National Gallery Singapore

Launched in 2020

Let your creativity blossom in this inquisitive microsite about crafting your very own blackout poem. 

What is the Experience?

On a table with a Singaporean breakfast set, an envelope rests that contains a series of letters written by a prominent figure in modern art history, Georgette Chen. Equipped with an array of markers and drawing tools, users are invited to create their own blackout poem on this digital microsite. 

A blackout poem is crafted by selecting specific words or phrases in a publication, ranging from letters to news articles, and highlighting the selected text to make them the centre of attention. When combined, these words and phrases will form a poem that flows naturally, conveying a short story or message to the viewer. 

This project brings the entire creation process online, as visitors use digital highlighters, pencils and pens to craft their own blackout poem and share them on social media sites. An inspiration wall is included, showcasing the beautiful poems that have been designed by previous users. 

What is the Objective?

Amidst unprecedented times, this poetry platform seeks to spread and circulate messages of encouragement and support for both frontline healthcare staff and the public – creating a wholesome atmosphere despite the overall dreariness. 

How Does It Work?

Users start by tapping the envelope on the table and selecting one of the many letters from Georgette Chen. Snippets of the letter appear, along with a highlighter, eraser and a colour bar that displays a myriad of colour options. Once a highlight colour is selected, the poetry begins. 

Using dragging gestures for mobile users or by dragging the mouse over specific text for desktop users, parts of the poem are highlighted. To undo any mistakes, the eraser tool can be utilised with similar dragging actions. After confirming the text they would like to highlight, users are given digital pens, markers and paint brushes to draw and decorate their poem in any fashion. 

The poem can be shared with friends and family via social media sites, and will be published on the microsite’s inspiration wall for healthcare workers and the public to see with uplifted spirits and inspired minds.

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