Singapore Coffee Festival gets creative with coffee

Barter Market, which encourages visitors to trade items for artists' works such as caricatures, will return for a second edition at the Singapore Coffee Festival.
Barter Market, which encourages visitors to trade items for artists' works such as caricatures, will return for a second edition at the Singapore Coffee Festival.PHOTO: INDIGOISM

This year's Singapore Coffee Festival includes live graffiti demonstrations, book booths and writer-illustrator exchanges

Besides delicious coffee, there is more to savour at this year's Singapore Coffee Festival, particularly for arts and books lovers.

The festival, organised by The Straits Times and presented by DBS Bank, runs from Aug 4 to 6 at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre.

Visitors can expect three art programmes and an arts market.

The interactive SWF POP #20 is presented by the Singapore Writers Festival, which takes place in November. Two teams, each comprising a writer and an illustrator, will interpret a piece of the writer's work through illustration.

The audience will contribute coffee-related words to the prose or poetry being interpreted, which the illustrators will incorporate into their artworks.

Artists James Tan and Dan Wong will be illustrating the works of author Felix Cheong and poet Jennifer Anne Champion respectively.

Literary non-profit organisation Sing Lit Station and youth arts platform Noise Singapore are presenting an Artistic Recycling Project. Visitors can take home a takeaway coffee cup decorated with verses by poets David Wong, Raksha Mahtani, Tse Hao Guang, Marilyn Tan, Daryl Lim and Stephanie Chan from Sing Lit Station, with designs by artists Lee Xin Li, Darel Seow and Oodon from Noise Singapore.


  • WHERE: Marina Bay Cruise Centre, 61 Marina Coastal Drive

    WHEN: Aug 4 to 6, 10am to 3.30pm

    ADMISSION: $22 for standard tickets; $18 for Straits Times subscribers, DBS/POSB exclusives and groups of four or more


Artists from The Straits Times art desk, such as Miel Prudencio Rosales Jr, Lee Chee Chew and Celestino Gulapa, will decorate wall panels with live graffiti demonstrations. Visitors can join in if they wish.

Social enterprise Indigoism and the National Youth Council will set up their second edition of Barter Market at the festival and it will be bigger than the first one. The bazaar asks for visitors to trade items, rather than use money to buy them, to encourage a deeper appreciation for the creatives' works.

Artist and founder of Indigoism Samantha Lo, 31, says: "Goods to trade can be tangible or intangible. Buyers can trade storybooks, art materials or even sing a song or tell a story to the artist, in exchange for their artwork."

This year's festival will also have a strong focus on books, as authors and publishers meet visitors to discuss books and encourage reading.

The Straits Times Press will present Story Time sessions, where journalists and editors read their children's books.

Mr Andy Chen, 46, deputy editor at The Straits Times' Life section and author of the children's book, The Swing Of Things, says: "I'm looking forward to the story session since I'm always happy and ready to read my book to any audience that will listen."

Visitors can also enjoy a cuppa while listening to two of the newspaper's most-read columnists, Ms Sumiko Tan and Mr Ignatius Low, talk about life, writing and their new books.

Bookworms will appreciate the multiple book booths that will be placed there by Straits Times Press, Epigram Books, The Novel Encounter and the National Library Board.

For some family-friendly fun, the National Library Board will showcase a play adapted from a book, followed by a quiz and do-it-yourself activities.

Older kids can explore new books to read, while younger ones can work on various activity sheets.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2017, with the headline 'Getting creative with coffee'. Print Edition | Subscribe