Visiting Tanglin Halt

I have been here with some of my sketcher friends on a couple of occasions, but have not really explored the location as much as I wanted to. Tanglin Halt is quite an old estate, established in the 70s and is part of the Queenstown Planning Area. Tanglin Halt consists of rows of ten storey flats that led to people calling the area “Cap Lau Cu”(十楼厝. When I was little I used to visit the Central Library branch at Queenstown. Afterwhich I have never been back. With the Urban sketchers (Singapore), I revisited the place and got re-aquainted with the how quaint the estate is. I returned to the food centre for food and a couple of sketching expeditions. Then recently, through a friend’s initiative, I accessed the green corridor via Tanglin Halt area and found a new whole new world untouched by urbanisation.

Met an acquaintance while sketching at Tanglin Halt…

Grandpa was standing behind me while I was sketching the neighborhood. He was looking quite intently so I turned to say hi. He was a friendly chap and we started chatting. I beckoned him to sit since I would be taking quite some time. He had 2 cans of Chang’s beer with him; he was drinking from one, but I was certain he was pretty sober. He told me I have made a mundane scene looked interesting through my sketch. He told he loves to draw too and would draw for his friends and grandchildren. He favorite subjects are animals like tigers and horses. I was impressed and asked whether he would want to do more. He said not really cause he is shy. When I finished my first sketch I decided to draw his portrait and that gave us more time to chat.

Mr Ng has been living in this neighborhood for more than 40 years. He was a retired hawker and has 2 daughters. He gave up his business because no one wanted to continue in it. He is currently 75 years old and is still going strong. He watches TV everyday but will get up to walk around in the neighborhood whenever he can. He said he doesn’t take the public transport but walks to his destination most of the time. Well it was nice to have someone coming up to me to chat while I sketch. I getting to like this place because the neighborhood is pretty quiet and not crowded, and the people are still friendly and amiable.

Tanglin Halt Food Center

Tanglin Halt
Uncle was holding up the book for me while I was taking this picture.

It is walking distance to the green corridor so I decided to venture a little further than the usual food center that I was always in. I walked a little further than the track area and stumbled on a “private” golf course. A man in jungle hat was putting on an empty piece of undeveloped land. The place was really quiet and felt like a remote kampong. If not for distant high-rise buildings, I would have forgotten that this is still Singapore. I lost track of time and the almost forgot about the urban clutter when I sat to sketch this “abandoned” place.

Green-Corridor-sm

My Grandma-in-law….

According to Kat, her grandma led a bad life. She got married when she was very young and bore three children after. If I am not wrong, she was 15 years old since she was married. She managed her own business in Arab street that brought up her children single handedly. I couldn’t really remember the details but I know 2 of her children passed away before her, leaving my dad-in-law. When we moved back from America and stayed with my dad-in-law, she moved in too from her Sin Ming Road HDB flat. Since then her condition has been deteriorating due to old age but she was still in good spirit. I wasn’t really close to her but I did see her almost every day. There were some unpleasant episodes between her and my mom-in-law but those were just some of the many squabbles that happened in the house. For 2 years I saw her getting older and weaker but there was nothing I could do. A week before end of January, she got admitted to CGH and was diagnosed with pneumonia and heart disease. 3 days later she passed on. We were able to spend her last moments by her side and we believed she left peacefully. The wake and Buddhist funeral rites was carried out for the next 2 days at Sin Ming Funeral Parlor, and on the third, the eve of Chinese New Year Eve, she was buried at Choa Chu Kang cemetery. These are the sketches done during the funeral wake and the burial ceremony.

Buddhist Monk offering prayer to the deceased.

Buddhist Monk offering prayer to the deceased.

offering prayer-sm

Family members offering prayers

Relatives and friends visiting on the first day of the wake

Relatives and friends visiting on the first day of the wake

Relatives and Friends visiting on the second day of the wake

Relatives and Friends visiting on the second day of the wake

Relatives and Friends visiting on the second day of the wake

Relatives and Friends visiting on the second day of the wake

Table-food
I sketched the stuff that would be placed on tables for the visitors to the wake service.

The funeral band on the third day.

The funeral band on the third day.

The burial rites

The burial rites

Rest in peace Grandma.

Attempted a portrait caricature of Han Sai Por

Hai Sai Por

Hai Sai Por

Han Sai Por (Chinese: 韩少芙; pinyin: Hán Shàofú;[1] born 19 July 1943) is a Singaporean sculptor. A graduate of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), East Ham College of Art, Wolverhampton College of Art (now the School of Art and Design of the University of Wolverhampton) and Lincoln University, New Zealand, she worked as a teacher and later as a part-time lecturer at NAFA, the LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, and the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, before becoming a full-time artist in 1997. (Wikipedia)

Wood Sculpture Symposium 2013

Wood Sculpture Symposium

Wood Sculpture Symposium held in Nov 2013. I got to Fort Canning Park to see the sculptors in action after a tip off by a friend. A shower has just passed leaving the ground pretty muddy to walk on.
Han Sai Por
A particular piece stood out among the rest because of its size and complexity. A lady (I couldn’t see her face) perched on top of the sculpture on a ladder very focused on her work. Little did I know that she is Ms Han Sai Por after I posted the sketch and photo on Facebook and another friend tagged her. She is the sculptor who has worked on the infamous Seed Series and the slabs of carved rocks sitting in front of the National Museum of Singapore. I love her work and her choice of materials for her sculpted pieces.

sculpture society
I met another figure who was sculpting away furiously and approached to sketch him. He claimed to be a hobbyist who has started the craft after attending a one-year-workshop with NAFA. He has lived in Singapore for several years now.

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Other sketches done with a brush pen on an A5 Monologue sketchpad.

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Recent watercolor paintings

Watercolor on "The Langton"

Watercolor on “The Langton” – Changi Village

Watercolor on Arches Watercolor paper

Recent explorations into watercolor has been satisfactory. These paintings were mostly done plein air and brought back to the studio for some touchups. I love the idea of painting on location because you are engaged with the environment and the immediacy of the medium gives me the flexibility to freely express myself.