Saturday, 29 December 2012

USK Sketchwalk at Bedok Estate

The sports area in Bedok estate.
Map of Bedok's sports area
The last sketchwalk of 2012 was held at one of Singapore older estates, Bedok. It also marks the beginning of the third project with Epigram to pictorially record selections of Singapore's estates. The area which my group was tasked to cover comprises the sports area in the estate. This includes the swimming complex, the stadium and sports hall, the tennis courts and the community centre with its basketball court.

Bedok is a neighbourhood in the eastern part of Singapore. Bedok New Town is the fifth Housing and Development Board (HDB) new town; its development started in April 1973 and continued over some 15 years.

The Bedok Planning Area, an urban planning zone under the Urban Redevelopment Authority, encompasses the Bedok New Town itself, the low-rise private residential areas along Upper East Coast Road, and in the districts of Kembangan, Siglap and Telok Kurau, and the high-rise private condominium developments in the eastern part of Marine Parade.

"Bedok" seems to be a very old place name. In the 1604 Manuel Gomes de Erédia's map of Singapore, there is a reference to the Bedok River called sune bodo (Sungei Bedok).

Bedok is one of the early native place names in existence around the time of Sir Stamford Raffles. In the first comprehensive map of Singapore Island completed by Frankin and Jackson and reproduced in John Crawfurd's 1828 book, the place name appears on the south east coast of the island as a river, Badok S. (Sungei Bedok), around the "small red cliff", a part of present Tanah Merah.

The Malay word bedoh refers to a type of slit drum made from a large hollowed log for calling people to a mosque for prayers or to sound the alarm in the days before loudspeakers. There was a prominent mosque in the 1950s at Jalan Bilal that still used the drum about five times a day. The "h" in the word bedoh was replaced with a "k", and, as with most Malay words that end with a "k", it is pronounced with an inaudible glottal stop.

A less popular version refers to an equally uncommon Malay term of biduk, a small fishing boat like the sampan, or more likely, a dugout canoe, as the east coast was dotted with many fishing villages.

Bedok Community Centre
Shade study
Located just minutes away from Bedok MRT station and bus interchange, and opposite the Bedok Swimming Complex, the CC provides a place of fun and games for sports enthusiasts. The CC offers a wide range of sports facilities from gateball courts to sheltered basketball and badminton courts.

Besides sports, there is wireless broadband access throughout the CC.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Cafe Sketchwalk 4: Teahouses in Chinatown.

The complete tea set from the first Chinese teahouse - Tea Chapter《茶渊》along Neil Road
Second stop: Yi Xin Xuan《怡心

My first memories of Chinese were of my grandmother preparing them for festivals as offerings to the invisible deities. They were made thick, strong and in copious amounts. We get to drink them later as we feast on the food prepared for the festivities of the day.

My grandmother made copious amounts of Oolong《乌龙》 and sometimes Pu Erh《普洱》. Then was when I acquired my taste for Chinese tea. My grandmother also helped me to acquire my taste for coffee, but that's another story.

In secondary school, my maths teacher introduced me to the idea of the Chinese tea ceremony: a ritual of making tea that slows you down and opens up your senses, making even the tiniest of gestures an amplified motion. Your sense of hearing, tasting and even seeing is suddenly amplified and enhanced. This was then picked up again during my military stint. A group buddies I hang out with are also into tea drinking.

The last introduction came with my current job: my boss is an avid tea drinker and is absolutely fanatic about tea and often urges us to have tea with him. Being in a working enviroenment with a strong Chinese cultural influence also helped to further nurture and mature my understanding of the sensorial expereince and art of the tea ceremony. This culminates in part 4 of my cafe sketchwalk: tea houses.

Spurred by Liz's interest in Chinese teas, I arranged for one during her visit. Much to my delight, we were also joined by Parka, Favian and Su Min. The experience proved to be a wonderfully therapeutic and quieting experience for all those who were there a the sketchwalk. So inspired was I that I went ahead and acquired a set of tea making instruments for my personal exploration and enjoyment at home...

the complete tea settea set in usetea and conversation

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Alvin Mark Tan: Thirty Days on the Camino

I love the ingenious use of real props to authenticate the experience at the exhibition.
 A journey of any sort is always becomes bigger than the original intention . This goes without saying for an intended pilgrimage.

Local artist and illustrator Alvin Mark Tan when on a peregrino's journey on the Spanish camino down the famous Camino de Santiago this year. His exciting and eventful journey culminated in a book that journaled his adventures visually and textually.

At the launch of his book, I was invited to the event and experienced the journey vicariously through an ingenious use of real equipment used on the actual journey put on display.

Friday, 21 December 2012


Hi Everyone!

This upcoming sketchwalk will be in favour of the people living in the east because we will be sketching around Bedok! It's a pretty busy and big neighbourhood. We will meet at the Bedok Food Centre just beside Bedok Mrt Station at 930am. You can have your breakfast there before the event (or eat and draw when the sketching starts like some of you like to do) From the food centre, we will hand out highlighted locations for you to draw and explore so you can head for all the places that are famous in Bedok.

You will be able to submit the sketches done in this sketchwalk to Epigram to be included in the upcoming "I Love Bedok" book. Yes, it's in the same series as the "I love Toa Payoh" book. Only the best sketches will be chosen for the book so do as many as you can and submit them! You will get 1 complimentary copy if 1 drawing gets into the book. And 2 copies if 3 or more drawings gets featured.

(all files sent to Jocelyn using yousendit or youtransfer at

We will have just 3 groups this time + 1 special ah-hoc afternoon group (see below).

We will meet back at the hawker centre again (this may change if we find a quieter location) at 12:30pm for a show and tell session before lunch.

See you guys there!

Call 91070735 if you get lost or can't find us. (well, hard not to miss so many sketchers about.)

Group 1

  • Bedok
    (on Bus Interchange side)
Very busy area. There is a regular blind busker here who starts playing from evening. Said to have good voice.
  • Bedok Bus Interchange and surrounds
    There are some iconic places at the interchange itself that I think should be documented. One is the flower shop, the other is a medicine shop that sells really inexpensive toiletries. And further in there's the wet market and lots of mom and pop shops (I'd recommend one called Kian Wee Stationery Shop -- has those old school toys too!)
  • Bedok
    Interchange Food Centre

    207 New Upper Changi Road)
Goreng Pisang stall (back corner stall)
Bedok Chwee Kueh, #01-53
Jian Bo Shui Kueh, #01-24
Selegie Soya Bean / Beancurd, #01-46
Famous Bedok porridge near interchange - ??
  • Current construction
    of Bedok

    site worth recording, cranes and all!
  • Princess
    Theatre building

    – v old.


  • Bedok Public Library
    This was the first solar powered library. Might be good for sketches to
    catch top-view down (if possible?).
  • Bedok Adventure Park
  • Blk 216 Market and Food Centre (technically Bedok North St 1)
  • Hon Ni Kitchen Nasi Lemak (closed on Sun)
  • Chris’s Kway Chap, #01-80
  • Rui Xing Coffee (kopi and toast), #01-42
  • Mixed rice stall ($2 only!) facing road, always with long queues
  • And any other neighbourhood stores that catch artists’ attention

Group3: New Upper Changi Road / Bedok North Road
  • Bedok
    Swimming Complex
  • Bedok
    Sports Hall
  • Bedok
  • Bedok
    Badminton Hall
  • Bedok
    Tennis Centre
  • Bedok
    Community Club (across road from swimming pool)


Bedok South Ave 1
  • Bedok
    South Road Market and Food Centre
Wah Rojak, #01-197
Street Char Kway Teow, #01-187
  • Blk
    18 HDB old-style long block
is next to food centre, and good angles to sketch from – the ground
here is all red tiled.
Junior College (I don’t think this is drawable from outside, so it
is optional)

Ad Hoc Sketchwalk at Conservation Areas...

Le Chocolat Cafe at The Club, Ann Siang Hill
Le Chocolat Cafe is a sandwich & pastry café within the boutique hotel The Club, and is situated along Ann Siang Hill. The café here is small and still finding a foothold in this seemingly sleepy but charmingly peaceful part of Singapore. The service can be slow but it allows you to soak in the ambience and adds to the charm of the place.

Maison Ikkoku at Kandahar Street.
A lifestyle boutique combining mid-high end international menswear retail, a café centered on quality coffee and a semi-alfresco cocktail bar. 

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Cafe Sketchwalk 3: Orchard Shopping Belt.

Kith Cafe at Park Mall, Penang Road.
This is the off-shoot from the Rodyk Street main store. It's a collaboration with X-Tra furtniture store and thus explains the electic and stylish selection of furniture.

The coffee is interesting enough with a passable selection of food. 'Home-cooked' and 'simple' are words that one would not and should not use when introducing a bistro in the busy retail/commercial area; but they did, to underwhelming effect.

Coffee & Toast at Triple One Somerset, Exeter Road.
Black Coffee was closed for renovation (or for good?) when I was there. So I just walked a few more steps to check out this other shop that is basally a glorified local kopitiam. Bleary-eyed CBD workers form long queues in the morning to get their kopi fix from Coffee & Toast. Local tea and coffee in the style of Ya Kun, Wang etc. but slightly cheaper than either place.

Raindrops Cafe at *Scape, Orchard Road.
Raindrops Cafe offers alfresco dining and dishes by the former Red Dot Cafe Chef. If it starts pouring in the middle of a meal, a 20 per cent discount will be given. The crew also offers rain shelter service with specially designed umbrellas since there isn't any linkway from the main building to this littel bistro.

Raindrops Cafe serves simple comfort food. The food portions are a little small and not fantastic in terms of taste but the prices are reasonable and it’s a good . If you are looking for a nice cafe to chill out or for dinner Raindrops Cafe may be the right place. 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Spinelli at Wheelock Place.

Spinelli Coffee Company at Wheelock Place
Wheelock Place went through a major overhaul after its anchor tenant closed down in 2011. Marks & Spencers took over that retail space. The vacant basement was then segregated into parcels of shop spaces now helmed by niche shops, boutiques and a few cafes and bistros, one of which is Spinelli.

Spinelli Coffee Company has its origins in San Francisco and was the first American specialty coffee retailer to reach the shores of Singapore in 1996. Their coffee beans are selected from plantations around the world, roasted and blended by Master Roasters in Singapore to ensure coffee freshness. Staff members are carefully trained in product knowledge and preparation methods.

Viridian Art's House POP- UP ART STORE!

This was where I had the first public exhibition of my works in reproduction prints. Very exciting!
A pop-up shop with a specially-selected collection of artistic and design products in support of all artists and local artisans.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Art Prints for Sale - My First Group Art Exhibition-cum-Sale

Viridian Art House is organising a Christmas Creative Art Exhibition Sale and I have been invited to put up a collection of my paintings’ prints for exhibition and sale at the event. This is a 2-day affair from 15 to 16 Dec 12 from 11am to 6pm.

Hope to see you there and show your support for my art pieces.

These pieces have been carefully selected and reproduced on high gauge archive quality A5 art paper for the pleasure of your collection.

Starbucks Liat Towers before the Ponding Flood — at Starbucks Coffee @ Liat Towers.

Sungei Buloh in the mist — at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

MacRitchie Reservoir Dawn — at MacRitchie Reservoir.

玄江殿 — at 玄江殿.

MacRitchie Reservoir After the Rain — at MacRitchie Reservoir.

Dunlop Street in Contrast — at Dunlop Street.

House 1A at Bukit Ayer Molek.

Sunset at Orchard Road Promenade after the Rain — at Wheelock Place.

Malay Heritage Centre — at Malay Heritage Center.
Cast Iron Table Leg Detail — at Starbucks Rochester Park.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The Corner House that became The Garden

E.J.H. Corner House at Singapore Botanic Gardens
This is a colonial bungalow that was formerly the residence of the Assistant Directors of Singapore Botanic Gardens. It is named after E.J.H. Corner who was Assistant Director in the period 1929-1945. Corner was an expert on fungi and tropical trees and palms. He went on to become Professor of Tropical Botany at the University of Cambridge.

Edred John Henry Corner FRS (12 January 1906 – 14 September 1996) was a botanist who occupied the posts of assistant director at the Singapore Botanic Gardens (1926–1946) and Professor of Tropical Botany at the University of Cambridge (1965–1973). Corner was a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College from 1959.

His studies of seed morphology led him to formulate the Durian Theory of the origin of flowering plants. He was also a leading expert on the genus Ficus and the palm family, as well as a distinguished mycologist, having published Boletus in Malaysia in 1972.

Among his many academic prizes were the Darwin Medal (1960), the Linnaean Gold Medal (1970), and the Japanese International Prize for Biology (1985).

He was a controversial figure, viewed by some as a collaborator with the Japanese during the World War II occupation of Singapore. In fact he was only offered the chance to continue his work in the Singapore Botanic Garden at the instigation of the ousted British governor, Sir Shenton Thomas, and he was treated by the Japanese as an enemy alien, being required to wear a distinguishing red star on his clothing. His account of this time is contained in The Marquis - A Tale Of The Syonan-to (1981). He also wrote a Biographical Memoir of the Emperor Hirohito for the Royal Society.
Corner has also gained some notoriety among creationist circles in recent years for a frequently circulated quotation: "...but I still think that to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favor of special creation." Here is the full quote:
The theory of evolution is not merely the theory of the origin of species, but the only explanation of the fact that organisms can be classified into this hierarchy of natural affinity. Much evidence can be adduced in favour of the theory of evolution - from biology, bio-geography and palaeontology, but I still think that, to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favour of special creation. If, however, another explanation could be found for this hierarchy of classification, it would be the knell of the theory of evolution. Can you imagine how an orchid, a duckweed, and a palm have come from the same ancestry, and have we any evidence for this assumption? The evolutionist must be prepared with an answer, but I think that most would break down before an inquisition. Textbooks hoodwink. A series of more and more complicated plants is introduced - the alga, the fungus, the bryophyte, and so on, and examples are added eclectically in support of one or another theory - and that is held to be a presentation of evolution. If the world of plants consisted only of these few textbook types of standard botany, the idea of evolution might never have dawned, and the backgrounds of these textbooks are the temperate countries which, at best, are poor places to study world vegetation. The point, of course, is that there are thousands and thousands of living plants, predominantly tropical, which have never entered general botany, yet they are the bricks with which the taxonomist has built his temple of evolution, and where else have we to worship?" (E.J.H. Corner 1961, from 'Evolution', p. 97, in "Contemporary Botanical Thought", Anna M. Macleod and L. S. Cobley (editors), Oliver and Boyd, for the Botanical Society of Edinburgh)
Among the many plant species named in his honour are Anisophyllea corneri, Calamus corneri, Bulbophyllum corneri, and Platyscapa corneri.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

The (re)New(ed) Starbucks at Raffles City

The renewed Starbucks at Raffles City
The new Starbucks layout at Raffles City. The new layout is more open and spacious. There is no inside/outside anymore. Sitting here as the sun streams in reminds me of summer in Paris.

Cottage of my Childhood

I've always seen this in my mind's eye as a child...
This cottage scene has been playing in my mind for a long time, since my childhood days, if I remember correctly. Oftentimes, I would see the home from different perspectives, but generally, it has always been this cottage in the country that I always see in my mind’s eye. This one of the views’ permutations.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Cafe Sketchwalk 1.3 - Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee Bar

Up close and personal with the espresso machines and baristas.
I first learned about Chye Seng Huat Hardware (再成發五金) Coffee Bar when my friend posted their visit on Facebook. I was intrigued and tickled by the very old school, traditional Chinese family business name.

However, the place is anything BUT old school. The hustling and bustling interior serves fantastic Java with beans prepared at its very own roastery just next to its dining area.

There is a comfort in watching the baristas methodically prepare the orders of coffee during peak hours. Even during peak periods, they will still patiently prepare yours with intricately designed latte art: individually, carefully, beautifully.

This is definitely a place that demands a second visit - to explore the menu, experience the space and indulge in the atmosphere.

Cafe Sketchwalk 1.2 - The Broers Cafe

The sparse and cavernous interior of The Broers Cafe
What defines coffee? Is it a habitual cuppa to get your morning grooves, or a cup of sunshine on a cold, rainy day? At Broers, coffee is an ever changing experience depending on what you drink, how you drink it, and when you drink it.

But coffee is only one aspect when you step into the Broers Cafe. Amazing things happen here on a daily basis because we work magic with our brew. There are no rocket sciences involved. Simply start with a great cup of coffee, continue with a conversation and suddenly, you are connected by a common experience. Don’t be too surprised when you find yourself sharing this one-of-a-kind intimacy with someone else across the room. At the Broers Café, our brew is 10% caffeine and 90% soul. This explains the warm fuzziness you feel spreading in your belly and the inexorable Cheshire grin that follows afterwards.

Come down to the Broers Café today and discover more about what goes into our cup of brown nirvana. Leave your inhabitations at the door, order your java, kick back in your seat and prepare to embark on an epicurean adventure!

Broers. We make great coffee and even better company.
The above is the text from The Broers Cafe website.

However, the obverse could not be more true. My friend and I went in and experience the cold atmosphere in the cafe - both physically and emotionally. All except for one lady of the service staff greeted us. When we asked to find out more about the cafe, the owner, could not even be bothered to look at us, directed us to the website instead. And this message was conveyed to us via the service staff, who was the only warm face during our visit.

When I finally got the chance to visit the website, I couldn't help but laugh at the ridiculous irony that was written on it. It could well have been gibberish and gobbledy-gook, because it describe a completely different place that my friend and I encountered.

With so-so coffee and even worse service, I would neither recommend nor visit again.

Cafe Sketchwalk 1.1 - L'Etoile Cafe

Started the day meeting up with friends at L'Etoile Cafe at Owen Road. I was there for brunch and had their delicious french toast with scrambled eggs and bacon. It was a delicious fare - not too greasy nor was the maple syrup accompanying the toast too sweet. There was even a nice hint of cinnamon in the syrup. I had their flat white to wash the brunch down... it was so good, I had two - coffees that is.

However, what must be the main draw of the place is the environment. Set like a French-influenced Japanese cafe, the place has a charm and quaintness that blends itself beautifully into the quiet and comfortably appointed interiors.

This is a definite place to visit for some chill time alone or with friends.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Wet Day in the Orchard.

Rainy day in Orchard Road...
On the way home - father and son walking in the rain.
It was a day when I was suppose to be draughting my short stories. The rain made it hard to focus when the dampness and howling wind turn the temperature uncomfortable. My attention then turn towards the people on the sidewalk making their way around town.

I was particularly taken by a father and son duo. The son was lively and animated, pointing things out to his dad. And for that moment while I witness the scene, the cold seem to melt away...

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Orchard in the Monsoon.

Orchard Road Promenade outside Liat Towers after the rain.
Orchard Road got its name from the nutmeg, pepper and fruit orchards or the plantations that the road led to in the mid-1800s. Commercial development only began in the twentieth century, and took off in the 1970s.

Orchard Road was already cut in the 1830s, though the new road was not named in George Coleman's 1836 Map of Singapore. In the 1830s the Orchard Road area was the scene of gambier and pepper plantations. Later, nutmeg plantations and fruit orchards predominated, hence its name.

By 1846, the spread of houses had reached up to Tank Road. There were none on the left side and only three or four houses went past Tank Road on the right side of Orchard Road.

One major sight during this period was a Dr Jun tending his garden, which helped endorse the road's name. He had a garden and plantation at the corner of what is now Scotts Road and Orchard Road.

Towards the later part of the 1840s, graveyards began to appear along the road. By 1846, the Chinese had a large graveyard around what is now the Meritus Mandarin Hotel and Ngee Ann City, while the Sumatrans from Bencoolen had their burial ground where the current Grand Central Hotel stands. Later a Jewish cemetery was established; it was located where Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station is now situated, and demolished in 1984.

In the 1860s, Orchard Road had a great number of private houses and bungalows on hills looking down through the valley where the road passed through. Early in the 1890s, King Chulalongkorn, the then King of Siam, acquired "Hurricane House" in the vicinity of Orchard Road through Tan Kim Ching, the Thai Consul in Singapore. Two further pieces of adjoining property were added later and these subsequently became the site of the present Royal Thai Embassy at 370 Orchard Road.

In the early 20th century, it was noted that Orchard Road "present[ed] the appearance of a well-shaded avenue to English mansion[s]", comparable in its "quiet but effective beauty to Devonshire lanes." The Chinese called the area tang leng pa sat koi or "Tanglin market street". The Tamils refer to the road as vaira kimadam or "fakir's place", and muttu than (high ground), a reference to the hilly nature of the area.

Flash floods occurred at the road's iconic junction with Scotts Road on 16 June 2010 after 100mm of rain fell from 8 am to 11 am that morning, reportedly the worst flood at the junction since 1984. Shopping malls along Orchard Road like Lucky Plaza and Liat Towers were affected by the flood. The flood had caused some shopping mall and car park basements to be submerged in the water. Rescuers had to pull out about 70 passengers from cars and buses, as flooding shut down Orchard Road, which is lined with high-end shopping malls and tourist attractions. No one was injured.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The 'Prairie House' along Bukit Ayer Molek

‎House 1A at Bukit Ayer Molek.
Came across this house on the expressway on my way back from school the other day and went back to make paint it. I love its 'prairie house' proportion and how it is built on a slope, following the land's natural contours. I didn't see any bodies of water so I don't know where the air molek (beautiful water) is.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

People watching at Starbucks (as usual)

People watching at Starbucks, Liat Towers.
It was a rainy day today and the cafe was empty when I arrived...

... and then it filled up as the evening approached and the rain fizzled off.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Commonwealth Estate

The iconic block 38 at Commonwealth Avenue.

Commonwealth Estate is an estate in the Queenstown Planning Area (which includes the Queenstown Housing Estate). It is bounded by the Ulu Pandan Canal, Ghim Moh Housing Estate and the former Tanglin Camp area to the north, Alexandra Road to the east, Clementi Road to the west and the sea to the south. It covers an area of approximately 2,188 ha.

The total population (1990 census) is 126,071 with 31,131 housing units.[4] It consists of 16 subzones, namely: Ghim Moh, Holland Drive, Commonwealth, Tanglin Halt, Margaret Drive, Mei Chin, Queensway, Portsdown, Buona Vista, Singapore Polytechnic, Dover, National University, Kent Ridge, Pasir Panjang, Pasir Panjang II, and the Port.

The main housing areas within Queenstown include:
  • Princess Estate is the first sub district of the Queenstown District consists of several precincts like Strathmore, Dawson
  • Duchess Estate is the second subdistrict of Queenstown district which consists of Queenstown Centre and Margaret Drive. Several blocks of 2-storey and 3-storey flats are located in this area.
  • Tanglin Halt consists of rows of ten storey flats, fondly remembered as Cap Lau Cu十楼厝). Many of the flats in this area are currently undergoing upgrading. Several 40 storey flats are built.
  • Commonwealth Estate is located near the Commonwealth MRT station and consists of precincts like Commonwealth Close and Commonwealth Crescent. It is best known for having a fantastic view of Singapore's Downtown.
  • Queen's Close is a cluster of flats bounded by Mei Ling district, Portsdown Road and Alexandra Road. Queen's Crescent is now demolished.
  • Mei Ling/Mei Chin is built from the excavation of two hills, Hong Lim and Hong Yin Hill which are used for cemetery purposes. It is also where Queenstown district got its name Boh Beh Kang, or a river with no source.
  • Buona Vista is the last district built in Queenstown. However, it has developed a distinct and unique identity today that is commonly not linked with Queenstown.

Friday, 23 November 2012

This dinner rmarks the end. Woo hoo!

End-of-Year staff dinner at Tiffany's

Last day of work! Hello holidays!

Can you tell that we're all excited?
It's finally the last day of work!

Marina Bay

Gardens by the Bay - one of the attractions at Marina Bay.

Marina Bay is a bay near Central Area in the southern part of Singapore, and lies to the east of the Downtown Core. Marina Bay is set to be a 24/7 destination with endless opportunities for people to “explore new living and lifestyle options, exchange new ideas and information for business, and be entertained by rich leisure and cultural experiences”.[1] It is here where the most innovative facilities and infrastructure such as the underground “common services tunnel” are built and where mega activities take place. 

In 1970s, land reclamation was carried out at Marina Bay, forming what is today the Marina Centre and Marina South areas. In the reclamation process, Telok Ayer Basin was removed from the map, while the Singapore River's mouth now flows into the bay instead of directly into the sea. In 2008, Marina Barrage was built, asin into a new downtown freshwater Marina Reservoir, providing water supply, flood control and a new lifestyle attraction.