This is a hipster hang out place. I like the selection of types of furniture and the coffee. The open concept with natural light and lots of plants. Just wondering what wrong with the crowd. At one time more than a dozen people came in, only 4 made the order, while the rest standing there and talk. Then, a small size lady came in with 3 friends. She was talking and laughing so loud that we couldn’t stop staring at her from a distance, and 2 of her friends just keep on entertaining her. A while later, a lady sitting behind me waved to her friend and chatted about her new job etc. Not sure was it because of the ambience that the crowd became so pretentious. I just need a cup of good coffee and do my sketch.
It was the 2nd day of the Lunar New Year. I followed few sketchers to sketch around Ang Siang Road. There was a stretch of old houses across the road. A very quiet afternoon as it was a public holiday.
I attended the open house of the Chan Chor Min Tong during the Lunar New Year. It was the only occasion during which the red doors are opened for visitors. It allowed its beneficiaries, supporters and members of the public an opportunity to pay their respects to the hall’s deities and its elders.
Chan Chor Min is a Buddhist women’s vegetarian hall or zhaitang. Named after its founder, it was the sister lodge to article’s main subject. It is located at No. 3 Bassein Road. A men’s zhaitang at Jalan Kemaman, which shared the same founder and also the same name.
The one that I sketched was established in 1936. This came ten years after the hall at Jalan Kemaman was founded. While the latter provided lodging to men who might otherwise have to live their twilight years on their own, the Bassein Road hall catered to unattached women. Both zhaitang have since ceased operating as places of lodging, and are today maintained by their trustees as religious halls.
Built in the mid-1920s on 89 Neil Road by the Aw brothers who concocted the world-famous Tiger Balm, this building’s name means Hall of Everlasting Peace. Originally from Myanmar (then Burma), the Aws, who were also known as the Haw Par brothers, used the building as a factory to produce the ointment for the next 50 years. Its design is said to be neoclassical because of the hybrid of design styles seen in its columns, cornices and arches. Some observers claimed that the hexagonal pavilion at the top of the building was a reference to the shape of the glass bottle that Tiger Balm was sold in. However, this has never been proven.
Istana Kampong Glam was the seat and historic home of Malay royalty in Singapore. The first sultan, Hussein Mohmad Shah, never lived in the building as he died in Malacca in 1835. The present building was constructed in 1840 by his son, Tengku Mohammed Ali, who was later recognised as Sultan Ali Iskandah Shah. The Istana is located at Sultan Gate in Kampong Glam, in the Rochor area of the central region. Today, Istana Kampong Glam is preserved as the Malay Heritage Centre.
In 1896, Sultan Ali’s three wives settled in court their dispute over the rights to the Istana Kampong Glam estate. In 1897, the court repealed this privilege of land ownership and ruled that no one could claim to be a successor. Hence, the estate belonged to the colony of Singapore and not to the sultan’s descendants, although they were allowed to continue living there.
In 1993, the government announced plans to develop Istana Kampong Glam since it was located in the 16-hectare Kampong Glam conservation area. Residents were given ample time to make their own housing arrangements. On 12 March 1999, it was announced that the Istana would be converted into a Malay heritage centre. After redevelopment, the Malay Heritage Centre was officially opened in June 2005.
I was commissioned to illustrate for a student’s documentary of Sungei Road. With references images from National Heritage Board and National Archive. The sketches would be inserted during the interviewed of the vendors.
One of the old sketch that I did. I remember there were a little girl and her grandma sitting next to me. They traveled from Johore Bahru early morning, not sure where to go, as they were waiting for their uncle to finish work and met up with them. The little girl who also liked to draw was fascinated by my sketch. So I told her it’s good to know your interest and not to give up. I might get to see her drawing one day. Who knows.