I recently took part in a community project called The Pioneer Portraits, in conjunction with Singapore’s SG50 celebrations.
Photo taken from Outer Edit.
The Pioneer Portraits initiative is a community project by Orchard Road Business Association ( ORBA). Part of the SG50 celebrations, it is designed and curated by OuterEdit, sponsored by Lee Foundation and Rich-Art Enterprises Pte. Ltd., and supported by Singapore Tourism Board and SG50 Celebration Fund.
It is a compelling showcase of Singaporean history – a celebration of her milestones, presented with pride and dignity through the eyes of her creative community. Along Orchard Road, 3 metre-tall glass panels will be applied with 24 stunning pieces of art, depicted by 24 of Singapore’s best and budding visual artists/illustrators.
This initiative will be ongoing from 1 August – 30 September 2015.
We were each given a milestone in Singapore’s History to depict, and mine was 1970s- the early development of Orchard Road.
Back in the early 1830s, before the ever-bustling shopping belt was flanked by distinctive shopping malls, restaurants and hotels, it was an unnamed country road lined with road orchards, nutmeg plantations and pepper farms. Commercial developments began and there came Singapore’s first Cold Storage in 1903 (the site is now occupied by The Centrepoint).
Here are some photos taken on the Opening Day, 1st August 2015.
My Artwork entitled Jalan Fruity.
In the 1970s, there were already quite a few buildings along Orchard Road. Most of them have been demolished, but some of the shopping centres have gone through a lot of changes. Some of them, like C.K. Tang, Lido, and Cold storage still exist, but the buildings back then had much more character and personality.
I knew I wanted to draw out these iconic buildings along Orchard Road during the 1970s, but I also wanted to add something whimsical into the picture.
I thought about how, in the 1800s, Orchard Road was lined with many fruit trees, spice and pepper farms. Orchard Road also got its name from the Nutmeg plantations that populated the area. Knowing this, I wanted to incorporate the idea of the fruit trees to make that connection to the past. I hope to remind people of what Orchard road used to be, in contrast to what it is now.
That’s when the idea of ‘shopping fruits’ popped in my head— little fruits shopping, hanging with fruity friends around the buildings. I drew different types of fruits, even those not grown in Singapore, because Orchard Road is so cosmopolitan, with visitors from all over the world.
Here I am, looking at my artwork on the Opening Day. There was a street busker right in front, and I was thinking, that’s pretty awesome, a free performance for people who might be viewing my work
From Left: Ms Joan Pereira, the Guest-of-Honour, Ms Indranee Rajah, our Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Education, Mr Mark Shaw, Chariman of the EXCO of Orchard Road Business Association and Executive Vice-President, The Shaw Organisation and Mr Steven Goh, executive director of the Orchard Road Business Association.
With the rest of the participating artists, Mr Mark Shaw and Mr Steven Goh of Orchard Road Business Association
Here are some links to see the other pictures of the event.
Enjoy & Cheers!