Tuesday 23 June 2015

SG Heart Map: Free guided tours to 50 places that define Singapore as home

Five different trips by SG Heart Map to be held over 3 weekends until National Day week
By Joy Fang, TODAY, 22 Jun 2015

Did you know Dakota Crescent was named after the model of an aircraft that had crashed into the area in the 1940s? Or that East Coast Park was built entirely on reclaimed land?

These are some of the titbits Singaporeans can glean from free guided bus tours over three weekends from now until August.

Organised by SG Heart Map, the five different tours will last from four to six hours, each heading to the south-east, south-west, north-east, north-west and central parts of Singapore. The tours will take place this Saturday and Sunday, on July 4 and 5 and on Aug 7, 8 and 10.

The tours will explore some of the 50 endearing places to Singaporeans that emerged after six months of crowdsourcing, from more than 85,000 contributions. The spots celebrate the places that define Singapore as home. For instance, those heading to the “Scenic South-East Tour” can visit spots such as the Singapore Sports Hub, Old Airport Road, East Coast Park and Changi Village.

Those who opt for the “Adventurous North-West Tour” will visit the Woodlands Waterfront Park, River Safari and Chong Pang Market and Food Centre. Other spots on other tours include the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Gardens by the Bay, Kovan Market and Food Centre, Maxwell Food Centre and Punggol Waterway.

Participants on these tours will learn about the places’ lesser-known stories and be able to sample local fare during stopovers at hawker centres. The tours will be conducted by guides licensed by the Singapore Tourism Board.

Participants will also be invited to join in a mass activity of planting their thumbprint on a large map. The mega art piece will be unveiled at the SG Heart Map finale event at year end.

Full-time national serviceman Brian Liew, 22, had contributed Changi Village as a destination to SG Heart Map. He said he loves the place because it is a quiet getaway from the city, and has both hawker fare and speciality cafes for everyone’s enjoyment.

“Every time I go there, I find something else that’s interesting,” said Mr Liew, who went for a preview of the bus tour and was impressed by how informative it was.

A resident of the eastern part of Singapore, Mr Liew still managed to discover information from the south-east tour, such as that Still Road was named after Alexander William Still, who was The Straits Times’ chief editor.

“If I have the time, I’d definitely want to join the tours of the other parts of Singapore,” said Mr Liew.

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who spoke to reporters yesterday after touring a photography exhibition at one of the tour stops on Old Airport Road, said he was glad that SG Heart Map got Singaporeans to participate and put forth what the places mean to them.

“It’s a good effort by the organisers to capture what memories meant to the hearts of Singaporeans, so I support the effort,” he said.

The photographs at “Homescapes” #SGHeartMap , exhibition captured the spirit of living in HDB estates. They offer views...
Posted by MParader on Monday, June 22, 2015

SG Heart Map HomeScapes Photography Exhibition
Photo exhibit on Old Airport Rd showcases idea of home
By Joy Fang, TODAY, 22 Jun 2015

What photographs tell the story of home in Singapore? One showing the facade of a public apartment block and its corridors and windows, or photos of the view you see when you open your window?

Photos that detail what may be seen as normal to some, but are nostalgic and meaningful to others, and showing the diversity and connection people have with one another, are now being displayed at the SG Heart Map HomeScapes Photography Exhibition.

The exhibition at Blk 99 Old Airport Road was launched yesterday and will be held until July 5. It comprises photos by five photographers along with some works presented by students from the Raffles Girls’ School Photographic Society, who also documented their stories of home through their eyes.

Guest of honour Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said the exhibition was fascinating because the photographers captured and gave meaning to day-to-day activities and items. “The photographs have managed to capture the spirit of home and the meaning of the community around us ... (The exhibition) has captured the emotions and not just the physical infrastructure of Singapore,” he said.

Singapore International Photography Festival director Gwen Lee, who curated the exhibition, said she wanted to bring out the diversity and unique characteristics of the Singapore home.

Each photographer created a different aspect of that. One depicted animals and insects in urban areas, looking at how creatures co-exist with humans here. Another showed portraits of families in their flat, providing insight into how people live and serving as a record for future generations.

Photographer George Wong, 37, said he wanted to capture views from homes within Singapore, a personal space others do not usually get to see.

Views can be diverse, interesting and can even evoke nostalgia in others who remember that view from long ago or reminisce on how things have changed rapidly, he noted.

Mr Ang Song Nian, 32, whose series A Million Stories of Us shows the collections and personal memories in the display cabinets of several households, visited 25 households over two months before six photos were chosen for the exhibition.

Display cabinets tend to be a space where people put things important to them or tell of vital events in their lives, but are also neglected and unnoticed until people call attention to them, he said. “I wanted to look at the portrayal of individual stories but through inanimate objects, such as the things we collect, which in turn affects the space we live in. So it’s always about the story of people told through the things they possess,” he said.

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