'The Craft for Perfection' Exhibition in Singapore on Traditional Keysmithing - A Vanishing Trade in Singapore, To Be Remembered
Locksmithing is an old and noble trade. Locksmiths are the masters of the lock-and-key, fixing bolts and safes and making keys with expert precision. Locksmiths are involved in all aspects of lock design and repair. From large bank vaults to back-door deadbolts, a trained locksmith can install, remove, repair, or modify any lock or locking device. That includes cutting new keys and resetting combinations.
Absolut Vodka introduces along with the launch of its premium small batch vodka, Absolut Elyx, a look at some of the fading crafts in Singapore, one of which is the art of keymaking. The vodka label spotlights one of Singapore's many disappearing icon: The keysmith. Absolut Elyx established an exhibition to demonstrate along with the craft of small batch vodka creation, the history of key and keymaking to keep alive a vanishing trade in Singapore.
It is the Swedish vodka-maker's philosophy that it is not merely the age‐old tools and quality materials that make the difference but the heritage and skills passed down through the generations, the human touch and their unwavering dedication to their craft for perfection that define the spirit of pure craftsmanship.
I visited the exhibition yesterday and it turned out to be truly a well-staged one with what i had expected to see at the exhibition. Not only the public can get to learn the history of keys and locks, they will also get to see some old artefacts and antiques related to key making.
'The Craft for Perfection' exhibition is being held at No. 47 Tessensohn Road in Singapore, a conservation shophouse and open to the public daily from 29th March through 5th April 2013.
Relive Your Own Childhood with Nostalgia at Singapore Heritage Playground - Toa Payoh Dragon Sand-Pit Playground
Hi everyone, hope all of you are enjoying a restful and inspiring weekend! Well for me, i started this weekend on a nostalgic note. Since young, i lived near Toa Payoh as a little girl. This Dragon Playground located at Block 28 Toa Payoh Lorong 6 is the only one of its kind (sand-based) left in Singapore. Some others have been replaced with rubber mats. It is one of the last few remaining heritage playgrounds from the 1980s.
I guess for adults who are in the same age group as me, you probably would have no qualms about recognizing this playground. This, in essence, represents what our childhood was all about. No rubber mats or plastic play equipment, just hardcore terrazzo, metal & mosaic tiles and of course, sand. Materials used during those days for such playground construction included concrete and brightly coloured Italian mosaic tiles, which have withstood the test of time and the wear and tear from countless eager small hands and feet.
The Dragon playground was deemed to be one of most iconic representations of our local playgrounds back in the eighties. And I fully agree, because it forms a precious component of my growing-up years. As for me, I was getting swashed with a wave of nostalgia as such playgrounds brought back so many pleasant memories of my fondest childhood days. Playgrounds came with functional play equipment such as slides, swings and see-saws. They were inspired by themes such as nursery rhymes and Singapore's multi-racial heritage.
Good news again! A happy start to a great week! Once again, one of my photos is published in the latest March 2013 Issue of Digital Camera Magazine, a popular leading monthly photography magazine!
My published photo was taken during a sunset shoot at local Lim Chu Kang Jetty in Year 2011 and i submitted it for the "Your Mission - Silhouettes" category released for publication in this magazine issue. It was again a very good chance to see it in print nationwide, yippee ! :-)
Sense of Community and Belonging at Singapore Pioneer HDB Town 在新加坡组屋底层忆共同点滴 - Toa Payoh Housing Estate 大巴窑乐龄下棋聚集场所
The younger generation in the present time are unable to forge a sense of community in the place they live in, therefore having no autobiographical attachment to the place, as it is simply a place in their lives that they lived in and not something that is memorable to them, not remembering their neighbours or not to say about the facilities and landmarks in their estate.
There is a sense of community and belonging among the more elderly people or the people who have lived in Toa Payoh for a long period of time, whereas the young people and people who stayed there for a shorter period of time do not really feel the same sense of community or belonging. Undoubtedly, there is a greater sense of identity among the older people than the younger people in Singapore Toa Payoh Estate.
组屋底层是我国各族群的公共地方, 在不同年代曾经有过不同的使命, 也凝聚了许多人的共同记忆. 对早期从乡村搬迁到组屋区的居民来说, 组屋底层就像是甘榜的聚会地点, 让他们和邻居在那里联络感情, 慢慢适应住在高楼的生活.
大巴窑邻里有一个很多乐龄人士出现的地方, 方便让乐龄人士有个聚集的场所, 结识新朋友, 下棋, 闲话家常. 每逢周末, 我一定会看到一群乐龄人士聚集在大巴窑图书馆附近的一座组屋区大牌 190 底层下棋, 联络感情也消磨时间, 下一次棋至少有三四个小时. 这样的乐龄角落给乐龄人士一种 "家" 的感觉, 是温馨, 快乐的, 而不是一般 "组屋楼下", 闷上加闷的感觉. 邻里建设更多设备齐全的乐龄角落相信能够为乐龄人士的黄金年华增添不少色彩, 乐趣与活力. 你常到大巴窑去吗? 你是否也曾在图书馆附近的组屋区楼下看过他们下棋?
A Revisit of Life at Hong Kong's Under-Developed Sham Shui Po District 重返香港旧社区, 重温老味道 － Sham Shui Po 深水埗
This is a special edition of my recent travel trip to Hong Kong two months ago: A Revisit of Life at Hong Kong's Under-Developed Sham Shui Po District 重返香港旧社区, 重温老味道 － Sham Shui Po 深水埗.
A stroll around the streets in Sham Shui Po, where shophouses from the 1920s and 30s survive in significant numbers, offers a glimpse into early 20th century Hong Kong. Sham Shui Po is the most densely populated of Hong Kong's 18 districts and also among other things, is known for its poor mainland immigrant population and cage homes. Once a popular trade centre, it faded out when Hong Kong transformed into an Asian financial centre.
Not sure if some of you still remember about my photography blog post on Hong Kong Sham Shui Po district in April last year but when i went to Hong Kong recently in January, i just can't resist but made a revisit to the all-time popular Apliu Street Market at the heavily poverty stricken Sham Shui Po district. Indeed, my tryst at this place is always an eye opener. Some people call it as a reality check in life.
I'd like to say, the roads between the prosperous, chic Hong Kong and the slightly jaded, cramped bylanes which lend to the view from the Peak without giving a whiff of the poverty and grime within. I could feel a change in the air, the people, their clothing and their attitudes as soon as i stepped out of the Sham Shui Po MTR on to the Apliu Street.
深水埗, 老片场, 年代久远, 有几处建筑堪称 "香港之最". 深水埗是一个典型香港旧区. 到香港如果想买名牌, 没有人会去深水埗, 如果想像在迪士尼, 海洋公园那样劲玩一番, 也没有人会去深水埗. 有人说, 深水埗是香港历史的见证者, 走进这里, 也就走进了普通人日常的香港.
我喜欢在深水埗游荡, 深水埗是穷人聚居之所, 密密麻麻的唐楼又残又旧, 街道乱糟糟的. 当到达目的地的时候, 我可以感受到深水埗的贫穷.
The area is best known for the Apliu (means duck coop) Street market, where shoppers can pick up cheap electronic gadgets of all shapes and sizes and the occasional illegal satellite television decoder.
Part 2/2: In Search of Old Antiques / Treasures in Hong Kong 在香港上环寻古董宝藏地, 凝练时光 - Hollywood Road 荷李活道古董街
Here goes the Part 2 of 2-series blog posts on "In Search of Old Antiques / Treasures in Hong Kong Sheung Wan District" 在香港上环寻古董宝藏地, 凝练时光 - Hollywood Road Antique Street 荷李活道古董街.
There are two main streets in Hong Kong Sheung Wan District where you can find a concentration of antique and furniture shops as well as curio markets: Hollywood Road (a.k.a Antique Street) and Upper Lascar Row (a.k.a Cat Street).
Antique lovers have been flocking to China for many years. The country’s rich and diverse history has enabled it to produce spectacular examples of furniture, garments and porcelain that are renowned the world over. Of the many major antique hubs in the key cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, Hong Kong arises as one of the most popular and easily accessible by locals and international antique collectors and dealers. People the world over know that China is the place to go to find truly stunning antiques. Because China is a country with a long and intensely interesting past, there is really no end to the variety of gorgeous and truly ancient items of porcelain, furnishings and authentic clothing that can be found there.
Hollywood Road, also known as Antique Street, is lined with antique shops offering a colorful array of paintings, pottery, furniture, that may or may not be the real thing. You are likely to find many reproductions and if looking for genuine pieces, you should probably stick to reputable shops and the antique auctions. That being said, this is a fun street to stroll and have a look and even pick up a few pieces. Bringing the items home is of no problem as all the shops are used to packing the items for travelers and/or shipping overseas.
香港是全球著名的古董集散地与交易中心, 每年在香港举行的古董拍卖会, 都吸引着众多的海内外游客前来竞标. 香港有三条古董街, 其中最著名的荷李活道, 曾被外国一家杂志列为全球十个最受欢迎的旅游景点之一.
荷李活道是香港开埠以来最早辟建的街道, 其名并非来自美国洛杉矶的影城 "荷里活", 而是因当年长满冬青树 (HOLLYWOOD) 而得名, 中文译为荷李活道. 这名称出现时, 美国的好莱坞尚未出现. 如今的这里, 汇聚着富有浓厚气息的古董文化, 怀旧, 复古的风气在这座看似繁华中沉静的地方静谧流淌.
Hollywood Road was the second road to be built in the newly established colony of Hong Kong back then. Despite its namesake, the road has no relation to the Californian movie capital. In fact, the road is actually named after the Holly trees that used to adorn the surrounding area.
The stretch of Hollywood Road is home to the heart of the antiques industry in Hong Kong. Visitors exploring the road will feel as if they have stepped into a giant walk-in street museum housing various artefacts both ancient and modern.
Part 1/2: In Search of Old Antiques / Treasures in Hong Kong 在香港上环寻古董宝藏地, 凝练时光 - Upper Lascar Row (a.k.a Cat Street) 摩罗上街
Here goes the Part 1 of 2-series blog posts on "In Search of Old Antiques / Treasures in Hong Kong Sheung Wan District" 在香港上环寻古董宝藏地, 凝练时光 - Upper Lascar Row (a.k.a Cat Street) 摩罗上街.
One of the nice things in the Sheung Wan district in Hong Kong is that there are two famous historic streets named Hollywood Road (also called Antique Street) and Upper Lascar Row (also known as Cat Street). Hong Kong is quite unique for its "themed streets", where certain streets are known for particular products/wares. Hollywood Road is known for its arts and antiques while Upper Lascar Row is the place to go to for thrifty finds and knickknacks. These famous streets are parallel to each other. Both streets are a great place to look and shop around especially if you are looking for antiques, Mao/China Memorabilia, knick-knacks and other curios.
If your home is missing that final finishing touch, how about a piece of rare Ming dynasty furniture, an ancient snuff bottle or a Cultural Revolution propaganda poster? Upper Lascar Row (Cat Street) is where you can find such treasures, within its fantastic congregation of antique dealers, curio merchants and art galleries. This is also the place to go for bargains in jade, silk products, embroideries and wooden handicraft items. If you are after vintage junk, then this is probably the one place in Hong Kong where you can still find "authentic" vintage treasures, like thrift wrist and pocket watches, and alarm clocks.
Scouring for vintage finds is somehow quite my thing, especially whenever i am traveling.
摩罗上街常被称作古董街, 短短的一条街里有著无数的宝藏等你去挖掘. 它也被称作猫街 (Cat Street), 因为这里有很多经营古董买卖的商店, 也有不少杂架摊, 据说有店舖出售一些俗称为 '老鼠货' 的贼赃, 外国人形容那些购买老鼠货的人像猫儿一样, 所以称为 "猫街". 至於原名摩罗街是什么缘由呢? 在许多年前, 不少印度水手与士兵喜欢在此聚集摆卖货品, 当时香港人已喜欢把印度人称为 "摩罗" 因此此街便被称为摩罗街.
摩罗街自1920年代至1930年代起, 便已经是一个旧货买卖市场. 其所售卖的古董, 除了昂贵的艺术品外, 也有其它杂货, 包括古董电器, 旧玩具, 旧明信片与海报等, 是喜爱怀旧物品人士寻宝的好地方. 由于摩罗街的历史特色, 在旅游刊物都有介绍, 国际着名, 所以吸不少中外游客来参观, 购物及拍摄, 也吸引古不少古董艺术店在此, 及邻近荷李活道开店, 成行成市.
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
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