An Exhibit of Catastrophic Proportions

Published on 18 August 2018

If you are a cat-lover who yearns to visit Japan’s Aoshima Island where cats outnumber humans six to one, the army of strays around Block 7, Gillman Barracks, might be up your alley.

The feline cut-outs form an art installation that is part of the exhibition, The World’s Loneliest Bookstore, by home-grown bookstore BooksActually. The cats are stand-ins for the feral remains of an imagined post-apocalyptic world, one destroyed by a freak solar flare.

The premise of the exhibition might sound far-off, but at heart, it speaks to the perennial question: Why does art matter to life? Is the arts a luxury man cannot afford, especially when he is struggling to survive?

The A List stops by on a day when the show closes unannounced. As we wait in vain outside what is perhaps the loneliest bookstore, at least for miles, and grapple with existential questions, we are thankful for the purrfect company.

If we have to venture a guess, the cat population here is possibly pushing 100. But don’t take our word for it; spot the cats yourself.

There are some peering through glass doors, others lurking in corners around Block 7, and still others watching silently from rooftops. Their numbers, in contrast to the spaciousness of the art enclave, add to the sense of apocalypse. But at least your companions aren’t cockroaches.

*The World’s Loneliest Bookstore (till Sunday; 11am to 7pm on Friday, noon to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday) is at 7 Lock Road, 01-13, Block 7, Gillman Barracks.*

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