Student behind 'golden HDB staircase' now turning books to gold

Alvin Kosasi
16 June 2017

Remember Priyageetha Dia? The student artist was the one who created the memorable gold foil staircase on the 20th floor of a HDB staircase in Block 103, Jalan Rajah.

While her work earned praise from netizens, it was called an “unauthorised” deed by the town council.

It was eventually removed on March 12, but as a reminder of her work, she left a small square of gold foil on the bottom step.

Now, a published book will reveal a glimpse into the creation of the gold foil staircase, the ensuing response by both the public and authorities, and what these reveal about the nature of public art and public space in Singapore.

Titled A Public Square, 50 limited edition gold-foiled copies of the book will be distributed across different locations in the city by The Substation, Singapore's first independent contemporary arts centre founded in 1990 by the late Kuo Pao Kun.

According to Substation's events page, A Public Square will be the first in a series of six publication launched in conjunction with The Substation's Discipline the City programming for 2017. 

The book is authored by Adeline Chia, Associate Editor of Art Review Asia, and former writer from ST Life.

These limited edition copies of the book have been wrapped in gold foil by Dia herself, including a sticker of a gold square - a reference to the final reminder of her gold foil staircase.

In a statement found on the page, they wrote that "It's our hope that the placing of these golden packages in mundane and unassuming locations can serve as a reminder of the possibility of beauty in amplifying everyday life. 

"Just like the ephemereal gold foil staircase."

The schedule and locations of the book distribution will be revealed before June 21, 2017.