asia · singapore · travel

Occupy Tiong Bahru

I belong to the church of Ye-Does-Not-Have-To-Travel-Far-to-Explore. It’s a good thing that Singapore is one of those places that always has something brewing, whether it’s an event for the arts or a good old flea sale.

Dimsum may be the best way to a naughty girl's heart. Artist: Sokkuan Tye (

When I caught whiff of Oh! Occupy Tiong Bahru in the Honeycombers newsletter (one of my most dependable sources for choice weekend jaunts), I immediately jumped on the chance. I mean, a day spent enjoying art while poking around other people’s houses, especially in one of the more interesting boroughs in the Red Dot? Sounds like a brilliant day to me.

The locals opened their doors to the artists, more than what I had thought. Here's Lavender Chang's long-exposure shot of homeowners sleeping in the nude. (
A life-sized shot of the Mata Puteh, who once filled the air of Tiong Bahru with song. Photographer: Zhao Renhui (
An experiment in progress by an artist-slash-molecular-biologist: Isabelle Desjeux planted seedlings in two rolled-up magazines -- one named 'Nature', the other named 'Science'. Curiously, it looks like Science is winning. (
Stephen Black describes himself as a "kway"-tologist. (
Colorful kway, and quite a mouthful too!
Wire art that belongs to the homeowner's personal collection (I'd kill for half the treasures he has in his nook!)

I originally went for the promise of witty social commentary in the form of art; however, as we wandered more and more during the walkabout, I realized that the tour became more about the locality (and perhaps, Singapore’s growing nostalgia) rather than the exhibits themselves.

Tiong Bahru was actually my first home when I moved to Singapore. I remembering sensing a tension of sorts about the place. Despite the posh condominiums sprouting from almost everywhere, the eye-catching old-town feel of the original SIT-style apartments made it clear that they were still a force to be reckoned with.

If these pics got your curiosity peaked, you can check out Oh!’s last day today (Feb 26) at Tiong Bahru — the tours are from 4-9 pm, and the kick-off point is at the Tiong Bahru CC. More details over at this link.

More photos over here: 2012-02 Occupy Tiong Bahru – Picasa Album

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