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Singapore Heritage Society  Giving a Future to Our Past since 1987. Research, Education, Advocacy.


Kong Chow Wui Koon (风州会馆)// In the face of changing times and vanishing trades, the Kong Chow Wui Koon presents its own unique face- that of the largest lion head collection in Southeast Asia. With a number of these lion heads tracing their roots from China and Hong Kong, the extravagance and sheer size of these lions cannot help but evoke awe in the viewer. Some of these lion heads are meant to be used in traditional funerals as well; the Chinese do love their symbols of protection and security. With all the efforts of the clan in preserving its heritage -lion/dragon dance, martial arts and Cantonese opera performances to name a few- the majestic lion, its colours arresting and its spirit indomitable, is a worthy symbol.
#singaporeheritagesociety #sgheritage #kongchowwuikoon #liondance #chinesecraft #clanassociation #cantoneseculture

Dinky Di Store // Tucked away in between North Bridge Road and Ophir Road is an oddity of an antique store. Here, window shopping is not only encouraged but even necessary, as the store is so packed that not more than three people at a time can fit inside. Dinky's store of Russian goods looks like a whirlwind of a mess condensed inside a small room; but if you deign to peer closer, you'll see the glint of brass instruments, beautifully made watches, some curiously shaped music boxes, and who knows what else. Surviving Change Alley's demise, Dinky Di Store moved to its current home in Golden Landmark Shopping Complex. It persists on, miscellaneous accoutrements and all, like the country's biggest treasure box. #dinkydistore #singaporeheritagesociety #antiques #vintagestores #exploresg

URA Heritage of Our Modern Past Exhibition// In an ironic twist, a carrier of books now becomes part of a book itself. Glimmers of a past glory can barely be felt; photographic memory is an unreliable memory. When it was in its heyday, the old National Library Building was lauded as a triumph of local community effort in lobbying the colonial government for a free public library. The famous and beloved red brick front porch (pictured) would be filled with library users, mostly students, who lingered and socialised there. Between the thousands of pages of books lay even more memories, for the library was a haven that disregarded class and ethnicity. In 2003, it was demolished to make way for a traffic tunnel. And though it may be gone, at least the dialogue it has stirred on the preservation of our modern built heritage is priceless. Here, a thought to keep in mind: memory is folly, but physical presence is concrete.
Come down to the URA Heritage of Our Modern Past Exhibition still ongoing this weekend to revel in more of our built heritage gems! The exhibition is held at the URA Centre at 45 Maxwell Road and admission is free.
#singaporeheritagesociety #urbanredevelopmentauthority #heritageofourmodernpast #sgheritage #exploresg #sginsta #sgphotography

Pulau Ubin // The dragon has awakened- the normally peaceful fisherman's village has catapulted into a flurry of crowds and festivities, all illuminated by prosperous red. Today marks the start of the Tua Pek Kong festival, a celebration commemorating the local deity's birthday. And indeed, what a birthday it was, with many coming to pay respects or simply to soak in the island's atmosphere. #singaporeheritagesociety #pulauubin #tuapekkong #exploresg #vesakday

URA Heritage of Our Modern Past Exhibition // The 60s brought about a trend of American-influenced architecture characterised by curvaceous and dynamic forms that were supposed to reference spacecraft and the mass production of plastic in consumer goods. The Seletar Reservoir Viewing Tower is one such example. Poised as a rocket on the precipice of launching, the Tower has overseen the reservoir since 1969- the very year man first walked on the moon.
The Heritage of Our Modern Past exhibition is ongoing from 4 May to 14 May at the URA Centre at 45 Maxwell Road. A collaboration between URA and SHS, many beautiful photos of Singapore's built heritage will be on display. Admission is free, so do come down and support us!
#singaporeheritagesociety #heritageofourmodernpast #sgheritage #exploresg #urbanredevelopmentauthority

Sungei Road Thieves Market part 2 // There is a certain order in disorder. There are constants to every variable, like how there is always room for faith, whether displayed through the carefully maintained altars or through the undying spirit that hopes for the best when oblivion looms near. Some say change is the only constant, but the real constant is the everyday man or woman ploughing through life, too often unseen and unheard.
#singaporeheritagesociety #savesungeiroadmarket #sgheritage #sungeiroadthievesmarket

Coney Island // An enigma of hidden mysteries, this island tucked away in the far end of Punggol was once home to a sprawling villa owned by the Haw Par brothers, a zoo and a seaside resort- not all at the same time. Trek far and carefully enough and you might find the ruins of the villa. Maybe if you're lucky, you might even spot the elusive cow assumed to be living on the island. #coneyisland #sgheritage #naturephotography #heritage #sginsta #singaporeheritagesociety

Former Ford Factory // The historic room in the factory where the British officiated Singapore's surrender still lies intact and open to the public. You are initially met with a glass window separating you from the room- a palimpsest that covers the past with a layer of the present. The projector screen depicting Singapore's surrender replays like clockwork, the clock itself is trapped in a state of inertia, and you are suspended in a surreal state of historical gravitas. In here, history undoubtedly repeats itself.

#formerfordfactory #survivingthejapaneseoccupationwaranditslegacies #singaporeheritagesociety #sghistory #sgheritage #exploresg #worldwar2

Sungei Road Thieves Market // Clutter to some is beauty to others. Among the stray bits of paraphernalia, the odd knick-knacks, the varied novelties, there is something for everyone. And to the people who sell these objects, who man these stalls day after day, it is everything to them. There is beauty in inconsistency, in the frayed mess that is life, in finding a home in an unexpected place. The buzz of chatter and movement and the dizzying sun transport you to a marketplace in the true sense of the word, before shopping malls and concrete jungles came up. When you step out of the market into the calmer open roads, you are surprised at the disparity in volume and clutter; the lack of movement; the notion of absence. Already, there is a pang of loss.
#sungeiroadthievesmarket #savesungeiroad #singaporeheritagesociety #sgheritage #exploresg

Raffles Lighthouse // Built in 1855, this age-old lighthouse has heralded and overseen the passing of thousands of ships. Its light has shone persistently all this while (it is now powered by solar panels). Singaporeans have a tendency to look inwards, focusing on the main island above all. However, let us not let the outer islands or features that lie in the fringes of our country slip away from our view. It is worthwhile visiting such icons; after all, our history was built around the sea.
#raffleslighthouse #singaporemaritimeweek #sgheritage #singaporeheritagesociety

Pulau Ubin Part 4 // The incandescent colours of the Sanskrit papers are illuminated by the dappled sunlight; the effect is calming, ethereal and all-consuming. Despite Ubin's distance from mainland Singapore, mainlanders still opt to travel all the way to the island to visit its many temples that cater to many gods. There is thus a great attraction to the island that lies beyond the ecological, that forays into the deeply spiritual as well.

#sgheritage #sgculture #sgphotography #singaporeheritagesociety #photography #exploresg #pulauubin

Pulau Ubin Part 3 // As the hot sun beats, the alluring notion of a can of Coke or a fresh coconut is irresistible to the weary traveller. Besides offering reprieve from the heat, these stalls also offer valuable company and compelling conversation. Bonus: try speaking in dialect or Malay. Maybe an Ubin resident might allow you a sneak peek into their kampung-style abode!
#sgheritage #singaporeheritagesociety #pulauubin #sginsta #exploresg

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