Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Lunching the Past and Future

 Ovidia--every other Tuesday

A lovely Amoy Street walk around and lunch today. I haven't been here in so long I felt like a tourist--so please excuse the touristsy pictures here and join me for a tour of this part of our 'Chinatown'.

It was a good location for a rainy day because most of the 'outdoors' street shopfronts and street dining are actually under shelter,

shelter from sun and rain for people and preservation buildings 

Though on a day like this, the actual 'outdoors' was pretty comfortable too.

And I was glad to see some old favourites still here--

 like these children playing chatek. 

and the old style hawkers. I like that these statues are here on Amoy Street surrounded by eateries that are in a way the 'descendants' of those old hawkers.

But there are some things--like rickshaws--I'm not sorry we've moved on from. It must have been such a bloody (literally bloody hands and feet) way to earn a pittance. Well, the future might judge us as harshly for how we treat our food deliverers and construction labourers and domestic helpers and we'll deserve it!

There are good memories too though. This is the entrance to a museum that once housed one of Singapore's oldest Chinese temples, Fuk Tak Chi. It was unusual in catering to both Hakka and Cantonese immigrant workers, providing social meeting point for the two communities as well serving as a place of worship. 

This is how it looked in the old days--

What I really like is that the stone lions guarding the entrance are still there--this one seems to be wearing a replica of himself around his neck.

Of course, not all the murals here are 'traditional'!

But best of all was sitting and talking and talking and talking and hearing about all the projects that everyone has been doing. About all the 'safe' paths we started on but deviated off of to live as 'artists'-- something we're learning to define between learning craft, honing skills, managing finances, supplying demand, searching, diverging, relocating, coping through covid, and about how we wouldn't choose to do anything other than what we're doing now. And always learning, always growing, always starting over because our paths are always changing and we're laying them down as we go.

And it felt like the right place to be talking in, surrounded by reminders of people who have gone before, making it possible for us to be here. 

Stefen Chow, temporarily back from Beijing, looks no different from the nineteen year old I still think of him as--he's got so many things going on I can't possibly cover them all. But take a look at The Poverty Line which he worked on with his wife HuiYi. Click on a country to see its daily food 'allowance' for those struggling. I also love the work he did with senior models--you don't see 'old' but rather elegance, grace, wisdom, beauty and love. 

Sandra Lee, temporarily back from Madrid and London, has her Conversations with an Octopus as her latest work here. But I think she's best known for her Enchanted Forest playscapes at the National Gallery. Her ability to touch the child in the oldest of us feels like magic.

All in all, it was a good day to be alive and connecting with great people.

I hope you're all having a wonderful Tuesday too!




  1. Your voice, your view is so valuable to me. An old ang mob from upstate New York, now, your knowledge and love of humanity gives me such joy and pleasure, reading your words is like being in a park, a beautiful space, filled with people from all over, laughing, eating, celebrating being alive. Thank you!

  2. Thank you, Ovidia, for taking me along on your stroll down Amoy Street and steering me to Sandra Lee's playscape installation. Much appreciated.