July 31, 2018

The World’s Loneliest Bookstore explores the implications of a post-apocalyptic world. If the world was reduced to its minimum viable population, would there still be a need for books? Would anyone want to visit a bookstore, while facing the issue of merely surviving? Would this make it the world’s loneliest bookstore in existence?

A freak solar flare at a magnitude nobody has experienced before has wrecked the Earth’s natural environment, causing volcanic eruptions and devastating oceanic activity. Infrastructure all around the world collapsed as a result and many lost their lives to the freak disaster. The world’s population was somehow reduced to its bare minimum, following the end of the devastation. Only 4,169 people remain around the globe, just enough to repopulate Earth. Following the disaster, only one woman remains in Singapore. With the books she has scavenged, she has assembled what probably is the last remaining bookstore on earth. The rest of the bookstore is outfitted with other scavenged bits: a few paintings, an old television, a spare radio that is constantly trying to reach somebody else out there. Everyday she waits for someone, anyone, whilst she finds solace in what she has left. Thus, this constitutes The World’s Loneliest Bookstore.

The bookstore will feature a selected number of titles, namely: 1. PULP by Shubigi Rao 2. Sonnets to Orpheus by Rainer Maria Rilke 3. Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton 4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy 5. Too Loud A Solitude by Borumil Hrabal 6. A Field Guide to Supermarkets by Samuel Lee 7. For The End Comes Reaching by David Wong 8. The Stranger by Albert Camus 9. Into The Wild by Jon Krakuer 10. And The Walls Come Crumbling Down by Tania De Rozario 11. The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel

Programmes will also be presented to coincide with the loneliest times of the day:

Launch of Suicide Club by Rachel Heng

Rachel Heng will launch her international debut title on 4th August, Saturday. Her book deals with the issues of humans living at least 300 to 400 years and how they slowly revolt against this unnatural longevity.

BooksActually Shophouse Fund Rabak Auction

An invite-only auction to raise funds for the BooksActually Shophouse Fund on 17th August. Friends of the bookstore will have their items auctioned off, in the spirit of a Hungry Ghost Festival auction.

Jean Ferry’s SKY KAVE

Jean Ferry will be doing a multisensory installation for the entire length of the exhibition.

Exhibition of Odelia Tang’s Paintings

Odelia Tang will be presenting a series of four to five paintings, based on the concept of the loneliness of children. She will also be folding 1,000 paper cranes from exam papers.

Standee Cut-Outs of Cats

Standee cut-outs of cats, resembling the stray cats found in most Singaporean neighbourhood estates, will be scattered in both the interior and exterior of Block 7. This is to signify that after the decimation of the world’s population, the cat population numbers will outstrip human numbers.

Screening of Football Matches

An analog TV and video player will be set up, playing old recordings of football matches recorded from the late 80’s.

Original Soundscape

A soundscape will be played on a speaker, mimicking a radio channel that funnels the latest news of the crisis to its listeners.

Venue: 7 Lock Road, #01-13, Block 7, Gillman Barracks.

This exhibition is presented by BooksActually and DISINI.

Exhibition Dates: 3 August – 19 August 2018