A poverty of poverty

“I was thinking for quite a few years about how can we in Singapore, living quite comfortably, and more and more wealthily, how can we produce art? In the end, I saw one example which gave me great inspiration, and that example is Friedrich Dürrenmatt, the Swiss-German writer, novelist, playwright, essayist. Switzerland has never gone through a war, I mean they were neutral for both World Wars, and they are probably still the most affluent country. Now how does Dürrenmatt overcome this poverty of poverty? I think he has done so brillantly, and I think some people recognize him as the greatest playwright of the 20th Century, this of course is debatable. But because he has absorbed all humanity, he has absorbed all the trials and tribulation of all the people of the world and by doing that he became a world-citizen, and transcended the limits of the Swiss cultural or historical experience.

“I see this as the only possible future for us in Singapore: you have to find a process to temper yourself and you have to look beyond, to all the cultures and civilizations in the world.”

-Kuo Pao Kun, Art Vs Art: Conflict & Convergence, the Substation conference, 1993.

(Shared from concerningpipeweed.wordpress.com)

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