in Project 3 The Library

4D (The Actual Installation): Write me a Poem.

This installation is far more successful than I thought it would be after the demoralizing critique!!!! And although the concept is simple, the most important criteria of having a successful installation is if people are willing to interact with it and they did!! I have been reading all the poems again and again. Some of them are written beautifully.


I chose the entrance because it’s eye-catching. You enter the library and suddenly someone – a stranger with no face – gives you a Quest. Will you accept it or nah? It’s like a video game; you have no expectations, just looking for some fun or actively trying to do something in your free time. The Quest just makes the whole experience more interesting.


I chose to put the box of materials on the floor because I wanted people to consciously make the decision, the extra effort, to write a poem, so as to filter out the trolls who just want to take advantage and vandalise a public property. (That’s why I had the acrylic boxes shifted on the other side of the New Arrivals shelves. Initially I had considered putting the box of materials on the acrylic boxes for convenience.) Of course . .. that was a little rude(!) to say out loud so I didn’t. . . It might come off as quite supremacist. No one person is better than another.


To control what the user can do by a fair margin. Giving them ink might also dirty the school library, noting that only ‘covered drinks’ were allowed. Got to be considerate of the space you are using.

Writing in pen severely limits the no.of pages as ink seeps through. I still intend to use this private poetry diary no matter, and not just create one specifically for this purpose of installation – there is no intimacy of the artist and the users in that sense!


I removed part of the easel to allow light to pass through and place greater emphasis on the poetry book. The easel is also angled to face the person entering the library, as if to greet them.


Someone clipped the top of the book so hard that even I couldn’t pull it out at first. I recall just setting the book comfortably on the two wedges, so you could actually lift it up and look at it really closely. I tend to do that a lot with all my books so I expected others might do the same. But. . . Someone with OCD must have found that highly annoying and adjusted it for me.






I personally found the inked text on plain paper rather enticing.


Almost everyone I knew noticed my installation if they had used the library. That’s cool!


These 2 poems, side by side, are magnificent. Because I “happened to be on duty”, I spied on the people who wrote in my book. They were not Singaporeans. Unfortunately our locals wrote poems that go along the lines of “Shit it’s finals. I haven’t Shower.” or “Roses are red, Violets are blue.. (blah blah something sarcastic)” (There are a few written like that.) I hope our education system will do something about the dead/dying poetic factor in our country. Let my installation be the first of few.