I visited the famous Singapore Botanical Gardens recently. I’ve been there so many times that I’ve lost count. But it was only that day that I really explored and discovered the true beauty of this garden. Nature is an awesome backdrop to so many special and everyday moments in our lives. We play, rest, exercise and connect with others on beaches, in parks, forests, by lakes, on mountains and in backyards. And the benefits nature offers are far-reaching: physiologically it boosts our immune systems, promotes healing and increases life expectancy; psychologically and emotionally it promotes well-being, makes us feel alive with uplifting and energizing effects, helps us feel calmer, less anxious or stressed and relieves attention fatigue. Even though, logically, I know the outdoors brings you happiness — many studies have shown that nature is one of the pathways to happiness — I truly just haven’t spent a lot of time out and about in nature. Nature gives a man an experience to know more about himself and his beingness that is why it is advisable to visit a beautiful environment once in a while.
Since the dawn of time, humans have been inspired to the heights of creativity and innovation by spending quality time close to nature. Scientists, philosophers, artists and social leaders have wandered forests and hills looking for those special moments of clarity when inspiration hits and brings insight to how we see the world. This is something that happens for everyone who spends enough time outside in nature with the intention to evolve their understanding of life.
I personally find this is one of the best ways to get a massive influx of fresh new ideas.
Many songs and poems are also completely written based on what people see in nature. It sparks creativity, even technological advances are based off of something in nature. It sparks what some people need to write, invent, or even just learn about or do something for both themselves and others. I feel like this is the part where I should have beautiful background music playing, to help set the mood for this post. So enjoy this little slice of heaven for just a few minutes and join me as we go back in time to an enchanted garden.
Kampong Glam is one of my favourite places in Singapore to hang out. I used to shop around this area and spent many times walking up and down these streets, so I will always be fond of it. I love that it’s one of the first places that street art became hip. But even if I’m on a repeat visit, there’s still a whole lot to experience in the neighbourhood.
Kampong Glam is known to be unique for being a place that history and modernity are able to thrive together. It's also home to tons of cultural spots and quaint little cafes and bars. It’s pretty much a common sight to see an old and traditional shop right next to a trendy and quirky boutique. The whole area gives voice to local artists, both established and previously unknown, and to renew tourists’ interests in Singaporean arts scene.
But what really makes Kampong Glam stand out are its beautiful IG-worthy graffiti-filled walls. So beautiful that they are now Singapore’s very first outdoor gallery — Gelam Gallery, which is testament to this artistic diversity. Gelam Gallery, which features stunning imagery and paintings done by art professionals as well as graduates from local art educational institutions, is located in the back alleys of the streets of Kampong Glam. I've previously done some street art photodocumentary at Haji Lane and the other side of Kampong Glam which you can click on the links to reminisce.
Singapore has some amazing street art, scattered in various neighbourhoods, painted by incredibly talented artists. Among them, Mr Yip Yew Chong is the one of the popular artists who draws the original scenery of Singapore in its early days with a warm touch. He has been inventing new ways of utilising our shared space to communicate, provoke, and interact, which is what made this a vibrant and engaging place to live. Most of his artwork are murals telling a story about the very place they are located in. All his murals are site specific, but these are more literally so. They are centered on the social practice of using art to create social interaction, in which people reflect on the history, current state, and better potential, of the very space they find themselves in. There’s no better ways to record stories from our pioneer generation than to put them into painting. What’s more we have lifelike murals.
At Blk 683C Woodlands Ave 6 near MRT Admiralty Station, the empty void deck has been transformed into a whimsical world with three zones by Mr Yip. It is divided into three zones featuring nostalgic murals of the farmland and kampung, nature murals and futuristic city murals. The murals resonate with people in a nostalgic way. I feel that Mr Yip did an amazing job. I also think that his artwork itself has the capacity to engage people in conversation and to look at landscapes and physical environments differently. I hope the community will appreciate it and feel that it's their space.