About the Festival

Mathematics is pervasive in all aspects of life, whether we realise or not. Most people tend to be binary in thinking about their mathematical abilities, being either “good at maths” or “bad at maths”. However, we use mathematical thinking all the time, be it in the workplace or for our own personal decision‑making.

In partnership with the NUS Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science, NUS Arts Festival 2019: A Game of Numbers explores the parallels in thought and processes of the seemingly diverse disciplines of arts and mathematics; in particular, the centrality of the imagination and the demand for rigour in both. One of the 20th century’s most significant mathematical writers, G.H. Hardy, likened mathematicians to “poets and painters”, and expressed the view that “[t]he mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s or the poet’s must be beautiful; the ideas like the colours or the words, must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics.”

Featuring richly-textured theatrical presentations, original dance performances, dazzling orchestral sounds, award-winning films and intimate encounters inspired by the lives and work of mathematicians, NUS Arts Festival 2019: A Game of Numbers presents student artists, faculty members and industry professionals in engaging arts experiences to prove the theorem that the arts and mathematics share a longing to express answers to humanity’s deepest unsolved questions.

Press Release About NUS Centre for the Arts

Past Festivals