Annual literary festival Textures returns on Jan 6 with novel readings, art installations

Textures 2023 explores the idea of domesticity and celebrates Singapore literature.

Benjamin Chew

Only drinks bubble tea with 100% sugar.

Published: 5 December 2022, 6:24 PM

Annual literary festival Textures will make its comeback in 2023 with dramatised novel readings and art installations at The Arts House, as well as family-friendly programmes launched in other venues across the island.

Organised by Arts House limited and curated by multi-disciplinary artist Jason Wee, the festival celebrating Singapore literature (SingLit) will run from Jan 6 to 15, 2023, as part of the Singapore Art Week. 

Themed “Arrived Home”, Textures explores the idea of domesticity with the audience through programmes featuring renowned local writers and their literary works.

Those who enjoy a good fright can look forward to the Cherita Hantu…Kembali (Ghost Stories…Returns) literary programme at $20 per ticket, which showcases five stories of four individuals with the overarching theme of “The Great Return”. 

A Novel Idea: SingLit Edition will also make its return after a two-year hiatus, featuring dramatised readings of three novels written by Singaporean female writers, namely Counterfeit by Kirsten Chen, The Java Enigma by Erni Salleh and This is Where I Won’t be Alone by Inez Tan. Each ticket cost $10.

These performances will be held at The Art House’s Play Den.

Avid readers who want to pick up a new book can find the TEXTURES Pop-up Book Stores at The Art House’s level one corridor, which offers a spread of titles by Singaporean authors. 

Other forms of literature will also be featured during the festival, such as the Re-Turning: A multilingual Poetry Reading with Calligraphic Performance. The visual arts performance invites the audience to reflect on the concept of home through various languages and lenses, and will be held at The Art House’s Chamber.


The performance is conducted by four renowned local poets including Associate Professor Tan Chee Lay, Dr Azhar Ibrahim, K. Kanagalatha and Eric Tinsay Valles. PHOTO CREDIT: THE ARTS HOUSE


Several art installations will also be exhibited in and around The Art House, such as one by architect Vincent Ong or a recreation of artist Priscilla Quek’s parental home named Multifaceted Corners of #05-478.


Dwelling, the art installation created by Vincent, explores the archetype of a home and can be found at The Art House’s front lawn. PHOTO CREDIT: THE ARTS HOUSE


The 2023 edition of the festival also completes the trilogy that started with Textures 2021: The Bottled City and Textures 2022: The Great Escape, as the previous editions of the festivals were held at The Arts House and gradually moved to various housing estates and the heartlands.

As part of Textures 2023, 10 outreach programmes at several new and returning venues across the island will allow families to experience local literature in fun and accessible ways. 

Parents with children can participate in a colouring activity to create their favourite animal character at the Read with Storyteller: Beware the Sunda Slow Loris and Other Singaporean Fables programme held at National Gallery Singapore.

Multilingual programmes will also be held at the Woodlands Regional Library, Ang Mo Kio Public Library and SAFRA Toa Payoh. 

These include Chinese bilingual story and cartooning sessions for children aged four to six and a Malay programme hosted by author Farihan Bahron for upper secondary students and adults to learn to generate creative ideas from their daily lives.

If you are interested in learning more about Singapore writing across generations, you can visit Textures microsite to listen to CrossTalk, a digital programme created in partnership with the National Library Board (NLB) and National Archives Singapore.

Another collaboration with NLB, the Read at Home programme provides an e-library of books selected for Textures 2023 for readers of all ages to download.

More information on the exact timings and dates of all The Art House performances, exhibitions and programmes can be found here.

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