Sunday, February 19, 2012

Occupy Tiong Bahru, the OH! Open House

These two weekends, OH! Open House has arranged for the works of 15 artists to occupy six houses and a temple located in the Tiong Bahru estate. The OH! Open House is Singapore's only art walkabout. Other than enjoying interesting artworks, participants will enjoy an interesting walk about the Tiong Bahru estates.

Built in the 1930s, the Tiong Bahru estate is one of the oldest housing estates in Singapore. I learnt that the name "Tiong Bahru" means "New Cemetery". I was attracted to the visually pleasing design of the flats in the Tiong Bahru estate.

Tiong Bahru Community Club.

The art walkabouts by OH! Open House 2012 start at Tiong Bahru Community Club, at 67A Eu Chin Street. The nearest MRT station is Tiong Bahru MRT station. The nearest landmark to the Tiong Bahru Community Club is the Tiong Bahru Market. I would suggest that participants of OH! Open House could head for a delicious meal at the Tiong Bahru Market before heading for the OH! Open House.

Tiong Bahru Market. The place for affordable and delicious food.

I visited the OH! Open House Facebook Page and learnt about the queue system. First, participants purchase their tickets at the Tiong Bahru Community Club. The tickets will have the allocated time printed on it. According to the allocated time, participants will join the designated queue to wait for their tour. To maximize the participants' experience of the art walkabout, each tour will have no more than 15 participants onboard. Before the start of the tour, please listen carefully to the house rules announced by the guides.

Here are some of the snapshots of the artworks and glimpses of the Tiong Bahru estate from my OH! Open House walkabout on 18 Feb 2012:

This work by Isabelle Desjeux reveals the countless failures behind each successful scientific discovery.

I find this artwork attractive because of its colours. Yet it looks eerie.

One of the works by Zhao Renhui. It reminds visitors that Tiong Bahru was once well-known for its bird-singing aviaries. Bird lovers used to gather with their songbirds every morning to catch up with fellow bird lovers over coffee and tea.

Did you notice the slogan on the windows?

Heimlich by Jying Tan. These are all made from tapes!

Stephen Black, who identifies himself as Kwaytologist. This artist has written materials about Tiong Bahru, and he is looking for a publisher to publish the materials on Tiong Bahru into a book.

In one of the houses, I found an artwork reminding me of
the Tanjong Pagar Railway station that is no longer in operation.

The tour concludes at The Monkey God Temple.
Here,  participants will see the works by Gilles Massot.

I have found OH! Open House 2012 an interesting event that combines a walkabout the Tiong Bahru estate, house-visiting of a few of the conserved houses, with art appreciation. This event is a must-see for lovers of the Tiong Bahru estate and ardent art lovers who enjoy viewing artworks in the private spaces of residential homes.

Many thanks to the house-owners for their hospitality and generosity. Special thanks to OH! Open House team for putting this event together.

Please also visit:

OH! Open House
18, 19, 25 and 26 Feb 2012
From 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.
(Last tours leave at 8 p.m.)
Tickets at $15 per adult, and at $10 per child, only available at the door
Sales start from 3.30 p.m. at Tiong Bahru CC, 67A Eu Chin Street.

Curator: Alan Oei
Assistant Curator: Kimberly Shen

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