On 26 May 2012, we were at the Singapore Arts Festival for the awesome Umbrella for 2 performance/ soundscape experience [but that’s another story]. We chanced upon this booth called “Festival Bar” and the lady outside said we could go in and make birds (or words to that effect).
Since we had some time to spare, we walked in. I was still hopeful that we would be able to buy a drink, and Festival Bar sounded promising. Instead, we went into a space where everyone was engrossed in sewing. There weren’t just ladies there; there were children stridently handling needles, and men who could have stood by but were happily sewing too. There was bunting and a cloth banner splashing “POPIN” across the room.
“For a bird that a participant creates, s/he will in return, receive a bird created by POPIN. We hope that this ‘make and exchange’ process will not only be fun but meaningful in a way of bringing people together through the common act of making and sharing. The birds given to us by the participants in exchange for POPIN birds will be made into a large public art installation at the end of the year.”
Given that this is the stated objective, it was fitting that we ran into some friends. The not-so-fitting part was that we were all too engrossed in sewing so we did not really catch up with one another. The volunteers had cut up pieces of cloth in the shape of birds, and laid them out together with needles, thread, buttons, beads and ribbon. It was really a level 2 of 10 difficulty job, and when you are done with choosing the materials, all you need is to do some simple stitching.
We really liked the idea of the project – it is simple, it brings people together, and it invites the man on the street to experience the joy of using his hands.
If you are interested, the POPIN project can still be found at public libraries. You can check the schedule here: The Bird Project by POPIN
[Photos: these are the birds that were given to us in exchange for the ones we made. We kinda want to see our birds at the installation, and think this is one good way of ensuring that people go see your art!]