Since the sketches had been made, many places had changed, trees had fallen and landscape had been re-moulded, people came and left, shops opened and shifted away. Many of the sketches become a figment of the memory of those yesterdays, for the new comers it is the history of the place, for those who lived through them, it is a certain loss and erasure of their existence. Perhaps through these sketches and colouring them, it would bring back fond memories.
This is a common fixture outside some residential units. It is a small artefact that is used for praying to Heaven for prosperity and good fortune. The middle line of words from top-down is ‘Heaven bestow good fortune’, the strings of words on the right and left is some form of instructions saying, ‘Look up and bow three times, every morning and evening a single joss stick’. This is primarily a Taoist practice that had been pass down from generation to generation. The younger generation has a choice of other religions. Perhaps we would see their numbers reduced as the younger generation has a wider choice for their religion.
This was the last proud owner of the only grocery retail shop left in the vicinity before economic lure set foot on his shop. He was offered at least six thousand for monthly rental of this property. It was a good deal as his finance will be secure and he could retire comfortable, perhaps even travel the world! His children are professional and there are no one to take over his shop. Anyway, the retail business is not very lucrative compared to the monthly rental it could fetch. We see why some shop with more than 30 years of history has to be displaced. It was taken over by ambition youngsters selling Cupcakes. I watched their business did not take off and the shop have to close within half a year. Then another business took over. This turnover rate is fast. Shop opened and closed.
It was because of my exhibition at Orange Thimble that I started to take note of Tiong Bahru. I saw a certain vibrancy which is still morphing and changing incessantly till these days. It has been a place for the young and arty generation, from as far flung as Beijing, northern Europe, and Shanghai. It is featured in many table top books and magazines. Tourists and backpackers come with guide books in their hands looking for a piece of arty experience in Singapore. Perhaps, the world has taken noticed of this special place in this little red dot.
I grew fonder of Tiong Bahru and took to documenting Tiong Bahru in fountain pen. It culminated in an exhibition titled 'Portraits of History IV' in Orange Thimble the following year. It was well received and I had a great time. Fellow musicians, Justin Chin and Jason Ang (Sporkey) performed their new creation at the opening of the exhibition and fellow artist, Yen Phang painted on the spot onto my sketch which had been enlarged for the evening opening. The mood was fabulous and enchanting as the music mixed of 'Ye Shanghai' played in the air. I have to thank all that were there that night especially fellow artists, friends, and supporters of my work. Thank you!
Opening speech by Master Abstract Painter Mr Choy Weng Yang on artist Choo Meng Foo's work.
This is a quick recording of the Preview night of Solo Art Exhibition by Artist Choo Meng Foo, guest of honour Master Abstract Artist Mr Choy Weng Yang. Collaborating friends
Zhu Hong (Artist) • Pamela Yee (Artist) • Tay Lim Lim (Artist)
Yen Phang (Performance Artist) • Karen Mitchell (Artist and Art educator) • Meei-Ling Ng (Creative/Installation Artist)
Bhavik Bhatt (Senior Brand Strategist) • Henry Ong (Creative Director)
Yen Phang (Performance Artist) doing a painting on the spot.
Music by Justin Chin (Musician) • Jason Ang (Musician).
Some links where my works are featured:
All about coloring Tiong Bahru and converting my fountain pen drawing into a book form
Here is one Physic teacher that will inspire anyone. He has a series, but here is the introduction.
Click here for the series: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiEHVhv0SBMpP75JbzJShqw