 2014 and 2016. From 2017 to 2019, the BSN team took a longer-term, community-based approach in Chong Pang and Telok Blangah. In 2018, an art-based toolkit was developed to facilitate end-of-life conversations, accompanied by training for care staff and volunteers.

Through a variety of art forms, BSN creates a safe space for deeper end-of-life conversations.

Our showcase includes The Wind Came Home puppetry performance; Exit forum theatre piece; Songs for Tomorrow verbatim theatre that was later adapted into a music theatre piece; Last Dance participatory theatre; short films; animations; participatory artworks; and two public art installations featuring artworks co-created by residents and artists.

Between 2021 and 2022, we produced an edition with the Malay-Muslim community–carving out a space for connection and hope in dealing with difficult topics such as loss, regrets, death and dying. As a part of our process to produce a culturally competent programme, we commissioned a study to understand the community’s views on end-of-life matters.

Our 2021 public engagement programme Kata-Kata Kita (Our Words) took the form of a variety show, featuring live music; a Sandiwara-style drama Sukar (Melepaskan); panel discussions; and even a live call-in show Radio Dukacita–all of which were live-streamed from Aliwal Arts Centre.

Building on the momentum of Kata-Kata Kita, Lepaskan Sesalan (Release Your Regrets) was an in-person public engagement event held at Heartbeat@Bedok. The event featured Kembali, a dance performance by seniors from Montfort Care – Goodlife! Bedok and dance company P7:1SMA; of life and legacy exhibition comprising artworks by community art-makers and artist Dahlia Osman; forum theatre performances; participatory activities; and public talks.

Participant interacting with the Last Moment art exhibition at Both Sides, Now in Telok Blangah. Photo Credit - Zinkie Aw


Both Sides, Now: Mengukir Harapan, 2021-2022