Category Archives: Old Places

Sirri na Pesse

This word, “Bugis”, what comes into your mind? For the local Singaporeans and overseas visitors, the first thing that comes to their mind would most probably be Bugis Junction, Bugis MRT station or Bugis Village. Yet behind these few known names and locations in both local and international visitors, do you know about the history, heritage, cultural and economics that the Bugis community brought into Singapore, the influence and outreach that shaped the Bugis community and presence in today’s modern Singapore society?

Sirri na Pesse, loosely translated into “Honour and Pride” in the Bugis language, features the history and development of the Malay-Bugis community in Singapore, tracing their roots through the historical developments and changes in the Malay world during the 18th to 20th centuries. The exhibition Sirri na Pesse was officially launched on Friday 13th October 2017 at the Malay Heritage Centre by Guest of Honour, Mr Baey Yam Keng, Parlimentary Secretary, Ministry of Community, Culture and Youth (MCCY), along with the Malay Culture Fest 2017 that took place from 13 – 28th October.

During the launch programme, guests were treated to an amazing artistic showcase titled, “Aga Kareba Performance”, a compressed history of the Bugis people from the myth of creation to the beginning of their settlements in the Malay Kingdoms.

Act 1: Myth of Creation

Act 2: Thriving Port of Makassar

Act 3: The Makassar War

Act 4: Departure & Arrival

The 4 acts performed were very nice to watch, beautiful traditional dancing, music and performances. Through the narration by the emcee and short write up in the programme booklet, visitors like me were able to understand and learn more about the Bugis community in Singapore.

After watching the performance, I visited the Sirri na Pesse exhibition at Gallery 1 & 2. Due to time constraints, I made another trip back to Malay Heritage Centre and continued my learning and understanding tour of the history, heritage, cultural and economics development of the Bugis community in Singapore.

When you visit Sirri na Pesse exhibition at Malay Heritage Centre, make sure you start from Gallery 1, in the following order of the exhibits below (Remember to pick up the exhibition guide book before your start your tour)

Gallery 1

1) The Bugis

2) Politics and Economy

3) Language and Literature

4) Indigenous Knowledge and Expertise

Gallery 2

5) Presence in Singapore

6) Practices and Beliefs

7) Memory and Identity

“Navigating Bugis Identities in Singapore”, a perfect quote for the visitors to the Sirri na Pesse exhibition at Malay Heritage Centre. Indeed, I am navigating my tour and journey into the Bugis world, from their origins, whether of royal descent, or seafarers or merchants, I was like I am on their phinisi (a traditional Bugis ship) sailing through in time and history, from their origins to modern Singapore today, inside this highly enriching exhibition.

With my limited knowledge initially, I only knew the Bugis community as seafarers, merchants and business people. After visiting and leaving the Sirri na Pesse exhibition, I am glad to learn and know more about the Bugis community in Singapore.

There are so much more to learn and understand about Singapore’s history, heritage and culture, the Sirri na Pesse exhibition is an excellent exhibition that I strongly encourage people to visit, learn and understand more about them.

Over the years that I had been writing and covering heritage, history and cultural exhibitions, events and related topics on the ground, there is always new knowledge, understanding and appreciation of our different races and cultures in Singapore that helped to grow, change and shape Singapore today.

The Galleries 1 & 2 at the Malay Heritage Centre may be small in exhibition space floor size, however, they are able to showcase a rich, diversified, concise, enriching and eye opener on the history, heritage, culture, conservation and preservation on the Bugis community and identities in Singapore.

*** More photographs of the Sirri na Pesse exhibition can be viewed here inside my Flickr photography album ***

Exhibition details and information

Sirri na Pesse: Navigating Bugis Identities in Singapore (In partnership with the Singapore-Bugis Community)

Dates: 14th October 2017 to 24th June 2018

Malay Heritage Centre

Galleries 1 & 2

Free Admission

Malay Heritage Centre

Address: 85 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198501

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm

(Closed on Mondays)

Last admission at 5.30pm

Website: www.malayheritage.org.sg

Facebook: Malay Heritage Centre

Instagram: @malayheritage

Email: NHB_MHC@nhb.gov.sg

Telephone: +65 6391 0450


Created with flickr slideshow.

Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017

The time of the year, the Mid-Autumn Festival season in Singapore would start today on the 23rd September 2017, for a month long celebration to 19th October 2017. Many beautiful lanterns, over 1,000 beautiful, handcrafted lanterns will light up the streets of Chinatown each evening, a very beautiful, bright and colourful grand display of lights and colours, a popular annual event that attracts both the locals and overseas visitors as well.

The theme for Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival (牛车水庆中秋) 2017 is “Celebrations of our Traditions 《传统新意庆中秋,同心共乐贺团圆》”, emphasizing on family togetherness along with the return of traditional cellophane lanterns, the inspiration for this year’s Street Light-Up.

Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017 is organised by the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee (KA-KS CCC) and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board. Mdm Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore, is the Guest-of-Honour for the Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony (开幕典礼与亮灯仪式) on Saturday 23rd September 2017. From my previous experiences watching the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival opening ceremony from the side lines, the opening ceremony performances have always been spectacular and lively!

Visiting Chinatown for Mid-Autumn Festival 2017, observe the lanterns! Do you remember the lanterns shaped like dragons, rabbits, roosters and rabbits made of cellophane paper hung over bamboo strips or wire frames? More than 1,000 lanterns along Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road and South Bridge Road. They are all handcrafted by expert craftsmen from China, designed in collaboration with students from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), inspired by the traditional cellophane paper lanterns popular in Singapore during the 1960s to 1980s, a reminiscent of the colourful cellophane paper lanterns from the 60s to 80s era.

When you visit Chinatown in Singapore, you can’t miss the Mid-Autumn Festival lanterns on display, the lanterns are always well liked and received by both locals and overseas visitors. You can’t miss this big centrepiece lantern on display at Chinatown Mid Autumn Festival 2017! Measuring 12m tall by 10m wide, decorated with about 60 animal lanterns, located at the junction of Eu Tong Sen Street and Upper Cross Street. Keep a lookout for the large-scale lantern display sets of families representing Singapore’s multicultural community on the centre divider between Eu Tong Sen Street and South Bridge Road.

There are many activities and events taking place during Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017 till 19th October:

Family togetherness celebrated at inaugural Mid-Autumn Family Fest @ Chinatown

A new event this year is the Mid-Autumn Family Fest @ Chinatown (中秋 @ on 24 September 2017where families and friends can take part in a morning of traditional activities associated with the festival. Held at the Kreta Ayer Community Club, there will be various hands-on activities, such as mooncake-making, tea appreciation, calligraphy writing and lantern painting.

Activities and Events taking place during Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017

Starting from 20 September, local and overseas visitors can look forward to finding a wide array of festive must-haves and treats from mooncakes and tea to preserved fruits and decorative ornaments at the annual Festive Street Bazaar (中秋街市集).

For the arts-inclined, the Nightly Stage Shows (中秋综艺晚会) at Kreta Ayer Square will fill the evening air with song and dance performances by local and overseas troupes and entertainers that will amplify the celebratory mood during the festival.

The Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017 will draw to a close with the Mass Lantern Walk (中秋大型游灯会) on 1 October, where up to 5,000 people are expected to come together to mark the Mid-Autumn Festival under a moonlit night, topped with entertaining performances by local clan associations, overseas performing groups and dragon dance troupes.

More info on the event highlights for the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017 can be found in the Annex.

For more information, please visit us at:

Website:              www.chinatownfestivals.sg

Facebook:           https://www.facebook.com/chinatown.festivals

Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore

The use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in the society is slowly gaining acceptance and application in real life. In an earlier article, I shared an article on using AR in a hospitality/hotel environment. Today, I am going to share another story, the use of VR and AR in a museum in Singapore, the National Museum of Singapore.

With the Tango technology platform created by Google, the National Museum of Singapore is one of the first museums in the world to adopt this technology. Tango is a set of sensors and computer vision software that enables smartphone augmented reality that allows users to imagine new spaces, get things done, and play games in a new dimension.

Visitors can enjoy the VR and AR tour with a Tango-enabled mobile device and they can go back in time and history, to retrace and learn about the National Museum of Singapore’s early history, artefacts and exhibits over time. This is a very interesting journey and I had the opportunity to experience, test and share my stories and photos with my readers here. Using indoor mapping, VR and AR, visitors will be able to explore how the National Museum of Singapore has evolved over the past 130 years.

There are six points of interest that participants of this tour can explore on the Tango-enabled Architecture tour with the Museum guide. Let me bring you a sneak peak into some of the VR and AR scenes from the Tango-enabled mobile device.

3D model of the National Museum

At at the Main Rotunda on Level 1 and the Glass Atrium on Level 2, the visitors on this tour can activate a 3D replica of the building on the Tango-enabled mobile device, it provides information on its structural components and allows the participant to navigate around the façade. Visitors can also see how the National Museum of Singapore has changed over the years, just by using the “Time Slider” view.

Virtual World of Past Artefacts

The iconic and famous 90 feet high Rotunda at the main entrance of the National Museum of Singapore, visitors on the Tango-enabled tour are able to go back in time into a virtual world of what this space looked like in the 1950s. Spot the world of past artefacts that were once on display at this location, such as the marble bust of Sir Stamford Raffles and the famous Revere Bell. Observe the floor tiles of the National Museum of Singapore in the earlier days and the floor tiles today, can you spot the difference?

Say hi to the Whale

At the glass passage on Level 2, one of the largest frameless, self-supporting glass structures in the world, visitors can see an AR view of the museum’s iconic Indian Fin Whale Skeleton. Listen to the sound of the Indian Fin Whale “saying hi to you”! Remember to say hi back!

I strongly encourage you to sign up for this very interesting, interactive and informative tour that combines modern technology using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, with stories from the National Museum of Singapore guide leading you on the tour. This would greatly enhance learning history, heritage, culture and stories of Singapore and the National Museum of Singapore.

The tour is an hour long and registration is free, on a first come, first serve basis. If you keen to sign up for the Tango-enabled tour at the National Museum of Singapore, visit National Musuem of Singapore guided tours link and register.

Please take note that there are limited places, maximum capacity is 15 people on a first come, first serve basis, to ensure that the tour is conducted in a manner that is optimal and enjoyable for all participants.

Seats are limited! Remember to check out on the availability of the places for the upcoming tours for the Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore!

* I would like to thank National Museum of Singapore for the invitation to try out the Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore *

Armenian Street Party 2017 by Peranakan Museum

A short stretch of the road and space in front of the Peranakan Museum closed to the traffic for two nights, transforming into a fun party venue for visitors to bring their family, children and friends down, visit the museums and soak in the party atmosphere. This was the Armenian Street Party 2017 organised by Peranakan Museum that took place on 10th and 11th March. The Armenian Street Party made her maiden debut in 2016, I was there too at the first Armenian Street Party!

For this year 2017 Armenian Street Party, I dropped by on Friday evening and managed to catch some of the performances at the street party. The theme for Armenian Street Party 2017 was back to school, going back to the good old school nostalgia days (when we were young), some of you might remember going to detention class, disliking certain subjects such as literature, tuckshop food during recess time, English and grammar class, PE class, music class etc etc.

The Armenian Street Party was also a perfect time to visit the Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum with their family, children and friends. This street party is perfect for the two museums to have more publicity and awareness from the public, they are two great museums with really great and wonderful artworks, contents and exhibitions, that the public may not know as much, compared to her bigger fellow sister museums such as the National Museum of Singapore.

At the Armenian Street Party 2017, on the Friday that I visited, I saw the mass P.E. class by Upside Motion, it’s not a bad idea to conduct P.E. class on the road without the vehicles! The iconic Peranakan Museum favourite band of singers, the Peranakan Sayang, were in action on Friday, with the theme “Balek Sekolah!”, translated to “Back to school!”. This group of singers are really good and they never fail to light up the crowds!

The Armenian Street Party is not just about the two museums, Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum, it’s a community event, the kampung spirit, with fellow neighbours along Armenian Street coming in, participating and be a part of this festive party. Timbre Group, Substation, Upside Motion, True Blue Cuisine and SMU were neighbours, part of the Armenian Street kampung. They all played a part in this year’s street party.

There were also delicious food by True Blue Cuisine, selling all time favourite tuckshop treats, I didn’t manage to go down and eat all the food on Friday. I only manage to eat the laksa during the media preview (I was rushing for time on that day) prior to the street party weekend.

I took the opportunity to visit Singapore Philatelic Museum, a very short walk down the road from Peranakan Museum. I forgot when was the last time I visited this museum, they looked small in physical size yet they packed some pretty wonderful collections inside there. Touring the Singapore Philatelic Museum brought me back many memories, I used to collect stamps when I was a young kid in school and I am beginning to wonder where have I kept my stamps? Probably somewhere in my home!

After touring the Singapore Philatelic Museum, I stayed on and watched two performances –

Literature Class: Music & Prose of the Past

By Cappella Martialis

Literature Class: Will The Night Away!

By Centre Stage.

Two great performances held inside this small and cosy Singapore Philatelic Museum.

The performance “Will The Night Away!” was about a Shakespeare classic “Romeo and Juliet”, that most students would probably have studied if they took Literature during their secondary school days (I didn’t take Literature in my upper secondary school). This is Singapore style, a Singapore spin “Romeo and Ah Lian”. Their play was hilarious, interactive and engaging, with the Shakespeare exhibition theme behind them, this was a perfect setting for Romeo and Ah Lian!

Since I was only there on Friday, I couldn’t catch the rest of the performances and activities that were held during the Armenian Street Party 2017, although I did manage to catch a glimpse of some of them during the media preview.

Personally, I feel that the Armenian Street Party is a great community event that doesn’t need to go massively big, it may not (and need not) be the biggest street party event or museums event, they just leverage and combine together as the Armenian Street “kampung”, the Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum, along with their neighbours along Armenian Street.

Looking forward to the next edition of the Armenian Street Party!


Created with flickr slideshow.

Enchanted rainforest at National Museum’s revamped Glass Rotunda

The Glass Rotunda at the National Museum of Singapore went through a revamp for the past two years and today on Friday 10th December 2016, they will reopen to the public again. The revamped Glass Rotunda is going to showcase two new permanent installations, visitors would be entering into an enchanted world of flora and fauna, mesmerised by the art light work projection displays inside the Glass Rotunda. The two new permanent installations are – “Story of the Forest”, a commissioned work by internationally renowned art collective teamLab and “Singapore, Very Old Tree” exhibit by acclaimed local photographer and artist Robert Zhao.

Story of the Forest by teamLab, is a very beautiful and engaging light artwork projection display (FYI, teamLab was the artist for iLightMarinaBay 2016 Art Science Museum installation display!). They are inspired by the rich ecological heritage and history of the tropical rainforest, the flora and fauna that lives in the tropical rainforest, with sights and sounds that visitors can identify with. Upon entering into the Glass Rotunda, be prepared to be mesmerised and blown away by the enchanted rainforest. The ceiling of the Glass Rotunda is 15m high and visitors are going to walk down a 170m passage to the base of the Glass Rotunda. At the beginning of your enchanted rainforest journey, visitors will be welcomed and greeted by constant celestial movements of flora that falls from the top of the dome structure.

As you walk across the bridge, into the middle section of the Glass Rotunda, the night turns into day. Continue walking, observe and experience the life, the richness and gorgeous colours of the tropical rainforest beside you, as you walked down the passage. Do not rush, enjoy the time and tranquility, spot the animals such as the animated Malayan Tapir. Nearing the bottom/lower segment of the Glass Rotunda, the scenes started to turn dark, entering into the night time zone.

Reaching the base of the Glass Rotunda, look up above, walk around, get close to the walls and interact with the light artwork projections. Experience and witness with your own eyes and heart, the growth and bloom of native flowers and fruits. If you prefer to lie down on the ground and look up above into the top of the Glass Rotunda, go ahead and do it! The base section of the Glass Rotunda is really amazing, it’s a mix of an enchanted rainforest, night sky and space. When I was there looking up at the enchanted rainforest inside the Glass Rotunda, how I secretly wish that they could fly me away inside the enchanted rainforest world!

There is an app for you to download into your smartphone that can enhance your visitor experience at Story of the Forest inside the Glass Rotund. It’s available to download for free on the App Store and Google Play.

Once you exit from the Story of the Forest installation, you will enter into another world, iconic trees that showcase the roots and history of Singapore. Some of the trees are not just iconic, they are a part of Singapore, the heart, culture and society, the personal and intimate connections that bind the trees and people of Singapore together. In my exploration and documentation of old places in Singapore over the years, as well as growing up in Singapore, I can identify some of the old trees on display and I can relate to the personal and intimate connections between the trees, society and people.

Once you completed touring both Story of the Forest and Singapore, Very Old Tree, visitors have the option of beginning their experience of the Singapore History Gallery from the Glass Rotunda. I visited the Singapore History Gallery before and this tour schedule starting from Story of the Forest, followed by Singapore, Very Old Tree and starting the Singapore History Gallery tour is a pretty good itinerary for a visit to the National Museum of Singapore with your family and friends.

Come on down and visit the National Museum of Singapore, let yourself be mesmerised by the enchanted Story of the Forest, Singapore, Very Old Tree and take a walk down into Singapore’s History Gallery!

Fore more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.sg

Counting down to the end of Rochor Centre

The time is finally catching up with the iconic Rochor Centre in Singapore. You can’t miss the 4 colours red, blue, green and yellow HDB blocks in the area, the colourful blocks stood out for years and they are easily identifiable. I started photographing Rochor Centre a few years ago, using her void deck as one of the examples for an article that I wrote “Void Deck – Our Cultural Communal Space” in 2012.

As the countdown timer started ticking in 2011 when the news to aquire the land was announced with 2016 being the year whereby they would have to move out and relocate to another HDB estate. In 2016, the residents of Rochor Centre slowly started to move away into their new home, the retail and commercial units below the Rochor Centre HDB blocks also started to find alternative locations for their businesses.

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I returned to Rochor Centre a few times for another article on Canon EOS World Singapore whereby I shared on photographing and documenting old places in Singapore that face “extinction”. In the Canon EOS World Singapore article titled “Exploring Singapore Heritage“, I covered Rochor Centre and Dakota Crescent areas. For the Dakota Crescent area, I would be writing another article on them soon.

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During early July, I went to photograph Rochor Centre with my Canon EOS M10 review unit for a site recce on photographing Rochor Centre from the outside areas before going down with my Canon EOS 1DX for my Canon EOS World Singapore article.

A few days ago on 12th November 2016, I had a quick walk around Rochor Centre, most of the residents, retail and commercial units had relocated to somewhere else. The rubbish and junk were piling up, there were a few different group of people exploring and taking photographs of Rochor Centre.

The NTUC Fairprice outlet at Rochor Centre put up a notice informing their customers that their last day of operation in that location will be 1st December 2016. This is an indicator on when would be the last days of Rochor Centre whereby everybody living/working there will move away, out from Rochor Centre. Once the curtain comes down, Rochor Centre will be boarded up before demolition begins, when exactly, I do not know yet at this time.

I would just continue to add more photographs to my Flickr collection on Rochor Centre, they will be memories for us very soon.

Counting down to the end of Rochor Centre, the end of an era.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Old Playgrounds Lanterns at Wan Qing Yuan Mid Autumn Festival 2016

My favourite old playgrounds of Singapore, of my childhood days, came back to life in the form of brightly lighted handmade lanterns. It’s more than just nostalgic, it meant a lot to me personally. For those who had been following my photography works, documentation and story telling, old playgrounds had been my personal project for a few years.

When my friends at National Heritage Board informed us of these old playgrounds lanterns were to be part of Wan Qing Yuan Mid Autumn Festival 2016 at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, my eyes popped up! I was looking forward to visiting them!

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I managed to plan my time and schedule, making a pilgrimage to view my Old Playgrounds lanterns on Tuesday 13th September night. Upon reaching the entrance, I saw the big bright lights from the Old Playgrounds lanterns. They were pretty big and I was able to get up close with them. Immediately, I am able to identify all the Old Playgrounds there, it felt like going back in time to my childhood days again. I saw young children playing with their lanterns around the Old Playgrounds lanterns, they were having so much fun. Sometimes, we adults all have a secret wish to be a young kid again and just have fun like them.

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I walked around, soaking in the Mid Autumn Festival with the Old Playgrounds lanterns. It was a bag of mixed emotions, of nostalgia, fun and longing for the free fun childhood running around days at the Old Playgrounds. The Old Playgrounds may not be of greater significance compared to some other aspects of heritage and history. However, the cultural and emotional communal bondings, intangible and tucked inside our hearts and souls, we all might be carrying a fondness for them and a wish to return to the fun days.

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The Wan Qing Yuan Mid Autumn Festival 2016 is until 18th September 2016, time to bring your family and children down there for a Mid Autumn Festival outing and a time for family bonding and story telling of your good old childhood days playing at the old playgrounds.

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Come on down, take a walk into the world of bright and colourful Old Playgrounds!

Details

Location: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

Address: 12 Tai Gin Road Singapore 327874

Dates: 9th September to 18th September 2016

Time: 7pm to 10pm


Created with flickr slideshow.

Singapore Heritage Festival 2016

The Singapore Heritage Festival 2016 was recently concluded on 15th May 2016, over a three weeks period starting on 29th April 2016. The heritage festival 2016 was packed with events, exhibitions, workshops, performances, guided tours, talks etc. I wasn’t able to attend all of them and I was only able to visit the weekend highlights on 29th April and 30th April – A Taste of Heritage at the National Museum of Singapore, on 14th May 2016, Movies Under the Ubin Stars and Music Performances @ Ubin.

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For the two Singapore Heritage Festival events that I attended, they attracted quite a big group of visitors to the event. The Taste of Heritage was really great, bringing back the food stalls that once plied their food and trade outside the National Museum of Singapore. Their popularity can be seen from the steady lines of queue for the various food stalls. Visitors at the National Museum of Singapore were treated to traditional dance performances under the stars, with strings of colourful light bulbs providing the glamorous fun night out. I would really love to buy some of those food from the stalls during A Taste of Heritage, sit on the wooden stools/benches and enjoy a night out under the city star lights. However, it was too popular and quite packed for me to buy the food and a seat under the Singapore night sky. Nevertheless, it was a great nostalgic atmosphere that I really enjoyed.

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During Singapore Heritage Festival 2016, P. Ubin played a significant role, with the island involved to be part of the Singapore Heritage festivities during 14th and 15th May 2016. During that weekend, it was an awesome opportunity for those who don’t know much about P. Ubin to visit the little island off the north-east area of Singapore and learn from the various activities and events organised for Singapore Heritage Festival 2016.

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The highlight for me was Movies Under the Ubin Stars and Music Performances @ Ubin on 14th May 2016. I went over in the late afternoon, catching the music performances @ Ubin by a few young upcoming and also some established musicians too. During the intervals, I walked around the main village area, this area seemed to have stopped in time, most of them were pretty much still in their original design and decoration. I first visited P.Ubin in 1990 during my secondary school days, while some other parts of P.Ubin had changed (quite a lot for some parts of Ubin), the main village still remains iconic and nostalgic.

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As dusk approaches, the wayang stage and the open area there came to life with visitors and the Ubin residents gathering there like the good old days watching an opera performance, except that we were watching a movie by Royston Tan, tittled “Homecoming”, a new film about Pulau Ubin by Royston Tan (world premiere). This new film is commissioned by the National Museum of Singapore for Singapore Heritage Festival 2016.

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The settings were perfect, the venue was perfect to show the “Homecoming” movie, truly and authentic, Movies Under the Ubin Stars! The P. Ubin weather was just nice in the night, cooling, refreshing after the late afternoon rain. The visitors and Ubin residents were eagerly anticipating for the start of “Homecoming”, it meant something deep down, deep inside their hearts, it meant something special to the Ubin residents and it definitely struck a deep chord inside me. “Homecoming” connects the residents to their Ubin roots and Singaporeans to the history and heritage of P.Ubin and how P.Ubin played a part in Singapore’s early nation building years. When I was watching the movie from the back of the crowds, my friend Belinda introduced me to Royston Tan! I am a big fan of his works and it was a great honour to meet him in person!

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When the movie “Homecoming” was being screened, we can hear the crowds shouting out their fellow Ubin residents’ names when their acting part came into play, acknowledging the community spirit and bonding on P.Ubin. Do we still have this community spirit and bonding in the modern Singapore society today? Would we able to bring this “Homecoming” back into our modern Singapore society?

As the movie drew to a close, the lights came up again, with a huge, loud and warm round of applause filled the Ubin village ground. This was really heartwarming! The cast and crew of “Homecoming” went up to the wayang stage, it’s like a meet the fans segment! The photography moments, taking group photos, celebrating the history and heritage of Pulau Ubin.

Leaving on the bumboat ride out of P.Ubin, on the night of 14th May 2016, this had been a great and wonderful Singapore Heritage Festival 2016, this was Homecoming to me.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Armenian Street Party – A Sneak Preview

A maiden debut for Armenian Street, part of the bigger Bras Basah-Bugis precint, will be closed on the 11th and 12th of March 2016, for her First Armenian Street Party. It is great to see the Armenian Street hub to close the road and transform into a street party for everybody to come down, enjoy the festivities and fun. Armenian Street is going to transform into a buzzling colourful hub consisting of heritage and nightlife, coming to life with a spectacular line-up of fun, acts, performances.

The Armenian Street Party, is a ground-up initiative is anchored by Peranakan Museum and Singapore Museum University, the street party features performances showcasing Peranakan culture, contemporary music, poetry reading and other fun activities taking place at Armenian Street. It is great to see Peranakan Museum along with her neighbours, the stake holders along Aremenian Street, to produce a festival and carnival for the public to come down and enjoy together. The inaugural Armenian Street Party would allow them to grow the Armenian Street district, a rich historical and cultural hub.

Personally, I feel that Armenian Street has a great potential to grow her own festivities and hub with the Peranakan Museum taking the lead, as the anchor festival lead, along with the stakeholders around Armenian Street area. Let me share with you some of the key highlights of the Armenian Street Party happening on Friday 11th March 2016 and Saturday 12th March 2016 –

  • The Urban Garden – This alley between Substation and the Peranakan Museum will be transformed into a garden, with beautiful festoon lighting, swings and park benches. This small alley had played a lot of roles in various arts and museum events over the years and the transformation into an urban garden is definitely appropriate, giving visitors to the Armenian Street Party a place to relax, sit down and chat.

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  • Motif Traces – Keep a lookout for this contemporary dance performances, inspired by Peranakan motifs from the Dance Ensemble Singapore Arts Company (DES Arts)

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  • Si Wanggeh (A Spiritual Entity) – This is a Peranakan Wayang production by Peranakan Siblings.
  • Emily, The Musical – A special musical production by Musical Theatre Ltd, keep a lookout for this special musical performance where nonyas and babas of the 1930s come to life through their songs, revealing the colourful Peranakan love of life, their pains and their passion.

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  • The Main Wayang Company – I saw them perform at Armenian Street during Singapore Night Festival 2015! They were awesome and lively band of singers! The title of their performance is “Peranakan Song Dance – Spirit of our Fathers”. Join them, dance and sing along with the great singers in a tribute to Peranakan pioneers to classic baba-nonya tunes.

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  • Live performances by Singapore Management University (SMU) – Our younger Singapore generation, students from SMU will be there too, singing and entertaining the crowds at the Armenian Street Party.

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For more information on Armenian Street Party, check out their website for more details, performances and programme schedule. The Armenian Street Party is making her maiden debut, let’s all give her our full support, come on down on Friday 11th March 2016 and Saturday 12th March 2016, soak in the fun and festive atmosphere of Armenian Street.

Armenian Street – The Street is Our Stage, let it transform into a mini festival hub of both traditional and contemporary performances coming together, for everybody, young and old, locals and visitors to soak in the fun and enjoy themselves!

Key information

Event: Armenian Street Party

Location: Armenian Street

Days: 11th and 12th March 2016

Time: 7pm to 11pm

Admission Free

I would like to thank Peranakan Museum for the invitation to the sneak preview of the Armenian Street Party.

Jubilee Walk – A History and Heritage Walkabout in Singapore

Going for a walkabout in any city, town or country is one of the best (interesting and fun too!) ways to enjoy the views of the city, to learn the history, heritage and culture of the country and its people. A walkabout is suitable for both locals and international visitors alike, a meaningful and experiential experience for all.

Singapore celebrated her Golden Jubilee year in 2015, with lots of festivities and celebrations throughout the year. During the year 2015, Singaporeans started to learn and know more about her rich history, heritage, culture and society that goes further back and beyond the first 50 years of independence in 1965, to the days when she was a thriving port and trading hub during her Colonial days.

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While Singapore’s history may not be as long as compared to others, she does have her own unique stories to tell and share that she went through to reach her status today. By embarking on the Jubilee Walk, you can walk and go through the flow of time to learn, experience and see Singapore’s heritage from her Temasek era to Colonial era, nationhood, modernisation and metamorphosis into the modern urban city today. Over a distance of 8km, the Jubilee Walkers would be able to see and feel the experiences of history, heritage, culture and society of Singapore. It’s like walking through a warp time zone, from the past to the present and into the future, starting from the National Museum of Singapore, ending at the Marina Barrage.

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I went for a Jubilee Walk Guided Tour (5km distance) with fellow photographer, social media and heritage friends recently. The starting/meeting point is the National Museum of Singapore and the end point is Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Our guide, Marcus Ng, is very experienced and friendly, sharing a lot about the various history and heritage stories during the Jubilee Walk Guided Tour.

Here’s a short summary of the locations that we walked to during the Guided Tour ~

National Museum of Singapore -> Fort Canning Park -> Peranakan Museum -> Singapore Philatelic Museum and National Archives of Singapore -> Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator -> Central Fire Station -> Old Hill Street Police Station -> The Singapore River -> Asian Civilisations Museum.

Along the Jubilee Walk route, you are able to find interesting artefacts, artworks, historical monuments, landmarks etc. Here are some of the photographs that I took during the Jubilee Walk Guided Tour, keep a lookout for them! Due to our eager and enthusaistic participation and interaction with our guide Marcus, our walking pace slowed down and we had to end the Guided Tour at Asian Civilisations Musuem due to time constraints. Thank you National Heritage Board for organising the Jubilee Walk Guided Tour!

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Nevertheless, I am planning to continue from where we left off from the Guided Tour and do my own second half Jubilee Walk walkabout on my own or with my fellow photographer and heritage friends.

The Jubilee Walk is suitable for both locals and international visitors, you can also download the maps and app into your smartphone or tablet and you are good to go ahead with your Jubilee Walk walkabout! I have prepared some tips (with some help from the friendly folks at National Heritage Board) for the Jubilee Walkers who would like to go on their own Jubilee Walk walkabout.

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Tips for Jubilee Walkers

  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes
  • Bring water along the Jubilee Walk
  • Bring along an umbrella or raincoat (just a precaution)
  • Bring along your hat and wear it
  • Start your walk from the late afternoon (e.g. 4pm) when it is not too hot and you can reach Marina Bay/Gardens By The Bay/Marina Barrage around 7pm (depending on your walking pace) to enjoy the Singapore sunset view
  • Get hold of the Jubilee Walk booklet or download the Time Walk app and maps into your smartphone or tablet
  • Don’t carry too heavy and too many things during the walk
  • Keep a lookout for the SG50 markers along the Jubilee Walk route
  • Enjoy and have fun! Take more photographs and share them on social media with the following hashtags #JubileewalkSG, #Funwithheritage, #jubileewalkSGguidedtours
  • If you can’t finish the walk in one sesssion (due to time constraints or bad weather), don’t fret, you can always come back on another day to continue with your Jubilee Walk from the last point where you left off

Useful links

If you like to join a Jubilee Walk Guided Tour, check out this link on the Guided Tour dates and availability.

Have a good walkabout on the Jubilee Walk in Singapore! Enjoy and have fun walkabout into Singapore’s history and heritage from the past, to the present and into the future!


Created with flickr slideshow.