"Exhibiting You" - Story


By: Sha Najak
Submitted: 12/23/2009

There is a distinct personality to this space in Geylang. With its bustling night life, abundant supply of cheap motels, and increasing number of sex workers, the neighborhood attracts clients from all over the world-namely, a large majority of Chinese migrant workers.

Aside from the evident business transactions of sex workers and their clients, there are other businesses alive in this space. The other businesses that populate the area are seemingly more individual, yet seem to cater to the growing presence of sex work. There is the occasional toy vendors who sell their goods to sex work clients who then give them to the women they have bought for the night. The lively personality of these vendors adds character to Geylang, and almost transforms it from its daytime, business-as-usual environment. For example, a migrant worker from India becomes a betel nut seller by night. He sells these betel nuts to migrant workers who mainly visit the space for sex.

I hope that these snapshots of Geylang give one a sense of curiosity. Sex work is legal in Singapore when it is within the walls of a brothel and therefore does not include street walkers. But I think that the images capture a space that seems to be a constant work in progress. My brief stint researching Geylang gave me the chance to give life to a space detached from the larger community.


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