Heterotopia Library

  • 01 Nov to 30 Nov 2023


Heterotopia Library, convened by Winnie Li and Chong Lingying during their Community & Education residency at SAM, was a nomadic artistic research station functioning as a temporary satellite of the independent art space Jalan Besar Salon (founded by Winnie Li in 2017.) It is the second iteration of the Heterotopia series, a curatorial project that explores and evolves through rhizomatic spaces. Inhabited by artist-publisher Chong Lingying, Heterotopia Library housed her solo and collaborative artworks, publications, and discursive programmes. 

In the month of November and again in January during Singapore Art Week 2024, the library emerged as a platform where all were invited to engage through programmes like the 'Make Your Own Book' workshops; 'How to Publish a Book Bootcamp' series; industry chit-chats 'Teahouse Talks' and sound activations 'Rituals to Books' -- which were led by frequent collaborator, Ng Chor Guan. Heteorotopia Library, which occupied SAMRes' EX-SITU, took on a dynamic and adaptable form -- transforming and shifting through its variety of activations, finally closing its doors on Sunday, January 28th. 



Heterotopia Library's Community Library shelf currently resides in The Main Deck and is open for browsing until the end of 2024.

Developed over the 7 months of their residency, the Library's collection grew through the kindness and curiosity of Library visitors who have passed through SAM from all over the world. The collection ranges from books on art, fashion, cooking, local publications to children books and old childhood favourites. 


How to Publish A Book Bootcamp


Hosted across 5-weeks, How to Publish A Book Bootcamp was convened by Lingying. Through lectures, workshops and one-on-one consultations, the bootcamp delved into the processes and considerations for publishing a book for the very first time. Participants were taken through the basic principles of editing, marketing, and distribution. By the end of the bootcamp, they were well-equipped to create their own toolkits and processes for publishing their own manuscripts. 


Session 1: Lecture: How to publish a book

Session 2: Workshop: Create a publication proposal.

Session 3: Lecture: On editing

Session 4: Workshop: Create a publication plan.

Session 5: Lecture: Marketing and distribution


Teahouse Talks



Hoted by Lingying, Teahouse Talks were a series of focused informal industry chats with Singapore's publishing professionals -- taking place amidst the social sculpture 10,000 Books, the social sculpture built in collaboration with architect Chong Lingxiu which occupies a central position within the Heterotopia Library. 



Females in Publishing: is dedicated to the women in the Singaporean publishing industry.

Cross Media Publishing: invites publishers of all mediums to gather and share their ongoing and past projects - across music, games, books, comics and more.


Mukbang Reading Camp - 24 hour reading camp


Mukbang Reading Camp was first initiated in 2020 during the COVID-19 "circuit breaker" lockdown as an experiment on how the format of a book club format can morph and evolve on an online platform, mainly convened on Zoom and livestream formats.

As part of their Community and Education residency, Lingying and Winnie returned the concept of the Mukbang Reading Camp in 2023 in the form of a 24-hour reading marathonHeld at SAM's Ex-SITU studio space, the camp started at 6:00 PM on 1st December, and ended at 6:00 PM on 2nd December. Campers were welcomed to drop in to the "camp grounds" throughout the day, or join the ongoing Zoom session online. Campers read together, played games, and shared stories throughout the 24-hour period. The camp also hosted 2 book launches for 时事 (Shishishi) and Dirty Thirty:

- 食時事 (Shishishi) embodies transcultural art in the digital age. The result of a co-working process of fifteen artists from Taiwan, Germany and Austria, the project explores intercultural exchange, tradition and modernity. 食時事 (Shishishi) is defined through three main points of exchange: Letter Correspondence as a way to reflect on digitalisation, Cooking as an exploration into culture and identity, and Weather Forecasting to illuminate global perspectives.

With the support of institutions such as the Kunststiftung NRW, 食時事 (Shishishi) aims to engage readers in an ongoing dialogue, foster deeper intercultural discussions and function as a template for future projects.

- Dirty Thirty is a hand-bound, hand-written volume of poetry by Chong Lingying. The late night book launch will feature poetry readings, drinks, and music.  

The Reading Camp closed with Rituals to Books, a spatial and sound activation by Ng Chor Guan. 


Make Your Own Book Workshop


Make Your Own Book Workshop was a 2-hour session where Lingying took participants through the creation of their own personalised books. 

With a choice between an "ABC book" or a "Book of Days" (a versatile calendar, scrapbook and journal), participants were invites to enjoy the process of self-discovery and expression while creating a meaningful book. 


Rituals to Books



Activated over three sessions, Rituals to Books opened and closed the Library through its spatial sound interventions. Drawing from the act of reading and listening, Ng Chor Guan, alongside his collaborators, extrapolated movements within the library, pulling in unsuspecting participants to amplify their sonic interpretations to create a cacophony of text and music.