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Yangtze Scribbler by Tan Pin Pin

  • Date of memory: 05 July 2012
Debbie Ding has been documenting survey markings and graffiti in Singapore. One series at Yangtze Cinema catches her attention. What do they mean?

Debbie Ding has been documenting survey markings and graffiti in Singapore. One particular set of graffiti catches her attention. Found in the back stairwell in Pearl Centre, Chinatown, the anonymous drawer roughly sketches a man and a woman beside a series of three numbers. Several of these same scribbles are found in different parts of the stairwell. What does it mean? What is the writer trying to communicate? Debbie, like a detective tries to decipher the meaning of these scribbles and she talks also of graffiti in general. Are these acts of vandals or are they notes from people seeking to communicate with others? Or are they acts of memorialisation by the writers themselves? Perhaps it is all three. Recently, Debbie excitedly reports, in the Bugis area near NLB, the same scribble. Has the Yangtze Scribbler moved?