This Is Not A Safety Barrier: An Anthology of Poetry & Photography
edited by Marc Nair and Yen Phang
The city has never been ours; it is fleeting, a collection of habits and faint peals of laughter from glass towers.
The old rivers are covered up, disinfected, bricked. Still we flood, still we rumble our dissent; insufficient to overtake taste buds, just enough to tempt.
We are labels, numbers, we are queues. We are yes-men of yesterday’s news, multi-racial at convenient moments, diverse on GRC posters, silent when it counts.
The photograph questions our intent, the gaze an outstretched palm holding a question that need not be answered.
The poem, when set against the tarmac of public sentiment, becomes a cracked window letting in shards of concrete light, a certain discomfiture.
Our borders are porous; the search for identity, more so.
This Is Not A Safety Barrier is an anthology of 113 poems and photographs from 69 contributors.
Background to the Anthology
Singapore is a city constantly under construction, both physically and ideologically. Construction sites everywhere spot the ubiquitous red and white barriers demarcating that area as a no-go zone. Each one has a sign proclaiming, ‘This is not a safety barrier’.
Taking a leaf from this absolute phrase, the anthology presents a collection of poems and photographs that question and challenge the barriers in our country – whether physical, ideological or imagined. It is an artistic social commentary of what is defined and/or undefined, with questions, comments, and explorations into the journey of how one reacts in response to rethinking monolithic national narratives.
• • •
Dimension: 170mm x 220mm
• • •
About the editors
Marc Nair is a poet and photographer from Singapore. He has published six volumes of poetry and has also been featured in a number of anthologies both print and online. A seasoned performance poet, Marc has represented Singapore competitively at international slam competitions and has performed spoken word for over ten years in more than ten countries. Marc was the 2015 Writer-In-Residence at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore and is the 2016-17 NTU-NAC Writer in Residence (National). He also writes songs and poems with his band Neon and Wonder, collaborates with musicians, painters and visual artists and is the co-founder of Mackerel, an online culture magazine.
Marc’s list of authored publications include Spomenik (2016), The Poet of Unlove (2015), Animal City (2014), Postal Code (2013), Chai: Travel Poems (2010), Along The Yellow Line (2007).
Yen Phang is an artist who currently straddles the cities of Singapore and Montreal, in search of novel logics within hidden neuroses. Primarily a painter, his work spans a range of mediums including drawing, performance, and installation. Since his first solo, Catalysts & Collisions (2012) at Evil Empire, other notable shows include Continuum (Automatic Itineraries) (2014) at Post-Museum Pop-up at the Centre of Contemporary Arts (Singapore), Invisible Frequencies (2015) at OCBC Art Space (Singapore), and Lullaby for a Gardener Lost in the Woods (2015) at the Montreal Art Centre (Montreal).
Yen was a recipient of the Winston Oh Travel Research Award (2016), and was awarded the Cliftons Art Prize (2015) and the UNSW Julius Stone Prize (2006). Yen is currently pursuing his Masters in Arts (Fine Arts) at LASALLE College of The Arts.