Home The Washington Diplomat August 2015 Events – August 2015

Events – August 2015

Events – August 2015


Singapore Shows Its Lighter Side With ‘Fat Kids Are Harder to Kidnap’

Singapore is marking its 50th anniversary of independence this year and in that half century, the tiny city-state has transformed itself into a global economic powerhouse renowned for rule and order. Precision might best describe this Southeast Asian island of 5 million people, not chaos.

Photo: How Drama
“Fat Kids Are Harder to Kidnap” by Singapore’s How Drama theater company runs for one night only at the Kennedy Center on Aug. 7.

But that doesn’t mean Singaporeans can’t get a little crazy.

To celebrate this milestone and show off the country’s own brand of humor, Singaporean theater company How Drama is bringing its mainstay production, “Fat Kids Are Harder to Kidnap,” to the Kennedy Center for one night on Aug. 7.

The show crams 31 plays into one hour, with the audience deciding on the order. It tackles everything from technology, penguins, war, more penguins and, yes, it even broaches the subject of Singapore’s infamous ban on chewing gum.

Among the burning questions “Fat Kids” raises: What if yoga was an Olympic sport? What is the worst time for a heart attack? What if Singapore were a category in “Jeopardy?”

“We are delighted to partner How Drama as citizen ambassadors to share insights into the way of life and current affairs of Singapore through this innovative and interactive theatrical platform for young people,” said supporter Soh Lai Yee, head of cultural exchange for the Singapore International Foundation. “This is one example of the power of the arts and culture to promote understanding for an inclusive world, enriching and uplifting lives.”

The company, above all, doesn’t take itself too seriously. As it says in its press materials: “No, we aren’t known to be a funny people, but we try all the same.”

“Fat Kids Are Harder to Kidnap” runs Fri., Aug. 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Family Theater. Tickets are $25.

— Anna Gawel










Through Aug. 2

From the Library: Florentine Publishing in the Renaissance

This exhibition presents a variety of books from the late 15th through the early 17th century and explores the development of publishing related to the artistic and scholarly community in Florence.

National Gallery of Art


Through Aug. 5

Miguel Rep’s Bella Artes (Cartoons)

Cartoonist Miguel Repiso is the author of more than 30 books and has created nearly 60 popular characters and series. He has been publishing in the newspaper Página/12 from its very first issue and has also written for magazines and newspapers in various other countries.

Embassy of Argentina


Through Aug. 5

War & Art: Destruction and Protection of Italian Cultural Heritage during World War I

This photographic exhibition illustrates the Italian people’s struggle to protect their cultural patrimony from the ravages of war. A century later, the images not only document early preservation efforts, but have become works of art in their own right, reminding us of the enduring struggle to save the highest expressions of the human spirit from the degradations and savagery of war.

Woodrow Wilson House


Through Aug. 7

A Touching Note from the Past

A total of 32 works by the four artists, each employing her own medium and style, seek to capture the unique sense of bittersweet emotion that permeates Korean culture, and the natural color palette of Korea’s iconic art and landscape. Blending traditional techniques and modern aesthetics, the artists of Fiber 4 Now work collaboratively with fabric, natural fiber, dyes and synthetic materials to create a uniquely textured and handcrafted conversation on the broader theme of personal communication.

Korean Cultural Center


Through Aug. 9

Jacob Lawrence: Struggle … From the History of the American People

Produced between 1954 and 1956, Jacob Lawrence’s “Struggle … From the History of the American People” portrays scenes from American history, chronicling events from the Revolutionary War through the great westward expansion of 1817.

The Phillips Collection


Through Aug. 16

Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, this exhibit will showcase 20 artifacts collected from the debris of the bombings, six large folding screens that depict the horrors of the bombings and a collection of drawings by Japanese children created two years after the war ended.

AU Museum at Katzen Arts Center


Aug. 20 to Sept. 4

Justine Otto: hyder flares

Leading German contemporary figurative painter Justine Otto, who won the Phillips Collection’s second annual Emerging Artist Prize, creates representational pictures that burn themselves into the viewer’s retina, simultaneously fascinating and disturbing. Otto’s exhibition “hyder flares,” borrows its name from this cosmic phenomenon as it focuses on such peculiar constellations, incidents and connections in human interactions.



Through Aug. 23

Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude

To mark the 300th anniversary of the passing of the Longitude Act in 1714, this landmark exhibition tells the extraordinary story of the race to determine longitude (east-west position) at sea, helping to solve the problem of navigation and saving seafarers from terrible fates including shipwreck and starvation.

Folger Shakespeare Library


Through Aug. 28

Definition of Color

Colombian-born, New York-based mixed-media artist Andés Hoyos primarily works with objects that have been discarded or left behind by others. His hope is that by giving these objects new life he helps to start a broader discussion about recycling. Viewings are by appointment only; email mrueda@colombiaemb.org to schedule a visit.

Colombian Ambassador’s Residence


Aug. 29 to June 5, 2016

Perspectives: Lara Baladi

Egyptian-Lebanese artist Lara Baladi experiments with the photographic medium, investigating its history and its role in shaping perceptions of the Middle East, particularly Egypt, where she is based.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery


Through Aug. 30

Hot to Cold: An Odyssey of Architectural Adaptation

On the heels of its summer blockbuster “BIG Maze,” the international design firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) returns to take visitors from the hottest to the coldest parts of our planet and explore how BIG’s design solutions are shaped by their cultural and climatic contexts. More than 60 three-dimensional models will be suspended at the second-floor balconies of the museum’s historic Great Hall in an unprecedented use of this public space.

National Building Museum


Through Sept. 7

Watch This! Revelations in Media Art

This exhibit of pioneering and contemporary artworks that trace the evolution of a continuously emerging medium celebrates artists who are engaged in a creative revolution — one shaped as much by developments in science and technology as by style or medium.

Smithsonian American Art Museum


Through Sept. 11

Miguel Salom: Ictum Olim III: Ambrotypes and Tintypes

Miquel Salom’s exhibited works resulted from decades of applied photographic research and visits to the United States to observe, firsthand, original works by photography pioneers. Selected portraits and landscapes use wet collodion, an early form of photographic emulsion.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas


Through Sept. 13

American Moments: Photographs from the Phillips Collection

In celebration of recent major gifts, the Phillips presents for the first time a major photography exhibition drawn exclusively from the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibit showcases more than 140 photographs that capture the changing landscape of America after World War I, with more than 30 renowned artists represented and many works new to the collection.

The Phillips Collection


Through Sept. 13

Chief S.O. Alonge: Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, Nigeria

This retrospective showcases the work of noted Nigerian photographer Chief S.O. Alonge, the first indigenous photographer of the Royal Court of Benin, in conjunction with royal arts from the Benin kingdom. The collection of historic photographs was captured on Kodak glass-plate negatives and documents more than 50 years of the ritual, pageantry and regalia of the obas (kings), their wives and retainers.

National Museum of African Art


Through Sept. 13

The Memory of Time: Contemporary Photographs at the National Gallery of Art

In the decades since 1990, the concepts of time and memory have been frequently explored by photographers who seek not simply to reflect the world but to illuminate how photography constructs our understanding of it. This exhibition explores the work of 26 contemporary artists who investigate the complex and resonant relationship of photography to time, memory and history.

National Gallery of Art


Through Sept. 13

Organic Matters – Women to Watch 2015 / Super Natural

Historically, women artists were encouraged by society to take the natural world as their subject. Rather than narrative art, which was thought to require invention and imagination beyond women’s capabilities, subjects such as botanical drawings, still-life paintings and images of animals seemed to require merely the power of observation. Turning this archaic paradigm upside down, these featured contemporary artists actively redefine the relationship of women, nature and art by investigating the natural world — to fanciful and sometimes frightful effect.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through Sept. 13

Super Natural

Rather than merely document beauty, artists in “Super Natural” engage with nature as a space for exploration and invention. Historical painters and naturalists focused on the singularity or strangeness of plant and animal specimens, sometimes adding narrative details and imagined settings.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through Sept. 20

Shirin Neshat: Facing History

This major exhibition of works by Iranian-born, New York-based video artist, photographer and filmmaker Shirin Neshat is the first to place Neshat’s work in the context of the history of modern Iran, a significant influence on her career.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Through Sept. 27

Waterweavers: The River in Contemporary Colombian Visual and Material Culture

The confluence of the image of the river and the act of weaving is present both metaphorically and literally across contemporary practices in Colombia. Using the river as a conceptual device to explore the intersections in Colombian culture today between design, craft and art, “Waterweavers” investigates the intricate ways in which culture and nature can intertwine across disciplines.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas


Through Oct. 4

Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye

Gustave Caillebotte (1848-94) was among the most critically noted impressionist artists during the height of their activity in the late 1870s and early 1880s. Some 45 paintings from the period when Caillebotte was fully engaged with the impressionist movement will provide a focused understanding of the provocative character and complexity of his artistic contributions.

National Gallery of Art


Through Oct. 4

Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael

The first monographic exhibition on Dutch painter Wtewael will showcase his international mannerist style and remarkable technical ability through some 45 complex biblical and mythological narratives, as well as portraits and genre scenes.

National Gallery of Art


Through Oct. 4

Recent Acquisitions of Italian Renaissance Prints: Ideas Made Flesh

Prints played a pivotal role in the development and transmission of Italian Renaissance style. But because many of these 16th-century prints reproduce the designs of other artists, they have often been undervalued. This exhibition presents some two dozen, reflecting the principal styles and numerous major masters of the period.

National Gallery of Art


Through Oct. 31

Celebrating 25 Years of the MCI Silver on Silver: William Spratling, An American in Taxco

Adventurer, writer, collector, illustrator, architect, designer, entrepreneur and businessman are just a few words that have been used to describe William Spratling, a person who undoubtedly had much to do with Taxco’s transformation from Mexican small town to center of design. Granted to the Museo Franz Mayer for a 10-year loan in 2012, this exhibition shows the trajectory of Spratling’s vision for design as tool of not only aesthetics, but also one of social transformation. In four parts covering different themes, silver pieces, including jewelry and documents, seek to show Spratling as a designer committed to his context and his community.

Mexican Cultural Institute


Through Nov. 1

The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists

This dramatic multimedia exhibition reveals the ongoing global relevance of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic as part of a shared intellectual heritage and includes original commissions and renowned works of art by approximately 40 of the most dynamic contemporary artists from 19 African nations and the diaspora.

National Museum of African Art


Through Dec. 31

Ingénue to Icon: 70 Years of Fashion

The first exhibition at Hillwood to present Marjorie Post’s full range of style, “Ingénue to Icon” will examine how Post’s lifelong passion for objects that were exceptionally beautiful and impeccably constructed extended to her taste for clothing

Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens


Through Jan. 2

Peacock Room Remix: Darren Waterston’s Filthy Lucre

“Peacock Room REMIX” centers on “Filthy Lucre,” an immersive interior by painter Darren Waterston who reinterprets James McNeill Whistler’s famed Peacock Room as a resplendent ruin, an aesthetic space that is literally overburdened by its own excesses — of materials, history, and creativity. Like “Filthy Lucre” and the original Peacock Room, this exhibition invites viewers to consider the complex relationships among art, money and the passage of time.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery


Through Jan. 3

Bold and Beautiful: Rinpa in Japanese Art

The modern term Rinpa (Rimpa) describes a remarkable group of Japanese artists who created striking images for paintings, ceramics, textiles and lacquerware.

Freer Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 3

Enigmas: The Art of Bada Shanren (1626-1705)

Born a prince of the Ming imperial house, Bada Shanren (1626–1705) lived a storied life, remaking himself as a secluded Buddhist monk and, later, as a professional painter and calligrapher. Featured in this exhibition are examples of his most daring and idiosyncratic works, demonstrating his unique visual vocabulary.

Freer Gallery of Art



Tue., Aug. 4, 10:30 a.m.

Kankouran West African Dance Company: Visit Africa

Experience the sights and sounds of West African culture with D.C.’s premier dance company, replete with colorful costumes and dynamic drumming. Tickets are $8.

Wolf Trap



Mon., Aug. 3, 6:45 p.m.

Brazil’s Buildup to the Olympics

Landing the Olympic and Paralympic Games demands that a country enter into an international competition that takes as much stamina, preparation and sheer determination as anything its athletes will face. What happens, then, once a nation is selected? How does a whole country go into training? Luis Fernandes, Brazil’s former deputy minister of sports, offers an insider’s perspective on how his sports-obsessed country is preparing for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics — and how the games will transform it. Tickets are $25; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center


Tue., Aug. 11, 6:45 p.m.

Voltaire for the 21st Century

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris last winter, a surprising book shot to the top of the French best-seller lists: Voltaire’s “Treatise on Tolerance,” first published in 1763. Jennifer Tsien is not surprised that readers find Voltaire relevant 250 years later. A professor in the French department at the University of Virginia, she explores this fascinating man, his forward-thinking work and what Voltaire can mean to us in the 21st century. Tickets are $42; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

Smithsonian Castle


Wed., Aug. 12, 6:45 p.m.

Lessons in Secret Diplomacy: Approaching Cuba Through Back Channels

When President Obama changed U.S. policy toward Cuba last winter, many people were surprised. But they shouldn’t have been: Every president since Eisenhower has tried to melt the Cold War ice encasing U.S.–Cuba relations, using secret, back-channel communications. William LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh explored this secret diplomacy as they uncovered hundreds of formerly undisclosed American documents and interviewed dozens of negotiators, intermediaries, and policymakers, including Fidel Castro and Jimmy Carter. Tickets are $42; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center



Sun., Aug. 16, 2 p.m.

Concert: Orquesta Mexicana

The Pasatono Orquesta, masters of traditional music for over 17 years, will be performing as the new Orquesta Mexicana. Paying homage to composer Carlos Chávez’s original 1933 Orquesta Mexicana, the group will be playing arrangements of traditional pieces by Chávez (1899-1978) and others from the concert series played by the original Orquesta at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1940. To RSVP, email rsvp@instituteofmexicodc.org.

Mexican Cultural Institute


Sat., Aug. 29, 4:30 p.m.

Afro-Cuban Drumming Class

Hosted in conjunction with the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club performance at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, this is your chance to set the hot Havana beats to Afro-Cuban drumming. Tickets are $15.

Wolf Trap Filene Center


Sat., Aug. 29, 8 p.m.

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club: Adios Tour

Warm, acoustic rhythms and Afro-Cuban jazz made this band a staple of Cuban music’s golden age and a Grammy-winning international success. Don’g miss their final tour as they deliver “a shot of pure musical adrenalin that hits the mark every time” (BBC). Tickets are $25 to $50.

Wolf Trap Filene Center



Fri., Aug. 28, 8 p.m.

Art After Dark

Art After Dark, the annual after-hours fundraising event for the Art Museum of the Americas, rings in its sixth year with a night filled with video art, live music by Matias Aguayo of Chile, performance art by Dominique Paul of Canada and a renowned DJ. The museum’s exhibition “Waterweavers” will stay open late for the occasion, and there will be a VIP section and raffle. Tickets are $45 or $90.

Art Museum of the Americas



Through Aug. 2

Let Them Eat Chaos

Famed Chicago troupe the Second City returns to Woolly with its latest uproarious offering, a blast of irreverent sketch comedy and razor-sharp satire that skewer American culture. Tickets are $35 to $100.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company


Fri., Aug. 7, 8:15 p.m.

Madama Butterfly

Experience Puccini’s heartbreaking masterpiece of passion, honor and sacrifice with Wolf Trap Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra in this new staged and costumed production with custom video projections. Tickets are $25 to $75.

Wolf Trap Filene Center


Through Aug. 9

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Synetic remounts its playful adaptation of Shakespeare’s timeless comedy with a trademark movement-based visual storytelling. This fantastical, darkly playful game of love, mistaken identity and the supernatural was honored with nine Helen Hayes Award nominations when it was first produced in 2010. Tickets start at $35.

Synetic Theatre


Aug. 11 to Sept. 20

The Fix

When a popular presidential candidate dies in his mistress’s bed, his ambitious wife Violet thrusts their lackluster son Cal into the spotlight. With the help of her strategic brother-in-law, Violet transforms Cal into the perfect citizen and together they create one of the most dysfunctional — and brutally entertaining — almost-first families ever. Tickets start at $40.

Signature Theatre


Through Aug. 16

The Book of Mormon

Hailed by the New York Times as “the best musical of this century,” this outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. Tickets are $43 to $250.

Kennedy Center Opera House


Through Aug. 16


Theatrically breathtaking, the eight-time 2012 Tony Award–winning musical tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. Tickets are $65 to $160.

Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater