Feeling hungry for some poetry? Local digital storytelling studio Tusitala is here to satisfy your cravings, with their new website Local Flavours. Launched as part of Singapore HeritageFest 2021, the interactive site gathers 15 Singapore-based illustrators and 15 local poets, as they each contribute an illustration or poem inspired by some of our favourite hawker foods.
Curated by poet and critic Daryl Lim, the inspiration for these new works range from chicken rice to prata, to even garam assam and idli, and encapsulate the quintessential Singaporean love for our multicultural range of food. After the poets craft their poem, each one was then paired with an illustrator who interpreted it visually.
The featured poets are, namely, Ann Ang, Joshua Ip, Arthur Yap, Daryl Lim Wei Jie, Hidhir Razak, Gwee Li Sui, Tse Hao Guang, Heng Siok Tian, Margaret Devadason, Masuri S.N., Zulfadli Rashid, Wong Yoon Wah, Quek Yong Siu, KTM Iqbal, and Ramakrishnan Bhargav Subramanian. The featured illustrators are Dianna Sa’ad, Denise Nicole Yap, Ang Cheng Hui, Charmaine Tan, Adeline Tan, Quek Hong Shin, Mitra Jeevananthan, Muhammad Izdi, Niki Koh, HelloPigu, Griselda Gabriele, Phoebe Lee, Barbarian Flower, Jerome Lau, and Caryl Atalia Song.
While all the poems and illustrations are hosted on the site, visitors can do a little ‘home food delivery’, as inspired by how deliveries took over our lives during the circuit breaker in 2020. Users can send a digital care pack (free of charge) for friends and family who miss Singapore food and are unable to travel during this time. Each pack includes the poem and illustration, some further reading on the food, a recipe to try at home, as well as digital stickers for WhatsApp and Telegram, sure to get your mouth watering and put a smile on your face.
With the aim of celebrating and highlighting the sheer variety and history of hawker culture in Singapore, the launch of Local Flavours marks the start of a new project, and a taster for even more to come as Tusitala continues to develop the site and add more works to their ‘menu’.