Using borrowed books from the public libraries to create a library with various green related topics, ‘Eat Me’ performs the fundamental function of a library: a collection of information for common use. The books are classified neither following the system of public library, nor the source from which they were borrowed. Rather, they are classified by colour – a symbolic visual expression. In this way, the books interconnect with each other but do not follow readers’ usual expectations. This non-pragmatic arrangement helps to deconstruct the audiences’ public library experience and constructs new ways of receiving information.
Eat Me (Singapore), Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, 22 August – 18 October 2009, Site-specific installation, Dimension variable, Books borrowed from National Library Board (Singapore)
Eat Me (Oxford), The Dolphin Gallery, Oxford, United Kingdom 4 – 5 June 2009, Site-specific installation, Dimension variable, Books were borrowed from seventeen Oxford University libraries and one public library in Oxford, UK.
About the series
Till today The ‘Eat Me’ series has been presented with about 1000 greenish covered and used books in four respective locations, UK (Oxford), Singapore, Ireland (Limerick) and Slovenia.
‘Eat Me’ used greenish covered library books as a symbolic visual tool. Green, a mixture of yellow and blue, has broad and prolific cultural interpretations. Using books from the public circulation of Singapore, this proposed series focuses on the formation of knowledge in a local context. The audiences’ visual experience is shaped by a careful colour arrangement. Nevertheless, faced with 1000 books, viewers must make a subjective and selective choice in deciding which one to take and read. This restricted yet unrestricted access to information is figuratively denoted in the title ‘Eat Me’.
‘Eat Me’ is a unique phrase adopted from ‘Alice in Wonderland’.
‘Well, I’ll eat it,’ said Alice, ‘and if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the key; and if it makes me grow smaller, I can creep under the door; so either way I’ll get into the garden, and I don’t care which happens!’ – ‘Alice in Wonderland’ 1865
When Alice found a very small cake, on which the words ‘Eat Me’ were beautifully marked in currants, she decided to eat it so that she would get into the garden. Not in currants in this installation, the temptation of ‘Eat Me’ is contained implicitly in the space between words and between different sources of information.