FaceLift activates The Substation's facade as a constantly evolving canvas. In this city of constant renewal, self-improvement, and urban redevelopment, imperfection is often glossed over or polished till unrecognisable. This year, rather than scraping away the old to make way for the new, traces of the building's past marks remain and reverberate as interventions to conversations in the now.


Hafiz Osman
Tell Your Children
John Clang
Boey Kim Cheng


Jamban 1956

Jamban 1956 is a site-specific installation of a makeshift toilet originally constructed near Merdeka Bridge for State of Motion 2016. Standing on the site of a kampong settlement long since reclaimed, the original installation served as a solemn reminder of our physical and psychological displacement in an ever-changing landscape.The reconstructed and resituated Jamban 1956 evokes new readings of the work.

Surrounded by festivity and spectacles of heritage, the installation invites its ‘users’ to consider the implications of commodified heritage and romanticised nostalgia.

Interview with Hafiz Osman

Jamban 1956, Hafiz Osman
Wooden jamban with zinc roof, 2018, 284x82x100cm
(Originally commissioned in 2016)


Hafiz Osman graduated from the LASALLE College of the Arts with an MA in Fine Arts. His works have been exhibited at LASALLE in Singapore, the Kazamati Military Museum in Belgrade, Serbia, the Singapore Management University and p-10 in Singapore. He has also participated in Real Presence, an annual international workshop for artists in Istanbul (2007) and Belgrade (2008).


Culture You Can Eat

There are differing views when it comes to understanding the Peranakan culture in the 21st century. Some argue that it is a dying tradition that has to be preserved in the the most authentic way, while others are more open to it being transformed and assimilated into current times.

With shows like The Little Nyonya and hipster Peranakan-inspired cafes popping up islandwide, Peranakan culture has been ap

propriated and manufactured into another heritage product of the local nostalgia industry, much like Ang Ku Kueh cushions and Dragon Playground souvenirs aplenty. Here, the iconic Coca Cola can, a symbol of mass-consumption, has been Peranakan-ified.

Juxtaposed against the neighbouring Peranakan Museum, the artwork is intended to question the political and social ideologies behind the popularisation of Peranakan culture in modern day Singapore.

Interview with Tell Your Children

Culture You Can Eat, Tell Your Children
Commissioned mural, 2018, 220x450cm


Tell Your Children began as a shared vision between 4 Singaporean creatives.

Since its inception in 2014, the illustration-led creative studio has been constantly putting out work in the form of murals, key visuals and events. From Baybeats Singapore to the Flatbush Zombies, TYC has always applied its signature visual direction across various projects, creating specific design solutions for its diverse range of clients.

Through the years, TYC has also collaborated with studios of different disciplines to create work that goes beyond just the realm of illustration.


The Land of My Heart

The Land of My Heart is a series of work which re-appropriates the icon of the Singapore Girl, Singapore Airlines' air stewardess, to contemplate on vestiges of identity and personal memories encapsulated in nostalgic spaces of a rapidly evolving motherland.

Each frame embodies of three elements of time—the past, as captured by the handwritten extracts of Clang's residual memories and conversations; the present, as depicted by the urban Singapore landscape in flux, and finally the eternal—the evergreen icon of the Singapore Girl who has outlasted all currents of change over the decades.

Interview with John Clang

The Land of My Heart, John Clang
3 Billboards, 2018, Variable dimensions
(Series of photographs completed in 2014)


The practice of Singaporean visual artist John Clang often straddles dual realities of global cities, unfettered by confines of time and geography.

A double-sight navigator of a world in constant flux, he absorbs seemingly mundane and banal external stimuli and conveys his internal observations and ruminations through the mediums of photography and film. His approach, reminiscent to a barometer, accords his works a unique position at the confluences of the open-ended and definitive, surreal and factual, personal and universal.

His works have entered the permanent collections of Singapore Art Museum and National Museum of Singapore. In 2010, he became the first photographer to garner the Designer of the Year award at the President's Design Award, one of the nation's most prestigious design accolade in Singapore.

Clang lives and works in New York and Singapore.


The Planners

Written in the early nineties, works like ‘The Planners’ and ‘Change Alley’ are then-Singaporean writer, Boey Kim Cheng’s responses to the upheaval brought on by Singapore’s rapid industrialisation at the time, which saw the continual demolition and redevelopment of places, that were to him, personally and historically significant. Rife with a sense of alienation and displacement, the poems mourn and decry the erasure of home, and one’s inability to find connection with the drastically altered landscapes of progress and modernity.

His poem "The Planners" was included in the international O-level Literature in English and International General Certificate of Secondary Education syllabi from 2013 to 2015, and 2017 and 2018, while "Reservist" will be tested from 2017 to 2019.

Boey’s works are highly regarded by both the academic and writing communities in Singapore. Writer Shirley Lim remarked that he is the “best post-1965 English language poet in the Republic today”.

Interview with Boey Kim Cheng
The Planners
Wall text, 2018, 350x350cm
(Poem written in 1992)


Boey Kim Cheng emigrated from Singapore in 1997 to Australia. As an Asian Australian writer, Boey has published a travel memoir Between Stations, which was shortlisted for the W.A. Premier’s Literary Award for Nonfiction, and a fifth collection of poems Clear Brightness, was shortlisted for the John Bray Poetry Prize and the NSW Premier’s Multicultural Award. Boey co-founded Mascara Literary Review, the first Australian literary journal to promote Asian Australian writing, and co-edited the groundbreaking anthology Contemporary Asian Australian Poets (2013). In 2016, Boey returned to Singapore to join Nanyang Technological University as an Associate Professor at the Division of English.