Unseen is a limited edition box-set of three local Singaporean plays published by Epigram Books to raise funds for Centre 42, a non-profit organisation committed to the creation, documentation and promotion of texts and writings for the Singapore stage.
The box-set uses a narrative of the exterior vs the interior to weave a concept of facades people in society create, in order to hide their secrets, fears, opinions, thoughts and voices. A nondescript grey box reveals 3 almost identical looking white books, that have had their original titles partially white-washed over, and this hiding continues with each of the 3 plays using different methods to obscure and make text difficult to read, such as french folds, cropped text and flaps, etc. that mimic how difficult it is to read people.
This series is a comment on the state of humanity, as the three books initially appear to be the same, just as people in society often appear to be generic and non-opinionated. Until you open them up and read them, that is.
The three plays chosen are —
Fear of Writing / Tan Tarn How
Everything But the Brain / Jean Tay
Those Who Can't, Teach / Haresh Sharma.
Fear of Writing is a groundbreaking commentary on the issues of control and censorship in Singapore where seemingly disparate elements are woven together and the line between art, performance and reality begin to blur dramatically as the play reaches its chilling conclusion. This play uses inserts, text that bleeds and crops and many censorship elements to make reading very difficult.
Everything But the Brain takes a journey with Elaine, a middle-aged Physics teacher, as she explains the theory of relativity using the metaphor of three bears and a train, and devises a plan to turn back time and save her ailing father from physical determination. This book uses fairytale, physics and time imagery, fold-overs and tracing paper to obscure and create different layers, as well as text that diminishes to a lighter and lighter grey that becomes increasingly difficult to read, a metaphor of time running out.
Those Who Can’t, Teach turns the spotlight on the madcap lives of teachers and students in a typical secondary school in Singapore.
As the teachers struggle daily to nurture and groom, the students prefer to hang out and “chillax”. With upskirting and Facebooking, griping and politicking, school takes on a whole new meaning as the colourful characters struggle to prove that those who can, teach. This book uses perforated french folds throughout the entire book that have to be torn open individually as well as school imagery and illustrations reminiscent of schoolbook doodles.
This is a school project and is therefore unpublished. Also, the photos do not belong to me, all copyright goes to the respective owners and Google images. The text for the plays also belong to the respective playrights.
Thanks for looking!