(Photo: The Straits Times)

There is an unusual new gym in town.

Here, microwave ovens are used as weights, dangling from metal chains linked by pulleys and skipping ropes. The fitness stations are utilitarian steel structures, illuminated by soft neon-pink lighting.

On the walls are posters with seemingly motivational messages, such as "No Pain No Gain" and "Weakness Is A Choice".

The urban gym exudes an eerie vibe, which is fitting for the message that it aims to get across about the dark side of gym culture.

It is actually an exhibition, titled No Regrets For Our Youth, that looks at fitness as a sub-culture. The work by Singapore visual arts collective DXXXXD runs till Feb 12 at the Aliwal Arts Centre.

Mr Muhammad Izdi, 30, the exhibition's project manager, says: "There is the utopian ideal of the perfect body, but there is a dystopian side too – the shortcut methods of achieving the ideal which can be very dangerous."

Such methods include extreme dieting and exercise addiction.


WHERE: Aliwal Arts Centre 
WHEN: Till Feb 12, 11am to 8pm
INFO: www.aliwalartscentre.sg
To sign up for the fitness sessions by personal trainer Cheryl Lin, go to aliwaluaf17.peatix.com

Adapted from The Straits Times, written by Nabilah Said