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Categories: Events
| On 1 year ago

OH! Holland Village (4 – 19 Mar ’17): A Preview Of The Tours Around Singapore’s Oldest Bohemian Enclave

Holland Village reminds me of many things – a cool and happening hipster hangout in the day, and a crowded watering hole at night. Not forgetting our favourite Noose character, Barbarella Posh-Beckham.

We recently got word of the special tours that have been organised around the dying neighbourhood and were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of what’s to come.

In the seventh edition of its annual art walk, OH! Open House will be examining the history of Singapore’s oldest Bohemian enclave on the weekends from 4 – 19 March 2017.

Pay $27.50 (inclusive of a booking fee) and you can embark on three art tours, which feature works from 18 Singapore and Singapore-based artists. The works follow three main narratives: Goods, Rituals and Borders.

The Three Tours

The HDB Tour covers the theme “Goods” and explores everyday objects and scenes that define individual identities within its residential quarters.

The Hakka Cemetery Tour with its underlying theme “Rituals” explores patterns, repetition, order, loss and remembrance. Here, you get to take a stroll through the old Hakka Cemetery.

The Chip Bee Tour examines the former colonial estate where you’ll begin by walking up apartment blocks and eventually end in a terrace house that has been transformed into a museum.

You can choose the order of the tours and depending on that, you can expect quite a unique experience. Each tour is approximately 45 minutes long.

Key Highlights

Creep in Three Movements is the work of Yen Phang who had stacked toilet paper rolls (yes, you read that right) stained with ink in line with the colour palette of the home.

Phang’s piece relates to the development of Holland Village over the years and showcases the vibrancy of the new and the old.

Echo is the masterpiece of Joel Chin who manually erased all motifs on his porcelain wares, which also contain speakers that play Chin’s attempt at speaking Hakka words.

Chin’s piece not only represents himself having little knowledge of his Hakka heritage (like many youngsters and their knowledge of their own heritage in Singapore) but also illustrates the disappearance of the Hakka roots in Holland Village.

The Hakka Cemetry Tour is self-guided and participants are encouraged to explore on their own.

On one part of the tour, you will be blindfolded and led by a guide. Throughout the walk, you will listen to an audio recording containing excerpts on migration.

This idea of displacement takes you through what the Hakka people experienced as they flocked from land to land seeking a place to call their own. Eventually, you will find yourself within the premises of the old Hakka Cemetery.

不要问我从哪里来 (Don’t ask me where I come from) is a sculptural installation of stone, clay and concrete by Ivan David Ng in a quaint corner of the cemetery. Ng’s installation recalls the Hakka people’s own fragmented history of migration.

From the bank robbery that took place in 2016 to Samantha’s complaint on national radio about heartlanders in Holland Village in 2011 – a lot has happened over the years in Holland Village.

I think it’s brilliant that OH! Open House has decided to give this dying neighbourhood some last bit of life. This is one (or three) art walk(s) that you don’t want to miss.

Dates & Time: Saturdays & Sundays from 4 – 19 March 2017, 4pm – 6pm

Price: $27.50 (inclusive of a booking fee)

OH! Holland Village: Meeting points will be disclosed after Ticket Purchase | Website | Facebook


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Sng Ler Jun

Ler Jun aspires to be a radio journalist. He specialises in travel writing and enjoys crafting human interest stories. He loves to read and is always looking for cool things to document.

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