| On 3 years ago

Singapore Poetry On The Sidewalks (SPOTS): Hidden Poetry On The Streets Of Singapore Waiting To Be Spotted

It pays to be attentive to the things around you — while I am not advocating dangerous and reckless behaviour, the next time it rains, look down. Don’t be too surprised when several poetry start appearing on the damp pavement.

Drawing inspiration from Mass’s Poetry’s “Raining Poetry” in the City of Boston, literary non-profit Sing Lit Station has undertaken a public art installation, titled Singapore Poetry On The Sidewalks (SPOTS) late last year.

The installation features short poetry excerpts from our local pool of writers, which were sprayed onto the ground with approved waterproof paint and stencils. SPOTS is split into two phases.

Phase One:

In partnership with the Singapore’s Writers Festival 2016, six poetry excerpts were selected to be installed at The Esplanade as well as The Arts House. These excerpts feature works from Felix Cheong, Simon Tay, Ann Ang, David Wong, Md Mukul Hossine and Gwee Li Sui.

Four excerpts were installed around the Esplanade and the remaining two were installed at the Arts House.


Add a little water (or you could wait for the rain), and you will be able to see the magic.

Perhaps Love
is a view of stars
through the telescopes of years – by Felix Cheong “I watch the stars go out”

look all I’m saying is
life does all the work
and we let death take all the credit – by David Wong “Chemo”

Unfortunately, some of the other excerpts, while highly resistant to the erosion of most chemicals and solvents had already faded away with time.

Me migrant
Live overseas
Thousand thousand miles away
Me migrant
Live outdoors
Outside from you – by Md Mukul “Migrant”

We seldom hear the voices of the minority, very rarely in books and documentaries, and almost never in poetry. Mukul’s piece is a downright honest representation of the voices of the stateless migrants, who flocked over to Singapore in search for work.

She wanted to write about the rain
and I was in her weather’s way – by Gwee Li Sui “Raindancing”

Esplanade Theatre, 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981
The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore 179429

Phase Two:

Phase 2 is part of Buy Sing Lit campaign funded by the National Arts Council. It is expected to be installed late February 2017. The poems were curated by Young Artist of the Year 2016 Pooja Nansi on themes and ideas related to reading, writing and the power of the word.

What Else Can You Do?

Literary non-profit Sing Lit Station has been organising several programmes and initiatives – such as Singapore Poetry Writing Month, publishing imprint Ten Year Series and more – to grow the local literary community.

If you’d like to help but don’t know how? Feel free to reach Sing Lit Station on Facebook to inquire about volunteering opportunities.

Alternatively, you may also make a donation. The money will go towards cutting stencils, buying the waterproof spray, and paying honoraria to the poets and curators.

Who says “Literature is dead” in Singapore?

Sing Lit Station: 1 Jalan Pisang, Level 2, Singapore 199069 | Tel: +65 6291 1091 | Website | Facebook

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