Welcome to My Neighborhood

Location:  Lions Home for the Elders, Bishan Street 13

Duration - 11 days

30 Sep-18 Nov 2017

Dimension- approx 20 m x 8 m

The wall at the Lions Home was the second largest I had done so far.  They provided me with a scaffold which I used for the very first time as all the other previous walls - I merely used the long pole as if it's a giant brush to paint.  

The theme was heritage and I decided to take up the challenge even tho I never thought of how I was going to reach the top seeing that it was actually two storeys high.  

In addition to the height, I had to withstand the water coming in when it rained as there was no cover from both ends of the entrance to the building. 

The spot at the top left hand corner was the hottest and I had to bear the brunt of getting the sun at its hottest in the morning.  As the platform is not barricaded and the size of it was only halved the entire space of the platform, I had to be careful and my movement was restricted as I had to make space for the paints.

As it was my first time climbing up on the vertical ladder, I had to manoeuvre myself around getting on top with a sure footing. Come to think of it, it was pretty scary and dangerous as I wasn't in protective gear...

But the time to myself was a blissful one as I spent to be exact 5.5 weekends ie. 10.5 days ie. 8 hr full day like a working day each time I am there from 10 to 6 pm with a deadline to finish by end October.  The opening launch was the first weekend of November with MP Josephine Teo being the Guest of Honor.  I had to return when one side of the wall cracked and had to redo after the launch 1 weekend later. That was when I added more children symbolising my cousins. 

I made friends with the guards, the chef and the kitchen staff.  I had lunch served to me from the kitchen as I work non stop and they just want to make sure I eat. I felt quite a home each time I spend a few weeks or months at a place.  

Just wanted to share that the world is a very small one especially in a small country like Singapore. I also wanted to share that I got to meet old friends. On my very first day, I saw someone I recognised from like more than 10 years  back and he is now a resident at the Home.  A few weeks down, I met my ex-colleague who is an active volunteer. 

This wall is a memorable one as It resonates very much memories of my childhood. 

 I always added my maternal grandmother on my walls as she was the one responsible for taking care of me when my mom was busy working.  I believed mom only came on weekends to get me as memories with grandma were more vivid.  In those days, it was multi-generational under one roof those days, and I played all day with my cousins whom I lived with and the kids in the neighbourhood. The man in the shop is a metaphor of my 10th Uncle and the kids above represented my cousins.  The Chinese lived harmoniously with the other races.  We ran free and never had to care about studies or homework or tutorials.  I had a happy childhood.  We bought treats and snacks from nearby for very little those days and our friends were multi-racial.  I was told to add different races to the wall and it was a delight to add the little boy peering out from where his mother is.  

I always added my maternal grandmother on my walls as she was the one responsible for taking care of me when my mom was busy working.  I believed mom only came on weekends to get me as memories with grandma were more vivid.  In those days, it was multi-generational under one roof those days, and I played all day with my cousins whom I lived with and the kids in the neighbourhood. The man in the shop is a metaphor of my 10th Uncle and the kids above represented my cousins.  The Chinese lived harmoniously with the other races.  We ran free and never had to care about studies or homework or tutorials.  I had a happy childhood.  We bought treats and snacks from nearby for very little those days and our friends were multi-racial.  I was told to add different races to the wall and it was a delight to add the little boy peering out from where his mother is.  

 The kacang puteh seller used to carry the peanuts on his head those days and can be seen especially outside cinemas.  I am also drawn to the little girl here as I see myself when I was little in her clinging onto her mother and looking shyly out at you.  The figures were all drawn to life sizes and you can almost feel they are alive and that you just one of them standing there waiting or in line for your teh Tarik.  I was told my maternal great Great Grandmother was a Malay matriarch in Malacca whom my great Great Grandfather from Swatow married...

The kacang puteh seller used to carry the peanuts on his head those days and can be seen especially outside cinemas.  I am also drawn to the little girl here as I see myself when I was little in her clinging onto her mother and looking shyly out at you.  The figures were all drawn to life sizes and you can almost feel they are alive and that you just one of them standing there waiting or in line for your teh Tarik.  I was told my maternal great Great Grandmother was a Malay matriarch in Malacca whom my great Great Grandfather from Swatow married...

 Before and after...How the wall came 'alive' after it's being painted...

Before and after...How the wall came 'alive' after it's being painted...

 As you can see, the size of the platform to stand on was halved and I had to be careful each time I move around.  The space was quite limited with the paints and stuff around.  There as one time when I came down after standing and not moving for like 1.5 hrs and felt a sharp pull on my right leg due to inactivity for that period of time.  I then do stretches after this before climbing just to warm up the muscles before climbing up...

As you can see, the size of the platform to stand on was halved and I had to be careful each time I move around.  The space was quite limited with the paints and stuff around.  There as one time when I came down after standing and not moving for like 1.5 hrs and felt a sharp pull on my right leg due to inactivity for that period of time.  I then do stretches after this before climbing just to warm up the muscles before climbing up...

 Shall we check out the place further by walking down the lane or join the queue for a cup of tea? 

Shall we check out the place further by walking down the lane or join the queue for a cup of tea? 

 Finally a look at the entire wall.  On my last day, I added the. bicycle and the pots of flowers to fill up the space in the foreground.  The paint was tearing on the top left due to the heat, and the contractor had to repaint over it.  The weekend after, I had to go up again to touch it up.  That's when I painted my cousins. 

Finally a look at the entire wall.  On my last day, I added the. bicycle and the pots of flowers to fill up the space in the foreground.  The paint was tearing on the top left due to the heat, and the contractor had to repaint over it.  The weekend after, I had to go up again to touch it up.  That's when I painted my cousins. 

 Details showing the vase I saw in the garden with the dragon motif which I added onto the wall.  The cat is looking at the bystander. and since the auspicious words that are commonly seen at entrances of Chinese houses. 

Details showing the vase I saw in the garden with the dragon motif which I added onto the wall.  The cat is looking at the bystander. and since the auspicious words that are commonly seen at entrances of Chinese houses.