Like many other local businesses, Epigram has faced its fair share of troubles this pandemic period, with its physical bookshop shuttering in July due to COVID-19 related challenges. But here’s some good news for local lit-lovers: the Singaporean publishing house is back and raring to go with a new pop-up store.
Epigram’s new home is the product of a partnership with another homegrown brand—local hospitality firm The Lo & Behold Group. Known for conceptual, design-forward projects like The Warehouse Hotel, Loof and three-Michelin-starred restaurant Odette, the firm is hosting Epigram’s pop up till January next year, within the pearly walls of its reading room-cum-tea salon Looksee Looksee. Made for lounging in with a good book and cuppa in hand, the peaceful spot features rattan bookshelves lined with SingLit, including the recent winners of the Epigram Fiction Prize.
If you’re in the mood for a piping hot cup of joe during your visit, look forward to complimentary coffee from Singaporean capsule coffee machine brand Morning. The company has donated a coffee machine to Epigram, operating on a pay-what-you-wish format. You’ll find the device nestled between shelves—inviting patrons to stay awhile, thumbing through books and getting to know the rich and varied stories of Singapore.
Founded in 1991 by Edmund Wee as a design agency, Epigram has quickly fashioned itself into one of Singapore’s biggest independent bookstores and publishing houses. Till date, the company has published over 100 local authors—such as Sonny Liew, who is behind the award-winning graphic novel, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye. And while local literature has long been under threat from imported titles, Wee strongly believes in championing both local authors and their stories. “We’re in the midst of planning for events in our new space,” he says. “We can’t wait to further develop Singapore’s dynamic literary landscape with our new partners in the months to come.”
Co-founder and managing partner of The Lo & Behold Group Wee Teng Wen adds: “Our mission at the group has always been to help make Singapore more lovable. We’re passionate supporters of the local arts and we’re excited to support Epigram and its commitment to cultivating our local literary scene.”
Epigram Bookshop‘s new pop-up is located at 267 Beach Road, Singapore 199545. It will run till 1 Jan 2021, 11am to 10pm daily.