Art comes out of the water closet

Art comes out of the water closet
World Toilet Organization founder Jack Sim posing next to the sculpture Evolution Of Man: Poo Pee Happy at the Marina Barrage on Saturday. The artwork was unveiled ahead of World Toilet Day on Nov 19, a day designated by the UN to raise awareness of the global sanitation crisis.

Proper sanitation can lead to greater happiness - that's the message behind a new sculpture unveiled at the Marina Barrage on Saturday to commemorate the upcoming World Toilet Day on Nov 19.

Entitled Evolution Of Man: Poo Pee Happy, the $30,000 stainless steel sculpture by South African artist Dave Holland was commissioned by the Singapore-based World Toilet Organisation.

In July, the United Nations passed a resolution tabled by Singapore to mark World Toilet Day, calling for greater awareness of the global sanitation crisis.

The UN estimates that 2.5 billion people worldwide still do not have proper sanitation.

The organisation's founder, Mr Jack Sim, said that World Toilet Day is a way to remove sanitation as a taboo subject to talk about.

"We want the toilet to be out there as a 'speakable' subject. Nothing can be solved if you don't speak about it."

Mr Sim is dreaming of potty ideas for World Toilet Day in the coming years. He hopes that the day can be marked by festivities like "street opera, songs, dance, music and plays".

Singapore will mark World Toilet Day on Tuesday with a range of events, including the Let's Observe Ourselves (LOO) Carnival to promote good restroom etiquette and a conference for industry experts to share challenges of raising sanitation and hygiene standards here.

Mr Sim has an ambition for the day to become an event for the masses.

"We want to turn 'poop culture' into pop culture everywhere," he quipped.

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