Singapore, In Retrospect. Part I: The Old and The Bold

by cedhausen

Alright, I’ll be blazing this through a little. But first, the Photo of the Day (or second):

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetIt’s like I’m not in Singapore anymore but the streets of Brazil. Just look at that graffiti! This was taken at Haji Lane… and I just found out on Google Images that this is also one of the more popular images to be taken at Haji Lane… Dang it, just when I thought I’ve gotten something here.

I must’ve reiterated this numerous times in previous posts but Singapore is truly a vibrant country. The old and historic blend seamlessly with the new and sky-scraping. It’s a little similar to Japan where it isn’t unusual to see a Shinto temple right next to a glass-clad office block, though Singapore does lack that sort of surrealism where a maiko in full kimono might flitter and disappear in some random street. There’s nothing surreal about Singapore, everything’s just kinda in your face, like the wall pictured above. Or a torrential rain, whichever Destiny sees fit to throw at you.

It’s a no-brainer that when travelling, always keep your eyes peeled for the amazing. As a traveler, you define your amazing and you try to seek it in places where others tend to overlook. For me, I usually look towards architecture and design, as in my previous post. So passing by old shophouses like this one enthuses me:

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The colours are amazing and the symmetry found in the windows is a delight to watch. This one was taken in Bugis, though Chinatown is also a hive for such beauties. Frank Lloyd Wright famously quipped that architecture is the mother of all arts, and I’d like to add to it that it’s also the most “obvious”. Just take a step outside of your own house and voila, you see architecture before you. Regardless of its aesthetic value, each curve, niche, and groove is a product of the public’s taste. In a way, they are a reflection of what’s trendy and favourable, be it for artistic pleasure or practical purposes.

The other thing to do in Singapore is to look up, and this is what you’ll discover:

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Now that’s one razor sharp building… or paper thin, whichever analogy works best for you. See what I mean? Architecture is affecting, particularly in one country that embraces the traditional and the ultra-modern like Singapore.