See Singapore’s Best Years Unfold Artfully On Orchard Road

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Even though taking a weekend stroll down Orchard Road these days is like clearing an obstacle course of tourists, baby strollers, and tourists with baby strollers prodding you with selfie sticks, I love tourists and how they love our country. It’s even more fitting when they ask for my help to take vacation pictures. I oblige with great pride every time.

I will even offer art direction like, “Hey, let’s not take photos next to the dustbin, let’s take it next to this old-school ice-cream push-cart here!”

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It’s been a while since I lingered in the pristine and air-conditioned (yes please!) malls of Orchard Road, but I was pleasantly surprised to see a hive of new shopper-oriented activities launched recently to celebrate Singapore’s Golden Jubilee.

Pedestrian Night promises road closures on the first Saturday of every month, and there are dozens of activities for bargain hunters, music fans and foodies.

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But I gravitated towards the Pioneer Portraits exhibition, an interesting promise of Singaporean art-meeting-commerce.

The Pioneer Portraits Exhibition

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Here’s why the Pioneer Portraits project warms the cockles of my heart. Mooted by the Orchard Road Business Association as a community project to create meaningful engagement with shoppers as well as tourists, it’s part of the SG50 celebrations to illustrate Singapore’s compelling history.

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Some 32 pieces of 3m tall glass panels will be tent-poled along Orchard Road, dressed in diverse styles of art produced by 24 of Singapore’s upcoming visual artists and illustrators. The attractive art walk was officially launched by guest of honour, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Education, Ms Indranee Rajah on August 1.

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All 32 pieces of art will be on display until September 30th on Orchard Road.

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Of course, it’s no easy feat to string an eye-catching project like this, and the numerous partners involved include OuterEdit (curation), Lee Foundation and Rich-Art Enterprises Pte Ltd (key sponsors), and the Singapore Tourism Board and SG50 Celebrations Fund. For details, look up www.orchardroad.org/pioneer-portraits.

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