The subject of sex work has been of interest to me. In a recent exhibition, I explored Geylang, a space for sex work in Singapore, as an object on its own. The exhibition ran for over 2 weeks at Post-Museum, an independent art space.
When you think of Geylang, one would immediately have no qualms associating it to sex work. There is a distinct personality to this space which attracts clients from all over the place, namely a large majority of Chinese migrant workers who came to Singapore for work.

The space made me curious. Aside from the evident business transaction of a sex worker and her client, there are other businesses alive in this space. The number of budget hotels lining the place cannot be missed. One will be subjected to banners or posters advertising its costs and how valuable it tries to be to potential customers - such as the availability of a TV, air-conditioner and even a sports channel!

The other forms of businesses happening here in between the streets are seemingly more individual. There is the occassional selling of toys to sex workers and customers who buy them for sex workers. The unique personalities of these independent vendors add variety to Geylang, almost de-constructing it's common preconceived identity. There is the betel nut seller who is a migrant worker from India or Bangladesh. He sells these betel nuts to migrant workers who visit the space for sex work or to live in the small rented flats. His is a different story. The owner seemed less open to small chats with strangers who ask them questions.

These snapshots of Geylang which I've collated give one a sense of curiosity. Sex work is legal in Singapore when it is within the walls of a brothel but does not include street walkers. This form of documenting the space as it is a work in progress and might find its way to further development.

The objects collected during a brief stint researching Geylang gave me the chance to give life to a space detached from the larger community.


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