TIME STOOD STILL - PART I

Location: Blk 674 Yishun Ave 4, Singapore 760664

Duration/Period: 1.5 months or 17 full weekend days or 136 hours from Jan 29 (commencement with volunteers in the afternoon) to 15 Mar, 2019

Total number of walls - 10 Number of images = 14 (not counting the Peranakan tiles before the coffeeshop)

To be continued….PART II (remaining 8 more walls)

What a way to start the new year! Memories and people immortalized on the walls in another mega project — this time at the heartlands in the North. I was painting at the Austism Therapy Centre at Hougang in August last year when someone drove up to me and enquired about painting a mural. Come December, I was informed that the project was going ahead and learnt that this person who spoke with me had left the organisation. It was as if this encounter with this person led to the next person and then eventually to the actual thing…I have come across from my past experiences that may seem like coincidences to you regarding projects I obtained and this is what I meant by roads or paths that are opened. There is something ‘spiritual’ about these incidents. I don’t go market myself directly or ‘knock on doors’ per se. I can daresay that when the road is opened, I will take it because I can testify they do lead to something else…I tend to look at the overall BIG picture - of something else although I can’t tell or foresee the future…I base on my instincts, and Trust in the Universe to allow things to happen…I go with the flow and allow nature to take its course. And these projects do not overlap. I always have time to rest after a project before I go on to the next one.

There were somehow always ‘angels’ in the form of volunteers and helpers who stayed throughout with me in my big projects who gave me assistance in terms of transportation, food, drinks etc…I am thankful to them and have made friends for life as a result. The General Manager drove me to and fro, a staff by the name of Mr Lim came over and spent entire Sundays as I was alone and helped with touching up the walls and carrying things etc. Ai Peng, who’s another staff, willingly came and helped with the chinese words on top of the coffeeshop. I would be able to do it myself at a later date, but it so happened they have someone like her to do this — all for which I am truly grateful…

Acknowledgement and thanks to the volunteers from Giken Sakata (S) Limited, Rotary Club of Queenstown, Singapore and the ASH Volunteers Group, and Nippon Paint Singapore for their kind sponsorship of the emulsion paints and materials.

Sometimes, we can’t CHOOSE the path like a specific location we want to work on. Patience is the key here too….and along with it, lot of HARD WORK, DETERMINATION and PASSION that drives me. What surprises me even more was that I was given all the walls available to continue here…:-) . I am taking a mini break now and hope to start on PART II soon.. Thank you for your visit and feel free to leave your comments. I would love to hear from you! :-)

The finished main wall after 4 days.

The finished main wall after 4 days.

Initial sketch on paper of the main wall

Initial sketch on paper of the main wall

The initial sketch by free-hand this time on the wall. No outlining cos too much time wasted. Just a rough idea will suffice!

The initial sketch by free-hand this time on the wall. No outlining cos too much time wasted. Just a rough idea will suffice!

On the first day itself, before the volunteers arrive in the afternoon, better start in the morning first. Time is the essence for me as I do this on weekends and on public holidays.

On the first day itself, before the volunteers arrive in the afternoon, better start in the morning first. Time is the essence for me as I do this on weekends and on public holidays.

The volunteers starting on the designated sections. They were enthusiastic and ready to do their part for the center.

The volunteers starting on the designated sections. They were enthusiastic and ready to do their part for the center.

Emulsion paint courtesy of Nippon Singapore

Emulsion paint courtesy of Nippon Singapore

I was going around video-ing and rendering guidance and help to them so couldn’t continue with my work which I started in the morning

I was going around video-ing and rendering guidance and help to them so couldn’t continue with my work which I started in the morning

I was targeting for at least 70-80% to be done within the 4 hrs that day and it turned out pretty well. I heard they go around volunteering to paint in various charitable organisations.

I was targeting for at least 70-80% to be done within the 4 hrs that day and it turned out pretty well. I heard they go around volunteering to paint in various charitable organisations.

With MP Louis Ng Kok Kwang who personally came down and participated together wth his daughter, Ella and the Chairman of the Center.

With MP Louis Ng Kok Kwang who personally came down and participated together wth his daughter, Ella and the Chairman of the Center.

Much planning went into this as I had to go get the necessary paint supplies and materials in preparation for the first commencement day.

Much planning went into this as I had to go get the necessary paint supplies and materials in preparation for the first commencement day.

Say ‘Cheese’!

Say ‘Cheese’!

Sweet Ella - they moved on to the first wall at the other end and continued on this.

Sweet Ella - they moved on to the first wall at the other end and continued on this.

A pic of all the volunteers taken at the end of the day.

A pic of all the volunteers taken at the end of the day.

The frontal view- before…

The frontal view- before…

And after..What a difference colours add to blank walls!

And after..What a difference colours add to blank walls!

As they arrived, a volunteer took this and I tell myself I had to stop…

As they arrived, a volunteer took this and I tell myself I had to stop…

The following week, there was this elderly woman who walked by and started a conversation with me. She said she would like to become a befriender at the center as she has free time and wanted to keep herself busy. After chatting with her and taking a couple of pictures, she hinted that she thought she would be painted on the wall. I then told myself ‘Why not'?”. and the idea struck me that it would be interesting to put characters that I met on the wall like I did at senior citizens corner at Blk 12, Holland V.

The following week, there was this elderly woman who walked by and started a conversation with me. She said she would like to become a befriender at the center as she has free time and wanted to keep herself busy. After chatting with her and taking a couple of pictures, she hinted that she thought she would be painted on the wall. I then told myself ‘Why not'?”. and the idea struck me that it would be interesting to put characters that I met on the wall like I did at senior citizens corner at Blk 12, Holland V.

Endearing photo of Auntie Chun who came by twice just to say hello! May she be much blessed with good health always. She looks younger than her 82 years! Such a role model for the seniors!

Endearing photo of Auntie Chun who came by twice just to say hello! May she be much blessed with good health always. She looks younger than her 82 years! Such a role model for the seniors!

They say the kopi gao (thick coffee) is very good here…

They say the kopi gao (thick coffee) is very good here…

Daniel and Lian Fong - a very nice couple who happened to stop by and took pics. We became friends instantly! It’s so nice to see such friendly people who are appreciative of what I do!

Daniel and Lian Fong - a very nice couple who happened to stop by and took pics. We became friends instantly! It’s so nice to see such friendly people who are appreciative of what I do!

Meow! It’s still sold here! It took me quite a while to do the logo etc…reminds me of soft drinks that were served back then.

Meow! It’s still sold here! It took me quite a while to do the logo etc…reminds me of soft drinks that were served back then.

The details of the main - up close.

The details of the main - up close.

The beverages were poured into tins such as these that were reused after the condensed and evaporated milk were finished. It’s another way to recycle I guess.

The beverages were poured into tins such as these that were reused after the condensed and evaporated milk were finished. It’s another way to recycle I guess.

The Chinese character pronounced ‘mun’ means full and is symbolic meaning that whatever it contains - may it always be full. This word is usually pasted onto urns used for storing staple food like rice.

The Chinese character pronounced ‘mun’ means full and is symbolic meaning that whatever it contains - may it always be full. This word is usually pasted onto urns used for storing staple food like rice.

Memories of the things of the past. The black phone with the large ear and mouth piece. On the poster, the characters mean ‘Every year got fish’ which is symbolism for fullness again.

Memories of the things of the past. The black phone with the large ear and mouth piece. On the poster, the characters mean ‘Every year got fish’ which is symbolism for fullness again.

Which one’s your favourite? Mine’s the fully chocolate ones that melt in your mouth when you dip in coffee! Yumz.

Which one’s your favourite? Mine’s the fully chocolate ones that melt in your mouth when you dip in coffee! Yumz.

The iconic cups and saucers with the green floral and landscape motif.

The iconic cups and saucers with the green floral and landscape motif.

Health is Wealth! Thought it appropriate to put this here.

Health is Wealth! Thought it appropriate to put this here.

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Acknowledgement to the main sponsor of the event in the form of a painting.

Acknowledgement to the main sponsor of the event in the form of a painting.

The three sisters who came by with their Aunt who was babysitting them while their parents were away. They were just so adorable! From left to right: Cassia, Sierra, and Destiny.

The three sisters who came by with their Aunt who was babysitting them while their parents were away. They were just so adorable! From left to right: Cassia, Sierra, and Destiny.

From left : Destiny, Sierra and Cassia

From left : Destiny, Sierra and Cassia

The girls playing around with ‘Auntie Chun’ with little Destiny trying to follow her elder Chay Chay (elder sisters).

The girls playing around with ‘Auntie Chun’ with little Destiny trying to follow her elder Chay Chay (elder sisters).

Destiny feeding the cat…while Cassia looks on. Meanwhile, Sierra wanted to be a star!

Destiny feeding the cat…while Cassia looks on. Meanwhile, Sierra wanted to be a star!

sketches of intended images on both sides of the wall as well as the front

sketches of intended images on both sides of the wall as well as the front

We move on now to the next wall which is at the entrance. The blank wall before it’s painted.

We move on now to the next wall which is at the entrance. The blank wall before it’s painted.

Just got to add a Van Gogh here at the entrance…the first was at Autism21.

Just got to add a Van Gogh here at the entrance…the first was at Autism21.

Here’s how they looked like next to each other.

Here’s how they looked like next to each other.

The wall before the adding the poster ‘boy’.

The wall before the adding the poster ‘boy’.

the poster ‘boy’ at the right side entrance

the poster ‘boy’ at the right side entrance

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the poster ‘girl’ at the left side entrance

the poster ‘girl’ at the left side entrance

As grunge as it gets…Welcome to our neighborhood!

As grunge as it gets…Welcome to our neighborhood!

Shhh. Grandpa is practising…

Shhh. Grandpa is practising…

These large urns can still be seen today. Mostly from China and they come with either the dragon, phoenix or both.

These large urns can still be seen today. Mostly from China and they come with either the dragon, phoenix or both.

Someone commented that this looked like a Chinese actress in the ‘60s and he guessed it right! I leave it to you to make the guess…;-)

Someone commented that this looked like a Chinese actress in the ‘60s and he guessed it right! I leave it to you to make the guess…;-)

Added the calender - counting down to 29 March 2019 which is the opening date of the center.

Added the calender - counting down to 29 March 2019 which is the opening date of the center.

The GM taking a break listening to sounds that brought him back to the yesteryears!

The GM taking a break listening to sounds that brought him back to the yesteryears!

“My favourite hiding place. Shh! Don’t tell her I am here, ok?”

“My favourite hiding place. Shh! Don’t tell her I am here, ok?”

The three doors made of wood before…

The three doors made of wood before…

And Viola! Sierra’s hiding spot with Grandma and the mascot keeping watch…

And Viola! Sierra’s hiding spot with Grandma and the mascot keeping watch…

“I want to go check out what’s on the other side.”

“I want to go check out what’s on the other side.”

I had to position them or show them how the game is being played (LoL!). Hide-and-seek was a favourite for us then and we would run around in the field and all over…

I had to position them or show them how the game is being played (LoL!). Hide-and-seek was a favourite for us then and we would run around in the field and all over…

Showing the second wall connecting to the third wall

Showing the second wall connecting to the third wall

“When there is no one around, I still have you for company.”

“When there is no one around, I still have you for company.”

“Chilling with Grandma in the open is the best! It’s my turn to look for them..”

“Chilling with Grandma in the open is the best! It’s my turn to look for them..”

“Biarkan saya mendapat nenek!” (“Let me help, Granny!”) Photo courtesy of this lady. Image is not clear cos she doesn’t have whatsapp or email so I had to take a printshot directly from her phone (lol).

“Biarkan saya mendapat nenek!” (“Let me help, Granny!”) Photo courtesy of this lady. Image is not clear cos she doesn’t have whatsapp or email so I had to take a printshot directly from her phone (lol).

The images flow on to the next showing a loving couple walking together in their autumn years.

The images flow on to the next showing a loving couple walking together in their autumn years.

There may be more ponds around but someone told me the present military camp is where one of the ponds used to be so I added this for a bit of history to the place. People who have lived here for generations would know and remember the pond.

There may be more ponds around but someone told me the present military camp is where one of the ponds used to be so I added this for a bit of history to the place. People who have lived here for generations would know and remember the pond.

The third long wall - Before.

The third long wall - Before.

and After…Each wall has a story to tell…Imagine yourself walking along…

and After…Each wall has a story to tell…Imagine yourself walking along…

After the pond image, we see the men having a game of chess. This is my second wall painting of chess players (after the one at Chinatown) this time I added more people to depict how the different races lived together in harmony as Singapore is a multi-racial society.

After the pond image, we see the men having a game of chess. This is my second wall painting of chess players (after the one at Chinatown) this time I added more people to depict how the different races lived together in harmony as Singapore is a multi-racial society.

Since it is a pond, I decided to add a fisherman and a lone one at that…evoking a picture of serenity and calm all by himself..That’s how they spent their time chilling away by the pond those days…

Since it is a pond, I decided to add a fisherman and a lone one at that…evoking a picture of serenity and calm all by himself..That’s how they spent their time chilling away by the pond those days…

The kampong house that reminded me of my 3rd aunt’s house at South Buona Vista. She was the wife of the village head and i remembered as a child, we would go there for special occasions like Chinese New Year, my cousin’s weddings. The well was there, and I saw turkeys, ducks, geese, chickens running around. As an innocent kid, they told stories of how fire would come out of the turkey’s mouth and I avoided them like the plague! so I added chickens instead. I was feeling a bit ‘emo’ when I did the woman as she reminded me of my aunt whom I lived with. Multi generations lived together those days.

The kampong house that reminded me of my 3rd aunt’s house at South Buona Vista. She was the wife of the village head and i remembered as a child, we would go there for special occasions like Chinese New Year, my cousin’s weddings. The well was there, and I saw turkeys, ducks, geese, chickens running around. As an innocent kid, they told stories of how fire would come out of the turkey’s mouth and I avoided them like the plague! so I added chickens instead. I was feeling a bit ‘emo’ when I did the woman as she reminded me of my aunt whom I lived with. Multi generations lived together those days.

The wall before The Barber came and occupied this space.

The wall before The Barber came and occupied this space.

The Barber - Rain or shine…He continues to work. Those days even if there was no studio, he can always put up a tent or cloth over to cover from the elements. There is still such a barber at Boon Tat Street. Mr Lee Yoon Tong had been plying the trade there for years. The authorities allowed him this space so long as he keeps the place clean at the end of the day.

The Barber - Rain or shine…He continues to work. Those days even if there was no studio, he can always put up a tent or cloth over to cover from the elements. There is still such a barber at Boon Tat Street. Mr Lee Yoon Tong had been plying the trade there for years. The authorities allowed him this space so long as he keeps the place clean at the end of the day.

The first section before and after. This section is facing the playground.

The first section before and after. This section is facing the playground.

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Those days, birds hung in cages to be admired and where people can hear them sing. I was a bit hesitant to add these as I felt birds should be freed but after second thoughts, since it’s a heritage wall, i changed my mind..

Those days, birds hung in cages to be admired and where people can hear them sing. I was a bit hesitant to add these as I felt birds should be freed but after second thoughts, since it’s a heritage wall, i changed my mind..

The biscuit tins that are a rare find these days…

The biscuit tins that are a rare find these days…

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close up of the rooster

close up of the rooster

and chicken.

and chicken.

‘Look Mama!’ Cute handsome Matthias was there trying to feed the mascot!

‘Look Mama!’ Cute handsome Matthias was there trying to feed the mascot!

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Sierra and Cassia…

Sierra and Cassia…

Panoramic view of the walls on the other side.

Panoramic view of the walls on the other side.

The main wall from this angle…

The main wall from this angle…

Can you see the similarity? Can you guess which one is supposedly my relative?

Can you see the similarity? Can you guess which one is supposedly my relative?