Conserving Chinese Opera in Singapore

Topics: Singapore, Music, Performance Pages: 12 (3639 words) Published: May 11, 2013
A World Unmasked
Conserving Chinese Opera in Singapore
Project Work 2009 (Written Report)

24 July 2009
Content Page

1) Conservation of Borobudur Monument........................2 1.1 Overview
1.2 Reasons for Conservation
1.3 Strategies and lessons learnt

2) Conservation of Chinese Opera in Singapore..............6 2.1 Background
2.2 Reasons for the Decline of Chinese Opera
2.3 Rationale for Conservation
2.4 Strategies
2.4.1 Necessary Organisations & Authorities
2.4.2 Modifying Chinese Opera
2.4.3 Creating Awareness of Chinese Opera
2.4.4 Promotion of Opera Performance
2.5 Feasibility of Project

3) Bibliography.................................................................19

4) Appendix.......................................................................20

1) Conservation of Borobudur Monument
1.1 Overview
The chief symbol of Buddhism in Java, Borobudur, remains a site for Buddhist pilgrimage and congregational worship. The intricate carvings depict images of the knowledge imparted by Buddha and the entire structure is widely considered to be an impressive display of religious architecture and art. [pic]

Figure 1. The Borobudur monument.
Even today, Borobudur is the most highly visited tourist attraction in Indonesia and is respected by locals as a part of the nation's heritage. (Witton, 2003)

1.2 Reasons for Conservation
Since it’s unearthing in 1835, Borobudur has been subject to dilapidation due to eroding effects of the weather, which the vegetation and soil it was buried under apparently sheltered it from, and its location in an earthquake zone. According to UNESCO's book Borobudur: the conquest of time, if Borobudur was to survive, it would require a "thorough and massive rescue operation". Every year, Buddhists still visit Borobudur to celebrate Vesak day. 1.3 Strategies and lessons learnt

1) The first strategy that led to Borobudur's successful conservation was the fact that it had recognition and support from higher authorities, such as the Indonesian government and UNESCO. The Indonesian government gathered millions in dollars of funds from their annual budget and UNESCO for the monument's restoration strategies and hiring professionals. The government also rejected any development projects such as the operation of a nearby asphalt plant that produced emissions harmful to the stone that comprised Borobudur. (Boccardi, 2006, 4.1) Thus, it can be learnt that support received from organisations, such as the government or UNESCO, is crucial as they have the power to rule out negative developments and the resources to fund costly policies. They also are able to garner enough manpower to tackle the task. 2) Spreading awareness was extensively used by the Indonesian government to aid in conserving Borobudur. Several journalists and specialists were invited for the inauguration ceremony of the International Campaign to Safeguard Borobudur. Films and cassettes were produced in co-operation with Indonesian authorities for use in schools. (ICSB, 1983, pg 5) These films depicted the history of Borobudur and the tremendous restoration efforts of the structure since its rediscovery, and gave local children a heightened respect for the structure and its conservation. Articles were published in the magazine 'UNESCO courier', covering different aspects of the International Campaign to conserve Borobudur. Borobudur's popularity amongst tourists and locals of Indonesia today shows the success of this strategy. Thus, it can be deduced that spreading awareness is important and is capable of promoting the conservation efforts at both national and international levels.

3) The local support is one of the strongest factors that contributed to the success of the conservation of Borobudur. Discussions were held between the locals of Borobudur village and the professionals involved in the restoration to...

Bibliography: 1. International Campaign to Safeguard Borobudur (ICSB). Executive Committee. (1983). 11th session. Retrieved 3 August, 2009, from
3. Neo, Kent. (2006, May 29). Taiwanese Opera in Singapore. Retrieved 2 September, 2009, from
6. Giovanni Boccardi, Graham Brooks, Himalchuli Gurung (February 2006).Reactive Monitoring Mission to Borobudur Temple Compounds. Indonesia.
7. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Timeline of Borobudur. Retrieved 13th August, 2009, from
9. McKenzie, A.D. (2007, April 9). Singapore: Island strives to become 'Art hub of Asia '. Interpress Service.
10. Lui Tuck Yew. (2009, February 6). Arts and Culture for a Resilient and Gracious Singapore. At COS Debate (MICA), Parliament. Singapore.
11. Saw, Swee-Hock. (2007). The population of Singapore. Pg 23-25. Singapore: ISEAS Publishing.
12. Ministry of Education, Singapore. (2008, June 25). Singapore Youth Festival 2008 - In Synergy (First Ever Indoor Parade). 10.
13. Chinese Opera in English. (2004, July). Retrieved 1 September, 2009, from
15. Wong, Siew Ying. (2008, September 18). Channel News Asia. "Tuning-in exercise for TV channel, okto starts on Sep 19".
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