If you need help choosing between 40 exhibitions, performances, and talks

The nation’s biggest ground-up literary movement #BuySingLit returns next month, and with it the second edition of Textures, The Arts House’s own mini festival of arts programmes. Last year’s inaugural edition proved it was a force to be reckoned with, curating quality text-based exhibitions and performances from esteemed local arts practitioners.

This year, themed Love and Loss (and some things in between), Textures 2019 offer a bumper crop of more than 40 programmes from Mar 7-10. If you can’t summon the willpower or stamina to attend everything in the three days, here’s our pick of what to prioritise.

Performing Malay Sketches

Settle in for a play within a play, as Alfian Sa’at’s anthology of short stories Malay Sketches is brought to life onstage—courtesy of local theatre outfit The Second Breakfast Company. Performed by a cast of up-and-coming theatre-makers, the play enacts Sa’at’s flash fiction stories of members in the Malay community in Singapore. Take a deep dive into the less-surfaced discourse on Malay identity in Singapore—a timely thing to do considering the Bicentennial. $20, Mar 7, 8, 10

The Page on Stage—Samping

In the same vein of Malay narratives and textual adaptations (it’s Textures, after all), Spare Room Productions is dramatising Singapore literature, in a new series adapting three short stories from the Balik Kampung series. The first debuts at Textures 2019—Samping is adapted from Cyril Wong’s short story The Mistake, following a young Malay boy’s journey through grief, longing, and other such nasty hurdles to becoming a man. $20, Mar 8, 9, 10

Room of Love and Loss (and some things in between)

It’s not everyday you get to glimpse the inner world of your favourite local writers. If you’re feeling melancholic, find company inside this photo gallery of objects submitted by members of the literary community and featured Textures artists. How do these simple items hold meaning for each person? Local poets like Cyril Wong and art collective Osmosis will provide poetic interludes to break up the feels. Free, Mar 8-10


In this exhibition, art and literature collide to comment on current developments in the literary and print publishing scenes. Peruse design posters featuring memorable quotes from Singapore literature—designed by a new generation of designers, architects and artists. Free, Mar 8-24

As the Music Follows

Show some love to the underappreciated composers of Singapore, who otherwise only find recognition amongst choristers. Four classical singers will pay homage and perform a collection of art songs by Singapore composers Liong Kit Yeng, Leong Yoon Pin, Zechariah Goh Toh Chai and more, with Shane Thio on the piano. The performance will also feature the poetry of prominent local writers and poets such as Cultural Medallion recipient Anne Lee Tzu Pheng. Free, Mar 9, 3pm

Excuse Me, Are You A Writer?

Explore the wide-reaching influence of early writers like Bonny Hicks and dramatist Goh Poh Seng on the development of the memoir and auto-fiction genres in Singapore literature. Featuring Gerrie Lim and Cyril Wong and moderated by Jason Wee. Free, Mar 9, 5pm

A Night of Terrifying Tales

Singapore’s resident storyteller Kamini Ramachandran is trading her usual diet of dramatic children’s stories for horror, in this chilling new session after dark. An immersive experience, the one-night only event will take you through five locations on the second floor of the Arts House, to hear five tales inspired by Russell Lee’s best-selling True Singapore Ghost Stories. $20, Mar 9, 9.30pm

Will Singaporeans Ever Be Happy?

We laugh bitterly and wonder everyday. This panel bringing together Daniel Fung, Danielle Lim and Haresh Sharma (and moderated by Edith Podesta) will tackle the digital age, increasingly thorny mental health and other 21st Century issues, to discuss the nation’s present state of happiness. Free, Mar 10, 2pm

Textures 2019 happens Mar 7-10 at The Arts House. Tickets and more information here.