Last Friday, Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar Railway Station opened for the occasion of the public holiday Good Friday, bringing in local wares, food and artsy stuff in the form of The Local People’s art market, embellished with live music and short film screenings.
I went there to check everything out as I like niche stuff, one of which is the arts, obviously, and because local events are pretty much fertile ground to find unique stuff which malls do not have.
And me, having done my punk rocker non-conformist period as a teen, I wholeheartedly support unique creations, even so as our Singapore is still seen as technological-industrial where creativity has not been too invested in. Lately though, there seems to have been a push for the arts, with SOTA even opening a literary track for its arts students- they can learn how to write! Side note: I also just discovered my primary school now has a Journalist Club as a co-curricular activity, both of I would’ve wanted the most when I was pre-secondary! That was the time when I was writing daily and having great fun out of it. Still, there is progress in the exposure of the arts, and this 90s themed arts market is one of them.
Going to one of these is like exploring Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Room- you may never know what you may find and discover! Also since I still had my friend’s camera with me, I took this chance to take photos and document anything I found interesting as well.
It took me slightly over an hour to reach there- I discovered on the way that following people who are dressed indie-ish is a surefire way to find your way to the arts event. Amazing. Cue the John Lennon bottle glasses, shirts that resemble kimonos and of course, my fellow tattooed brethren (and sisterhood). Other people’s tattoos were great by the way.
The exterior the now-defunct building looked like this:
The emblem of Transport, Commerce, Agriculture and Industry depicted. Singapore’s start as a fishing village may have factored into these four sculptures and their relevant meaning.
I was impressed by the architecture considering its style is mostly gone from our modern building these days. It has tall ceilings and panels of paintings by the windows on the interior depicting scenes which likely are of Singapore’s village days:
It was mentioned that there would be art installations within the art market, of which I found one. To me, it wasn’t a lot of installations, more like a few paintings displayed sporadically. Still, worth capturing:
Initially I wanted my mother to come along but I’m glad she turned that down. My mom and I are thermostatically incompatible. She sweats in temperatures I find okay to sleep in and given how there were no fans in the building full of people during this March where our National Environmental Agency has informed the country about temperatures soaring up to 36 deg C, she would’ve high-tailed out of here and went home in 20 minutes.
I’m glad I decided I was too lazy to wear pants to this art market that day and wore a simple spaghetti-strap navy dress instead.
Hot weather aside, short films were being projected onto the white wall of the foyer, where various giant beanbags were placed for people to sit, loll, slouch and/or lie in while watching them. I entered in the middle of a screening so I don’t understand the message of what I was watching.
There was a community organisation which was having their donation and volunteer recruitment drive too. Their mission is on helping the elderly.
I then walked further into this railway station and came to this:
If my mom had come she’d be surprised by the crowd.
NOTE: The following blog coverage is NOT sponsored. I’m just experimenting with writing about things that are different from a List or flash fiction.
Anyway- the first stall was selling essential oils and lavender flowers. Sparse ones, tiny potted ones and bouquets of just lavender. I love the scent. I wanted to take a picture, but it was too crowded. By hanging around the stall I learnt that a tiny pot of lavender doesn’t give out scent as the stalk is pretty mild in itself. The scent gathers when there is a big enough bunch or in its essential oil form.
There were a ton of illustration-based stalls, where they were selling badges, tote bags, T-shirts, and greeting cards. All of them are unique in their own way, so if you’re itching to spend your money on some unique merchandise as a gift to yourself or for close friends, check their websites out:
Caturday: If your cat doesn’t love you, send a card to yourself or have someone send it to you so that you can pretend your cat did. They also sell bowls, jars and mugs as part of their cat-themed wares, along with various greeting cards all cat people will get. Not as in physically get, but as in get get as in ‘getting the joke’, get it? They’re on Facebook and Instagram.
Bleak Illustration: Despite its name the art is ANYTHING but bleak. The art is colourful and cute, reminiscent of cartoon characters in children’s fiction. They also happen to carry a few designs of temporary tattoos as well, which are of the watercolour style. They also carry notebooks that are hand-stitched. Besides the usual illustrated stuff, they sell necklaces as well that are reminiscent of snow globes. I would’ve bought one if I wore necklaces more often, but then again I’m cash-strapped. XD
Sally’s Room: they sell handmade soy-based candles. The soy candle seems to be quite a trend recently, with it being more eco-friendly and all. According to their website their candles are made with natural soy wax, 100% cotton wick and high quality fragrance oil. They have scents with names like Scandinavian Woodlands and Marry Me.
Another candle ware stall is Light. Their candles are made from soy and beeswax.
Latitude One Degree: I would’ve bought one of those bags if I weren’t cash strapped at this time of month. While simplistic, the bags made from genuine calf leather carry designs which most are reminiscent of Michael Pollock, with splashes of colour against a contrasting one. Smashing beautiful, price in the luxury range.
My Grandmother’s Secret: This stall is dedicated to energy healing and they sell small bags of crystals for various purported benefits.
There’s TickinTorque as well. Designs are locally done, and manufactured elsewhere in the world.
I’m not one for wearing watches because I have my smartphone to look at the time with, but their designs made me wish I were a regular watch-wearer. Description wise it would be much better to just click on the imbedded link above ^^
Anyway, these are just some of the many shops that caught my eye.
There are other shops, a few of which are food, which I intend to blog a bit in another post sometime soon. This has been a busy week for me, with places to get to and story-rewriting to do for an upcoming anthology. Fingers crossed for that one!
Anyway if you’ve read til the end, I hope this blog post hasn’t been boring but enjoyable! Feel free to leave comments below and tell me what you think!
Have a good day or night, wherever in the world you are! TTYL.