GRILL GURUS & GREAT GROCERS HAIRDRESSERS
A LIFE IN FOOTBALL
I ended up being in England for the Platinum Jubilee, by complete fluke, and it was so lovely. Seeing all the flags up in villages all over the country was special. My mum’s village had a tea party, a tug-of-war (haven’t seen one of those for ages) and some dog tricks! We all sat round watching the “telly” for the other parades – seeing the people coming together was a good tonic. It was a pick me-up the country needed. (And me too!) When I was in London, I also went to see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace for the first time ever, and I got goose bumps with the horses and music; yes, I’m one of those who loves brass bands and all that stuff. You can see why tourists love it, too – and it was also nice to see plenty of them around. The weather was mostly good – I even wore a sundress on a couple of days! After moving around a lot and happily living out of a suitcase most of the time, I realised that there was one thing I really missed in Singapore (apart from my dog) and that was my pillows. So glad to be reunited with them! Wishing you a great time if you’re heading for home leave or holidaying around the region! I am working on my bucket list for something next year, but I can’t decide where to start. I do fancy a cruise, but I can’t decide where to go. Maybe we should do a story on “how to make decisions” next month! If you’ve done a trip that you’d love to write about, do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s always good to get readers’ recommendations. We think you’ll love Lara’s story on Namibia (page 106) and Ceri’s walk around Little India (page 102) in this issue. If you’ve just moved here and travelling is the last thing on your mind, don’t worry, we have some help for getting your home sorted – starting with your living room and the all-important sofa! Plus, you can find where to shop for quality groceries, and there’s plenty of beauty, health and fitness advice too.
REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief
Have a jolly July!
Changing of The Guard at Buckingham Palace
Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET
Group Editor SHAMUS SILLAR Copy Editor JULIET KEYS Editorial Team HEALTH & FITNESS: AMY GREENBURG LIFE & FAMILY: PATRICEA CHOW
WINE & DINE, LIFESTYLE: DINESH AJITH HOME & PROPERTY: AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE FASHION & BEAUTY: REBECCA BISSET JUNIOR EDITOR: YIMIN HUANG Online & Digital Content MICHAELA BISSET Client Services (Ads) Manager NUR HANANI KAMAL LUDDIN Production Manager JUDIT GÁL Graphic Designers MICHAEL BERNABE | JEANNE WONG Marketing, Circulation & Administration ANNA TSERLINGAS | VEENA GILL | SITI SHAHIRAH KHIRUDEEN | HARSHARAN KAUR Advertising Sales KARIN GALLEY | DANIELLE ROSSETTI | LARA SAGE | JACQUI YOUNG
Events & Partnerships SUSAN KNUDSEN-PICKLES IT & Web Support RENE YUTIAMPO | HANADDI REY DIAZ MAMBA Chief Operations Officer COLIN PURCHASE Contributing Writers SHARON SHIELDS | RODYAN QUINONEZ
Contributing Photographer KEN TAN (MISTERKENTAN.COM)
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Little Kulala Lodge, Sossusvlei, Namibia (wilderness-safaris.com)
39 Why we love our sofas!
What’s on in the coming weeks Cool things to do with kids in Singapore Around Town: The latest from the EL Events team Subscribe and join us on a walk or in an online talk Singapore Pages: Interesting facts about where we live New homeware finds and store updates A retail spot where kids can try all the furniture Two stalwarts of Singapore’s antiques scene Exploring x-ray art at REDSEA Gallery Readers on where they bought their super sofas Interior inspiration for your living room!
Home & Property 28
Buying property in Brisbane, Australia
What it’s like living in Upper Serangoon
What needs an upgrade in your living room? 42
Life & Family 58
The latest news for parents and kids Noticeboard: Baby births, plus dogs for adoption
Do you need a car in Singapore?
A soccer superstar 66
Fandi Ahmad’s life in football What to watch and read this month Helping Hands: Upcycling and uplifting Looking to donate some stuff? Read this!
98 Diving in Sarawak
Top places to visit in NZ 120
Wine delivery services in Singapore 100
86 Great grocers!
Wine & Dine 80
Restaurant openings, new menus and more We try the artistic cocktails at Revival Where to eat after a Botanic Gardens walk
Great places to pick up groceries
An interview with a grill guru Two new recipes to add to your repertoire
Trip-planning inspiration and hotel news
98 Highlights of the Malaysian city of Miri 100 Destination Focus: India tips and trivia 102 Strolling through Singapore’s own slice of India! 106 The stunning Namib desert in Africa
116 An inspiring journey!
Style & Beauty 114 The latest fashion news and advice
What’s next for this Danish entrepreneur?
118 A Raft of Otters opens in Tanglin Mall 120 New beauty products and treatments 122 We try out four Singapore hair salons 126 A great option for going fuzz-free 128 Need a little facial rejuvenation? 130 Managing pain in aesthetic procedures 133 How to treat two types of acne 135 Toning and firming at Far East Plaza 136 Tried & Tested: Remedies for hair loss
Health & Fitness 142 Medical updates and 145 What to know about glaucoma, and ways to prevent it 146 The latest in dental – and how your mouth can benefit! 152 Find out about your health with the DEXA scan 154 All about osteoarthritis in the knee 155 A new FitNut Loft studio opens in River Valley 156 We meet a pioneer in psychodrama 158 Burning questions about heartburn and reflux 160 How viral hepatitis can affect your liver health tips from experts
Regulars 162 See how well you do in our Puzzle Pages 164 What’s in your stars this July? 166 Important contacts and this month’s advertisers 168 Parting Shot: Reflections on coming home 136
Losing your locks? This could help
Hair – before and afters
Masterpiece in Motion (Photo: Bernie Ng)
WHAT’S ON Art For Life Exhibition (8 TO 10 JULY) This upcoming art exhibition at the Visual Arts Centre is organised by Be One Gallery and comprises carefully curated paintings, potteries and premium clay artworks by local and international artists. A private viewing is being held on 8 July (6pm to 9pm), with a public showcase on 9 and 10 July (11am to 9pm, and 11am to 6pm respectively). For more information, visit beonegallery.com .
Treasures of the Clans Exhibition (UNTIL 31 JULY)
Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC) is collaborating with the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations to bring together Treasures of the Clans . More than 80 paintings and calligraphy works from various clans are featured, created by renowned artists such as Lim Tze Peng and Xu Beihong. The works give insights into the strong connections between the artists and their respective clans over the past century. Free admission. singaporeccc.org. sg/events/treasures-of-the-clans-cultural-extravaganza-2022/
Mythology RElooked AR Art Experience (UNTIL 31 JULY) Get your phones ready as you gear up to view more than 20 interactive art installations and works by local artists through the lens of augmented reality (AR) and digital reactive
media. From a modern Tinder version of Yue Lao (God of Marriage and Love) to an unexpected makeover of Goddess Chang’e, you’ll never see Chinese mythology quite the same way again. The free exhibition takes place at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre. ce2022.singaporeccc.org.sg/programme/ mythology-relooked Singapore International Film Festival – Call for Entries (UNTIL 8 AUGUST) The 33rd edition of the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is calling for entries for Feature Films from Asia and Short Films from Southeast Asia. Additionally, you can also apply for the Asian Producers Network, Southeast Asian Film Lab and Youth Critics Programme in the same period. Submissions for film entries and programme applications are open from now until 8 August at sgiff.com/call-for-entry . For film entries, early-bird submissions received by 24 July will enjoy submission fee waivers; a US$25 fee will apply from 25 July to 8 August.
Masterpiece in Motion Ballet Performance (29 TO 31 JULY) Calling all ballet lovers! This year, Singapore Ballet’s Masterpiece in Motion will feature the world premiere of Quiver by Timothy Rushton and the Asian premiere of Ibsen’s House by Val Caniparoli. Alongside these exceptional works, the evening will close with a restaging of Nils Christe’s Organ Concerto , a ballet known for its intimate and energising moments. Tickets are $40 to $80, from sistic.com.sg/events/ masterpiece0722 .
Superfluous Things: Paper Exhibition (UNTIL 14 AUGUST)
We Live in an Ocean of Air Exhibition (UNTIL 2 OCTOBER) This rare 12-minute-long immersive experience at the ArtScience Museum invites you to discover the inner life of a giant sequoia tree. State-of-the-art technology, including breath sensors and heart rate monitors, will record activities in your cardiovascular system as a pulsing red glow, and transcribe your breath as a cascade of particles. This results in a meditative artwork reflecting the inextricable connection between humans and nature. Tickets are $13.30; book at marinabaysands.com/ museum/exhibitions/we-live-in-an-ocean-of-air.html . As You Were – Public Artworks (UNTIL 30 OCTOBER) Commissioned by the Public Art Trust (PAT) under the National Arts Council (NAC), As You Were is a free public art showcase featuring interactive visual artworks that portray seven artists’ imaginations of an endemic world. From artworks resembling childhood biscuits and paper phone games to colourful seesaws and a mask-like float, they express a sense of playfulness and vitality. These artworks are scattered across three locations: Bishan-AMK Park, Jurong Lake Gardens and Punggol Waterway Park. nac.gov.sg/singapore-arts scene/art-forms/visual-arts/as-you-were
This exhibition has interactive components for both the young and the young at heart. Highlighting the works of contemporary artists as storytellers, the innovative paper creations evoke both personal and cultural memories. You’ll be amazed by how many ways this simple everyday material can be transformed into objects of strong visual appeal and emotional resonance. The exhibition is on at Tanjong Pagar Distripark. Admission is free. singaporeartmuseum.sg/ art-events/exhibitions/superfluous-things
Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia (UNTIL 25 SEPTEMBER) National Gallery Singapore invites you to look into the rich artistic practice of the world’s oldest living culture. The largest exhibition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art to travel to Asia, Ever Present showcases Indigenous Australians’ cultural distinctiveness and historical struggles with colonisation, as well as their past and current social actions to exact change. Over 170 artworks drawn from prestigious collections of the National Gallery of Australia and The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art are on display. Free admission. nationalgallery.sg/see-do/programme detail/460894794/ever-present-first-peoples-art-of-australia .
Off/On: Everyday Technology That Changed Our Lives, 1970s-2000s (UNTIL 30 OCTOBER) Travel back in time with the National Museum of Singapore’s showcase exploring technology from our nostalgic past. From the typewriter and personal computer, to telecommunications and entertainment devices such as the payphone, pager and technicolour television set, this is your chance to re acquaint yourself with the devices and related memories from yesteryear. There are various gaming experiences for visitors to enjoy as well. nhb.gov.sg/nationalmuseum/our-exhibitions/ exhibition-list/collecting-contemporary-singapore--- technology-exhibition
Here’s just a sample of six of the fun activities that young ones (and the young at heart!) can enjoy in different spots across the island.
Learn a trampoline trick or two Take the school holidays to the next level with a BOUNCE Freestyle Party. At the popular indoor trampoline park, a Freestyle host will ensure that your children and their buddies experience an awesome two hours of non-stop fun while enjoying various activities on offer. There are some great curated programmes lined up to suit any kind of party people, regardless of whether they’re at the beginner, intermediate or advanced stage in trampolining. Kids love learning tricks or having a go at something new, and a BOUNCE Freestyle Party is the ultimate active way to celebrate! bounceinc.com.sg/freestyle-bounce-parties
Enter the virtual world There are plenty of gaming options for children and adults in Singapore, including the Sandbox VR experience just off Orchard Road. The immersive experience will see you go on exciting
missions using the latest in VR tech. There’s also the huge family entertainment Timezone centre at Westgate, which has more than 200 arcade games and attractions in three zones, with fun activities for kids. sandboxvr.com | timezonegames.com/en-sg
THINGS TO DO
Hit the high ropes Forest Adventure at Bedok Reservoir Park is one of the top places to visit in Singapore for big and little kids alike. The family-friendly treetop obstacle course has three courses catering to different ages and heights. You’ll also find options allowing tweens and teens greater independence to navigate most of the course on their own. In addition, adrenaline junkies will love the Big Zip, an exhilarating 300-metre zip line that takes riders flying over the reservoir. forestadventure.com.sg
Get speedy on Sentosa The Skyline Luge on Sentosa is a safe yet fun way of introducing track racing to kids. Hop into the Luge at the top of Mount Imbiah, then ride your way down to Siloso Beach. It’s suitable for all ages and experience (with certain age and height restrictions for solo rides). Riders have full control over the speed of descent as they navigate hairpin corners, downhill slopes and tunnels. Luge ride packages also include a Skyride to get back to the top – it’s a fun ski lift with sweeping views of the Singapore skyline and the South China Sea as well as the flora and fauna of Sentosa. Special offer! Book on the website and save $10 with a “3 Luge & 3 Skyride x 3 People” combo. It’s a great way for three friends to enjoy three Luge and Skyrides each. skylineluge.sg Give kayak fishing a shot Kayak fishing is a great outdoor activity with a difference – ideal for a weekend when the weather’s nice. It combines the fun of paddling a kayak with the thrill and skill of trying to catch fish. Kayak Fishing Fever offers three itineraries, covering different distances; there’s The Playground (2-4 kilometres), Big Boat Small Boat (3-5 kilometres) and Island Hopper (7-10 kilometres). Fish caught during the tours are returned to the sea as part of the company’s catch-and-release practice. 9660 9928 | fever.sg
Build sandcastles on Lazarus St John’s Island is a nice spot to visit in Singapore’s south, but if you do decide to take the ferry there, our tip is to stroll the 15 minutes across to Lazarus Island, home to what is arguably Singapore’s best beach! Pack some food and drinks for a sandy picnic, and enjoy splashing in the turquoise waters. Although there’s zero infrastructure here, internet access is still decent (for folks who’d like to upload envy invoking shots onto Insta…). Board a ferry at Marina South Pier, 31 Marina Coastal Drive
Visit expatliving.sg/things-to-do for more great ideas on where to go for family fun in Singapore!
AROUND TOWN A MacRitchie Meander
We’ve enjoyed some great virtual talks and meet-ups with EL readers in recent times, but it’s wonderful that we can once again host physical events around the island too. Take a look at what we’ve been up to!
Our three-hour walk around the island’s oldest reservoir was spent enjoying nature, having lots of chats, and protecting our drinks from Singapore’s notorious snack snatching monkeys along the path!
Spotting Crocs in Sungei Buloh Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park is a world filled with rich biodiversity across its wetlands and extensive mangrove forests, and our group of keen walkers was lucky enough to spot a crocodile (or two) sunbathing in the distance!
The TreeTop Walk … and Beyond! You learn something new on every walk, and on this one we learnt that the TreeTop Walk in MacRitchie Reservoir closes at 4.45pm sharp! We just missed it, but we took a different boardwalk route to make up the 10km, and it was wonderful to connect with new people.
Exploring Bukit Brown Cemetery With its blend of nature and history, Bukit Brown Cemetery is home to about 100,000 tombs belonging to various Chinese social classes, including Chew Joo Chiat, the “King of Katong”. On our 1.5-hour walk, we discovered many of its fascinating corners.
Beach Clean-Up with One Planet
To markWorld Oceans Day, this was our way to say thanks to Mother Nature by giving our beaches a makeover. To make it more fun, we combined it with a small competition – the three participants to pick up the most trash got to take home some amazing products. Thanks to all who took part!
A Wander in Windsor Nature Park Our morning was well spent checking out the slopes and unpaved terrain of one of Singapore’s newer nature parks – with plenty of photos taken of the rare native plants along the way.
LIFE & FAMILY
Making Our Own Lampshades We loved these two-hour weekend workshops with The Lampshade House just as much as our readers; they gave us the opportunity to create our own lampshade from scratch using simple techniques and tools, and choos ing f rom a range of attractive modern and tropical print fabrics. Don’t miss the next one!
Help with SEO and Online Visibility
Elizabeth Taylor of Digital Direction provided a valuable step-by-step guide to getting a firmer grasp of on-page and technical SEO in order to improve our online presence, with tips on search engines, keywords, links and more.
A Block Printing Workshop Originating in Ancient China, block printing is widely used in East Asia to print designs onto fabric. We teamed up with La Tierra to design our very own tote bags and scarves at Host in Mohamed Sultan Road.
21 JULY2022 Sign up for our next events at expatliving.sg/ELevents
Dengue 101 EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DENGUE FEVER
9 & 10am
MacRitchie + TreeTop Walk EXPLORE SINGAPORE’S OLDEST RESERVOIR Windsor Nature Park + TreeTop Walk WALK ABOVE THE TREES WITH US
11 & 21 JUL
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Investigating the island past and present, with tips, trivia and time travel – and the occasional tricky challenge for readers!
Clockwise: A fisherman’s hut off Siloso Point, 1957 British soldier with Japanese POWs at a pig farm on Blakang Mati, 1946 A local barber on Blakang Mati,
LITTLE ISLAND, BIG HISTORY We’ve introduced Singapore’s new Heritage Trails in these pages before, and now the 22nd of them has been unveiled: the Sentosa Heritage Trail. The trail takes in 30 heritage sites, and traces Sentosa’s transformation from military complex to leisure destination. There are three different themed routes to follow: #1 Kampongs and Barracks Two hours on foot, plus public transport, 3km: Explores the lives of the people of “Blakang Mati” (the island’s Malay name from the 1600s onwards), from the Orang Laut to British Army personnel. #2 Forts Two hours on foot, 4km: Looks at the extensive fortifications on Sentosa, including Fort Siloso, Imbiah Battery and Fort Serapong, and how they featured in the defence of Singapore. #3 Memories of Sentosa An hour on foot, 2.5km: Revisits some old locations of Sentosa’s reinvention as a leisure destination in the 1980s and 1990s, including the Musical Fountain and the monorail. The photos from historic Blakang Mati shown here (courtesy of the Sentosa Development Corporation) give an idea of the insights provided by the new trail.
undated Children carrying buckets of water on the island, undated
Did You Know? • Half of Blakang Mati was covered by pineapple plantations in the 1800s. • During the war, a Shinto shrine was erected somewhere on the island (it was likely destroyed by Japanese soldiers in 1945). • Among the first attractions on Sentosa was The Coralarium (opened 1974), which showcased corals and marine life. It was knocked down to make way for Sentosa Cove. For more information on all 22 Heritage Trails, visit roots.gov.sg/nhb/trails.
STEP BACK IN TIME Showing until the end of October at the National Museum is Off / On: Everyday Technology that Changed Our Lives , 1970s–2000s , an exhibition featuring the gadgets of yesteryear, from pagers to portable games. Here’s a rundown of the four exhibition sections and their highlights: • The “Work in Progress” section recreates Singapore office spaces of previous decades, with typewriters and early models of IBM and Apple computers. • “Hello Mobile” is all about the development of telecommunication tools. Did you know that in the post-war period, Singapore’s telephone “density” was just 1.6 phones for every 100 people? • In “Art of Living”, you can visit a dark room and try your hand at developing a photo the old-school way. • “Game On” is all about gaming, and takes its design inspiration from the Tomy Pocketeer. This was a Japanese brand of handheld games manufactured in Singapore in the 1970s and 1980s, which used magnets and ball-bearings to create challenges for users (before Nintendo lit up kids’ eyes with Donkey Kong...). Find out more at nationalmuseum.sg.
Think you know Singapore well? Which hotel is shown here?
Last month: The spiralling wooden staircase can be found on the Sentosa Boardwalk
CRAZY FOR CRABS 10 things you might not know about Singapore’s iconic dish, chilli crab. #1 For the uninitiated, chilli crab is a seafood dish consisting of mud crabs deep-fried in a spicy, sweet and savoury gravy of chilli, tomato and egg. #2 It’s sometimes referred to as “Singapore’s national dish”, though that’s not an official title (and many argue that chicken rice deserves the gong). #3 Chilli crab was invented by 23-year-old Cher Yam Tian (who has been referred to as “the Colonel Sanders of Singapore chilli crab”!), in the mid 1950s. She had grown up near the sea in Bedok, where mangrove crabs were prevalent. #4 Cher apparently stumbled upon the formula for the dish when she added bottled chilli sauce to her usual stir-fried crabs, instead of regular tomato sauce. Soon after, she opened a one-table restaurant along the Kallang River where she served crabs for $3 each. #5 Cher’s son Roland is still involved in the chilli crab trade today, at Roland Restaurant in Marine Parade (rolandrestaurant.com.sg). #6 Most of the crabs in chilli crab in Singapore today come from Sri Lanka, Burma or the Philippines. #7 If you’ve not tried it, the dish is super messy to eat. Put it this way: you’ll be getting covered in sauce! Chilli crab usually comes with some kind of bread (Cher sold hers with French loaves) or mantou (Chinese buns), which you use to mop up the remains.
#8 Along with the standard version, chilli crab can be found in everything from dumplings to sandwiches, and in a renowned chilli crab ice cream at Michelin-starred restaurant Labyrinth (restaurantlabyrinth.com). #9 Chilli crab has been promoted overseas by the Singapore Tourism Board at events and festivals, including in London, New York and Dubai. It’s also rolled out for dignitaries here; during a 2021 visit by the Malaysian prime minister, chilli crab was served at the Istana. #10 Back in 2011, CNN ran a feature on the world’s 50 most delicious foods. Chilli crab finished 35th, one place ahead of Texas barbecue pork, but just belowCanadianmaple syrup. Chicken rice came 45th.
32 Two stalwarts of Singapore’s antique furniture scene 36 Exploring the art of the x-ray at REDSEA Gallery 44 Interior inspiration for your living room!
HOME & PROPERTY
Cool Kids’ Collection Found under the roof of boutique collective store A Raft of Otters in Tanglin Mall, The House of Lili brand has recently introduced a new line of homeware. Alongside its striking inlay pieces, there are now also beautifully hand painted stainless steel tumblers, lunch boxes and water pitchers. The range is aimed at parents and children, giving a sustainable al ternat ive to plast ic. There are complementary designs of animals, vehicles, unicorns and flowers, and each individual item is hand-painted by Kashmiri artists. #03-102 Tanglin Mall.
Breath of Fresh Air Now, more than ever before, we’re aware of the dangers of harmful airborne transmissions such as COVID-19, general viruses, mould, smoke and bacteria. Breathing in clean air has never been so front of mind or important. The Aurabeat AG+ air purifiers are medical-grade devices that destroy more than 99.9 percent of COVID-19 viruses (proven by MRI Global, an independent US virology lab) and are registered medical-grade devices. Aurabeat’s silver ion filter effectively eliminates viruses and other airborne nasties, significantly reducing the risk of secondary air transmission. The NSP-X2 model starts at $1,099 – find out more at aurabeatsingapore.com .
Multi-Sensory Style Poltrona Frau’s Take Your Time collection promises to focus not only on the aesthetic but to offer a multisensory experience. The collection turns the spotlight on the sight, sound and touch senses, and uses these to guide its designs. Pieces under the “sight” category feature experimentation and contrasting materials, as seen in the Infinito table-sculpture ( pictured ). Formed from a block of marble, the table can’t be replicated and is produced in a limited run of signed and numbered pieces. The “smell” category sees Acqua di Parma partner with Poltrona Frau, and the “touch” collection brings in new fabric upholstery for a more tactile experience. proof.com.sg
Retro Range Smeg’s kitchen range always stands out with its retro style, and the new Bean To Coffee Cup machine is no different. This automatic coffee machine grinds your favourite coffee beans, and has a simple and intuitive control panel and one-touch functions. A single touch is enough to select a wide variety of up to six beverages, from espresso to cappuccino. And it looks cool too! smeg.sg
Unique Collaboration If you’ve been lucky enough to dine at Emmanuel Stroobant’s Saint Pierre, you’ll most likely have noticed the beautifully crafted tableware by RUYI on the two-Michelin-starred restaurant’s tables. The INFINI in Kintsugi Design collection pays homage to the ancient Japanese art of mending ceramics with gold. Each design is specially hand-painted with ceramic material containing 12 percent pure gold. To learn more about RUYI and its creations, head to ruyi.global .
HOME & PROPERTY
Serious Sound Small and perfectly formed, the Sonos Ray is a compact soundbar with impressive sound for smaller spaces. The brand’s newest speaker delivers great sound and can be used both at home and on the go. Priced at $529, the Ray is available at tcacoustic.asia , as well as at #01-17 The Adelphi Mall, 1 Coleman Street .
Luxe Range Local luxury furniture brand Marano Furniture has launched its Evolution of Time collection. The range comprises seven pieces of luxury furniture inspired by the passage of time. Produced on demand, Marano’s handcrafted pieces are one of a kind, crafted from scratch in low quantities to ensure sustainability and quality in design. The collection is available at maranofurniture.com/shop , where customers can also book an appointment to visit the showroomwith the latest collections on display.
Master the art of the mirror
Mirrors are a functional must-have in every home, but they can also lighten a space and add visual interest without bulk. Never knew your mirror could do so much? Read on for my trusty tips!
Arete Culture’s founder and creative director CAROLINE CHIN GEYLER shares her professional tips on home design and décor.
#1 Lift low-light entryways with a large mirror; this not only helps open up the space but also anchors it to create an entry zone, even if there isn’t one. Place a lamp in front of the mirror for a brightening boost. #2 Avoid placing mirrors across a bed. Instead, try hanging an oversized piece or a collage of smaller ones over the bed as a headboard. You can also hang mirrors over nightstands, which feels modern but balanced. #3 To make upkeep easier, choose a mirror with overlay detailing. This makes it feel more sophisticated while hiding streaks and marks. #4 Does your room feel too hard and angular? Soften those lines with a large round wall mirror. You can also do this with a round mirrored tray, which adds light and dimension to rectangular tables.
Arete Culture | 20 Depot Lane, #01-01/02 | 9640 3829 | areteculture.com
HOME & PROPERTY
Child’s Play Edupod’s furniture retail space lets kids experience through play. Playscape @Edupod is an immersive retail space aimed at both parents and educators. Head up to the twelfth floor of the Tan Boon Liat Building and you’ll find products ranging from children’s furniture to themed activity spaces. These include an arts and crafts area complete with artists’ easels, activity tables and bookshelves for preschools, and bunk beds for homes. There are also push bikes and tricycles, which can be given a test ride on request. And customers will also see up-close an outdoor playground set, along with a kids’ rock-climbing wall. “We believe that learning spaces are created, and the need for high-quality furniture and learning resources makes a positive learning environment for our children,” says Edupod’s Zak Loh. “A child’s journey of exploration of the world begins with play. We are encouraging visitors to explore, using their imagination through creative play, and experience Playscape.” The showroom also doubles up as a funky space for businesses to hold public workshops. Events have already covered popular topics such as sustainability, AR and AI robotics, and innovative solutions such as 3D printing. To find out about future workshops head to edupod.com.sg/categories/workshops.
Edupod is at #12-05 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road. 8683 5606 | edupod.com.sg
Just Anthony Launched in an attap house in Paya Lebar over 45 years ago by Anthony Lee, Just Anthony is today managed day to day by daughter Danielle. Her father still keeps an eye on the business
though, dropping into the shop daily, keeping in contact with suppliers and sourcing older items. In the store, you’ll find a huge range of furniture to discover across 15,000 square feet of flooring. There are Chinese antiques, screens, ceramic stools and lamps, brightly coloured reproduction storage pieces and plenty of repurposed furniture (doors as dining tables, for example), meaning nothing goes to waste. Danielle didn’t always know she was going to be part of the family business. “I used to help out here on Sundays during my college years. I studied marketing at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and my plan was to just sort out my resumé
BY AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE
With decades of experience under their belts, these two industry stalwarts are a go-to for anyone shopping for antiques, reproduction pieces or vintage furniture in Singapore. We find out how they keep their passion for business alive and why they remain so popular.
HOME & PROPERTY
and get a job in marketing, but when my father asked me to join the family business I agreed to help.” She developed her interest in Chinese antiques once she’d actually joined the company and began making sourcing trips to China. “I’ve always had an interest in interior design and décor, initially in more modern pieces. But finding pieces and seeing how people lived really helped bring everything to life for me, and my interest grew.” Just Anthony is also well known for its reproduction and repurposed furniture. The team began making these items over 20 years ago and the demand has grown and grown. “We’ve also been repurposing pieces for quite some time – it’s a great way to make use of something and not let it go to waste. Beautiful carvings made into coffee tables were initially very
popular, and now we have a wide variety, including daybeds turned into coffee tables, and shutters into room dividers.” Danielle’s interest in the provenance of pieces has helped build her passion for the job. But it’s the relationships she’s formed with customers over the years that really motivates her. “We have customers from over ten years ago who are no longer working in Singapore, but they come to visit us whenever they’re here. That is just so heart-warming.” So how does she see the business progressing in the future? “There’s still a real interest in vintage and antique pieces, but also newer pieces that have antique parts incorporated. We are always looking for newways to upcycle older components. We’re also focusing on putting our items online, and building on increasing the inventory in our e-commerce store.”
Local recommendations – Danielle Lee “Not far from us are two popular eateries inside a kopitiam setting: Geylang Prawn Noodles and Katong Laksa. Those are great spots to have lunch at before visiting us! We’re also near NEX, a large shopping mall. There are lots of eateries there so you have many choices. Another option is Serangoon Gardens, which has hawker centres, coffee shops and cafés as well.”
379 Upper Paya Lebar Road 6283 4782 | justanthony.com
Woody Antique House The furniture carried by this 21-year-old antiques business is sourced by husband-and-wife team Chris Ang and Wei Chin. Their store in Dempsey is a treasure trove of colour, texture, history and passion. They carry pieces sourced from China, Tibet, Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Indonesia and Thailand. One of the company’s strengths, says Chris, is their customisation process, a great option if you’re looking for something unique and interesting for your home. “Often our customers are inspired by something they may have seen, but it mightn’t be the right size, colour or finish they want. We work closely with them to design and make a truly one-off piece they can display proudly in their home. We also take repurposed and vintage furniture and give it a modern twist.” The couple’s love for the business stems from bringing in unique vintage furniture and artefacts from various parts of Asia for their customers. “We also love our sourcing trips where we learn about regional cultures, as well as the stories and history behind the pieces. Every trip has been an enriching experience – one that cannot be gained from books or the internet.”
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Working as a husband-and-wife team isn’t without its challenges, however, and the pair admit they don’t always see eye to eye on work matters. Their solution is to sit down and list the pros and cons of their differing viewpoints and decide on the best way forward. “There’s a tendency for company matters to carry over after work when we’re at home. We try not to talk work at home unless it’s absolutely necessary, so we don’t affect the quality of our family time!” At Woody’s, it’s not just antiques, reproduction and repurposed pieces. You’ll also find a range of outdoor furniture that’s a step away from the more common standard synthetic rattan wicker products. “Many of our customers are looking for metal- and powder-coated furniture, which is more modern, with clean lines. These designs are stylish and elegant – the frames and cushions add colour to your balcony or garden.” More recently, Chris andWei Chin have noticed a trend towards coloured pieces. “A few years ago, it was all black and white; now we’re finding our customers are requesting brighter, more daring colours,” says Wei Chin. These days, they are repainted in bright colours like red, blue, green, orange and white to blend with modern décor, and used for storage – of wine, for example, or even shoes.
Local recommendations – Chris Ang “Dempsey is well known for its food and beverage offerings. Many of our customers go for a meal or drink after shopping at our showroom. I would personally recommend two places: for cake and dessert lovers, PS.Cafe is a good pick; while for those looking for a cosy place to have a meal with friends and family, Blu Kouzina serves great Mediterranean cuisine in a charming environment.”
13 Dempsey Road, #01-05 6471 1770 | woodyantique.com
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Nick is a British artist whose work is currently showing at REDSEAGallery. We find out a bit more about his approach and inspirations – and how he uses x-rays to create his art. Nick Veasey
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My biggest disappointment is really the limitations that present themselves when using x-ray machines to make art. They are dangerous. If you were to introduce yourself as an artist to someone who wasn’t familiar with your portfolio, what artwork or series would you show them? Why? Land Rover Surfer. It’s an example of what we do that really connects with people. I think it has wit and irony and people relate to it. Technically, I’m proud of it too. Land Rover Surfer defines me, as we use death to bring life to inanimate objects. Let me explain a little: all the “people” in my x-ray artworks are in fact x-rays of a single (female) skeleton. So working with a dead body to make the pictures have life is ironic. There’s that word again… irony. The works all have the same message, they are a statement against society’s obsession with superficial appearance. It’s what is on the inside that counts. And to use a dead person to convey that message is ironic.
Can you share with us your major likes and dislikes? How do these preferences affect your art and your process? I like quality, simplicity and integrity. I dislike bureaucracy, incompetence and smelly cheese. My process is far from simple, so when we get to the end of making a piece I try to look at it with a fresh simple perspective – does it work? Personally, I think my best work has a purity and simplicity. It’s an x-ray of a car and you can see the engine… No degree in art history required to get where I’m coming from. What do you enjoy surrounding yourself with? Music, music and more music. I get lost in music and can really cut out all the (bad) noise and concentrate. When we can’t find you in your art studio, where are you most likely to be? Walking the dogs, being with my kids, avoiding the wife…
Who is your biggest supporter in life? My wife! I owe her everything. She gave me faith in my own ability. Before I met my wife, I was just a chancer really; now I’m a married chancer. Who is the person you admire the most, and what is the defining human trait that they possess that makes you admire them so? Muhammad Ali. He was an example of a man with integrity. He stood by his beliefs, a black man in a white world, a pacifist in a time of war, and supremely talented and entertaining. The word “inspiring” was made for Ali. What has been the proudest moment in your artistic career? What about the biggest disappointment? Myproudestmomentwasmy retrospective exhibition at Fotografiska Stockholm, the world’s largest photography museum – 120,000 visitors in eight weeks, and they all paid to get in! It was the real deal. I even got to show Kate and Wills around.
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machine would be good, but those that exist have limitations. How do you think you’ve grown as a person and artist since your first x-ray series? That’s a good question. I have learnt the importance of looking and listening to my audience. A lot of people say to me that I’m “amazing” or “awesome” and all that crap. Then they say the exact same thing to the next person they meet. I’ve learnt not to believe the hype. I’m getting better at what I do. I wish I had learnt to have patience, but that still eludes me. How do you envision yourself growing as an artist in the next five years? I’m really going for it now. I’m 60 this year so I am going to create more waves, be a little more subversive. Is that growth though? Who are some peers in the industry that you are excited to follow and watch grow? I like Ron English. He makes me smile. Nick Knight is someone I respect enormously. Jeff Robb is also an artist I admire – he’s the best at holographic imaging.
Part of your creative process is taking things apart and seeing the cross-sections of the objects you’re x-raying. Have you ever come across anything unexpected or amusing while going through this process? Many times. A good x-ray can tell the story of how the object came to exist. We once x-rayed a few watches for a watch collector. He wasn’t too pleased to see batteries rather than finely tuned cogs and workings in some of the luxury names. Turns out even the experts can be fooled… Is there anything new you’d like to explore in your upcoming works? What plans do you have for your artworks in the rest of 2022? Not surprisingly, I continue to explore music. We are working on an x-ray of a drum set. As for recent new discoveries, I’m in negotiation to get access to some space travel items – looking forward to x-raying something that has been to the moon. Are there any advancements in x-ray technology that you hope to see? I still use film and a fairly old x-ray machine. Things are getting better, but nothing fundamental yet. A portable x-ray
Contact REDSEA Ga l l ery to view Nick’s work – email info@ redseagallery.com or call 6732 6711. redseagallery.com Albums: Exodus by BobMarley, Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, and Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space by Spiritualized. Books: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Blue Afternoon by William Boyd, and TheWasp Factory by Iain Banks. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, not just in art but in life? Anyone can make a mistake. Only an idiot makes the same mistake twice. What advice would you give to somebody who wants to make a living from art? You have to really, really want it and to live it. You have to go through that obsessive phase. Remember, it is called The Art Business. The business side has to be embraced at some stage. Apart from that, do something different, not derivative and be as good as you can at it. Lastly, if you were deserted on an island, what would be your top three albums and books you would bring along with you?
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After a long day of work or with the kids, sinking into a comfy sofa or daybed is a blissful thing – even better if it’s a stylish addition to your home. We asked a few readers for their store recommendations and discover what they bought.
PHOTOGRAPHY KEN TAN
Shehara Dias, Sri Lankan We had some key considerations when it came to buying a new sofa; they included quality and craftsmanship, contemporary design elements, and affordability and value for money. I was initially referred to Gallery 278 by a friend, and subsequently by Expat Living, and I went along in the first instance back in 2017 to get two accent chairs custom-made for my living room. I had seen a design I liked in Sri Lanka, and I wanted them to replicate the same. They did a wonderful job in recreating my vision – I was 100 percent satisfied. So, in 2020, when it came time for me to upgrade my sofas, going back to Gallery 278 was a no-brainer. Once again, I showed them the sofa design and aesthetic I was interested in, and true to form they delivered. Based on my apartment layout I wanted a four-seater sofa and a three-seater ottoman, both in the same fabric and colour. I absolutely love the final product!
One of the main reasons I keep going back to Gallery 278 is because of Sara Leow. She has been a warm and awesome salesperson to work with right from the start, and has gone above and beyond to help me achieve my vision with each visit. I’d also like to mention Felicia, who personally helped me envision the entire “look” of the final products and how they would fit into my home space from a design perspective. All in all, it’s been a truly warm and personalised shopping experience. Next on the agenda at Gallery 278 is an upgrade of my dining table chairs. I’m looking through design inspirations as we speak!
Gallery 278 203A Henderson Road (Wing A), #11-01/02 6737 2322 | gallery278.com
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Maria Toomik, Estonian We love Bali boho style as we spend quite a bit of time there – and it was also where my husband and I first met and had our wedding. We were looking for a daybed for the balcony of our new condo, but we didn’t want plastic outdoor furniture; it’s more practical but it doesn’t quite fit our style. Finding something in natural materials like rattan, wood and bamboo were the main criteria – and we also wanted something large enough to fit me, my husband and our baby at the same time. We found Island Living online while looking for furniture, and we immediately fell in love with the large Aliki daybed when we visited the store – we loved the rattan, the thick comfy mattress and the bolsters and pillows that came with it. Everything in the store fitted our style and we ended up getting quite a few pieces, including four rattan lamps, a nest of coffee side tables, a teak ladder for the bathroom and two laundry baskets.
The moment you step into Island Living, it feels like being transported to Bali! The layout is roomy and bright, the décor is rustic, the pieces beautifully showcased, and the customer service is second to none. All our items were delivered door to door a few days later, with email and WhatsApp updates on the delivery schedule. We’re now thinking about ordering a small Aliki daybed for our second balcony in the near future.
Island Living 8 Kaki Bukit Ave 1, #06-04 8028 2571 | islandliving.sg
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Alyce Codrington, Australian I needed a sofa that could handle three young kids and be flexible enough to move with us, as, like most expats, we are renting. I had a specific look in mind and couldn’t find anything like it in Singapore. My husband is quite tall so we also needed the sofa to be deep enough to accommodate him. I was exploring custom options online and WTP had some great reviews. Their other furniture also had some of the aesthetic qualities I was looking for. We ended up purchasing a 3.5-seater fabric sofa from them. It’s 2.5m long and the seat is extra deep, and I was also able to customise every measurement and feature. The fabric I chose is a cream cotton-linen blend, and we have applied multiple layers of scotch guard to help protect it from sticky little fingers. I chose turned legs in a dark stain, and we designed a swooped, low arm on the sofa to allow for people to rest their head on. This also means the kids can jump and climb straight onto the couch from the side – which they do! I had a great experience at WTP. The floor stock allows you to see the various fabric and wood stain options in context and feel the different types of
cushions. It meant I could purchase the sofa knowing exactly what I was getting; to be honest, though, the sofa was better than I expected! Another big selling point was the great lead times WTP could offer – our sofa was made and delivered in about three weeks! I thought that was fantastic given how specific I was with heights, depths and shape. Katherine was really clear with the options and narrowed it down for me really quickly because she knew how the fabrics would wear and what was available and in stock. The pricing was also very competitive. If I ever need custom-made furniture again, I’ll definitely go straight back to WTP. They have some lovely coffee tables and bedheads, so maybe that will be next. I might also buy some extra cushion covers because, with three little kids, the poor sofa suffers from all those sticky fingers! It has been holding up well, though – we’ve had it cleaned and it came up beautifully.
WTP The Furniture Company 3 Kung Chong Road 6235 2760 | wtpstyle.com
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