What makes Singaporeans happy?

What makes Singaporeans happy?
Director Jeff Chen (second from left) with the cast (from far left) Peter Sau, Noorlinah Mohamed, Jean Ng, Oliver Chong and Nora Samosir.

From being a hot topic in parliamentary debates to the slogan for telco StarHub's latest advertising campaign (Happy Everywhere), happiness seems to be the next must-have in Singapore.

It is also the subject of theatre director Jeff Chen's upcoming work, Lift: Love Is Flower The. The abstract work, which weaves fragments of different narratives together, will run at TheatreWorks from Tuesday to Sept 22.

Chen, 38, says that a significant part of the work tackles issues here and how they relate to the pursuit of happiness, such as how the population has reacted to the recent influx of migrants.

"Personally, I think we're all barking up the wrong tree. Happiness has got nothing to do with material conditions," he says. "The definition of happiness is quite complex. It can mean exhilaration or elation or a kind of sustainable well- being. If we take it to mean well-being, then it's got nothing to do with material conditions and a lot to do with our mind."

The title of the work was taken from an earlier work-in-progress about love - Love Is The Flower And Life Is The Leaf - that he had put aside in the early 2000s. But he felt that Lift was a more pronounceable acronym than LITF.

Lift also marks his re-entry into the Singapore theatre scene after a hiatus of nearly 10 years.

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