Saturday, 30 June 2012

Pink Dot 2012 - Respect and Inclusiveness.

Pink Dot SG is an annual, free for all event which started in 2009, in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in Singapore. Attendees of the Pink Dot SG events would gathered to form a giant pink dot in a show of support for inclusiveness, diversity and the freedom to love.

Pink Dot SG was founded by Dr. Roy Tan, a medical practitioner in Singapore with an interest in the archiving of LGBT community history and wanted to take advantage of the liberalisation of rules governing activities that can be conducted at the Singapore's Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park and initially planned to stage a traditional gay pride parade in Nov 2008. The first Pink Dot SG event took place at the Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park on May 16, 2009.

It is important that we educate ourselves, be aware to be open and inclusive, destroy ignorance and fear. For ourselves. For our future generations.
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
- Martin Niemöller

Sunday, 24 June 2012


Here is the plan for the upcoming sketchwalk on JUNE 30. We will meet at MacDonalds, 930am. (Opp Braddell MRT stn)

On a first-come-first-go basis, we will assign you to a group to cover a specific area in this area of Toa Payoh. This will be a different area from the previous one. There are many interesting spots to draw there, including a dragon playground, SPH, and some old HDB flats with interesting designs.

This is a continuation of the previous sketchwalk where selected drawings emailed to Epigram will be published in our new series of books covering different neighbourhoods in singapore. If your drawing gets selected to be in the book, you will get one complimentary copy of the book + 40% off a second copy. If more than 3 drawings gets selected, you will get 2 complimentary copies. Anyone who joins us may submit their drawings for the book, even if it will be your first time joining. If you do not wish you participate in the book, no problem, you may join us as usual and have fun drawing!

The sheet below will be handed out during the next sketchwalk. But you may want to download it into your iphone for quick reference if you'd like to cover the locations before the next sketchwalk or after. We have one month from this sketchwalk to cover all these locations as these locations represent TPY and will definately need to be included in the book. See you saturday and have fun sketching!

You will notice that there is a special group that will go in the afternoon as a extra adhoc sketchwalk. It's separate because it is a bit out of the way. That group may be going today (23 JUNE) to cover the monastary. If we manage to cover it today, we won't need to cover it on 30 JUNE.


1) All pictures need to be scanned hi-res 350dpi (for A5 and bigger drawings). If your picture is smaller (eg.A6), scan it at 600dpi so it can be blown up further. 
2) Save them in .jpg format. RGB colour format.
3) Upload them to using WeTransfer or YouSendIt (They are free large file transfer services)
4) Send them to
If you don't own a scanner, you can hand me or Zaihan the originals after the sketchwalk. But please note your name and number on the back. We will scan them and return them to you. 

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Delectable and Delicious and Dean & DeLuca.

Dinner at Dean & DeLuca, Orchard Central
Dean & DeLuca is a chain of upscale grocery stores. The first one was established in New York City's SoHo district by Joel Dean, Giorgio DeLuca and Jack Ceglic in September 1977. It is headquartered in Wichita, Kansas.
This icon of New York City’s culture and lifestyle recently opened a 3,200 square feet flagship store branch in Singapore at Orchard Central, offering Singaporeans the chance to experience the unique cosmopolitan vibe that has made Dean & DeLuca a household name in New York. The Singapore store boasts a large retail section, as well as a cafe and a cooking demonstration area.

Having missed the inaugural opening on 22 June (without regrets, as it was reported to be brimming) Makanism decided to experience D&D on a more casual Saturday lunch. The verdict - the food did not disappoint.

The Bacon and Cheese Burger (of Angus beef dreams) was juicy and well-seasoned and delicious to the very last bite. The melange of spices, herbs and leaves were carefully and successfully matched to be palatable poetry.

A dessert of apple was also a brilliant choice. Soft and succulent apples baked in a beautiful crust with a hint of spices (was it cinnamon?). The only regret was the unfortunately Lilliputian serving size.

However, not all is well on the menu and the service.

Taste wise, one's order of the coffee that was made with white and dark chocolate was a tad too sweet for personal taste. That may be good news for those with a saccharine tooth. What was disappointing was the irregular service. Firstly, one had to clear a table by oneself when no wait staff came to do after a request was put up by me.

Additionally, one had to return to the service counter twice to ask for the carrot-orange drink ordered. Also, they also appeared to have forgotten about my order of the burger because three reminders had to be given and it was finally served AFTER several customers behind me were.

One certainly hopes that it is a minor birthing hiccup, what with the premises being new and all.

Venturing to the other side of the newly opened store, one was warmly greeted by a grand array of gourmet, fine groceries and quality food-related equipment and gadgets from all over the world! It is certainly a foodie/gourmet's paradise. However, it would not be fair to describe the variety of oils, sauces, spices and ingredients there - only a visit can do it justice.

Dean & Deluca is now open at 04-23/24, Orchard Central, Singapore.

Sketching | Gathering | Dumpling - 玄江殿庆端午


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Monday, 11 June 2012

Sultan Mosque - Singapore

Quick sketch while sipping tea on a hot afternoon.

Masjid Sultan (Jawi: مسجد سلطان ;Malay for Sultan Mosque; is located at Muscat Street and North Bridge Road within the Kampong Glam district of Rochor Planning Area in Singapore. The mosque is considered one of the most important mosques in Singapore. The prayer hall and domes highlight the mosque's star features.


When Singapore was ceded to the British in 1819, Temenggong Abdul Rahman, the island's chief, and Sultan Hussain Shah of Johore, under whose jurisdiction Singapore fell, acquired small fortunes in exchange for their power. Sir Stamford Raffles also granted the Temenggong and the Sultan an annual stipend and the use of Kampong Glam for their residence.

The area around Kampong Glam was also allocated for Malays and other Muslims. Hussain built a palace there and brought his family and a complete entourage from the Riau islands. Many of the Sultan's and Temenggong's followers came to Kampong Glam from the Riau Islands, Malacca and Sumatra.

Sultan Hussain then decided to build a mosque befitting his status. He constructed a mosque next to his palace from 1824 to 1826 with funds solicited from the East India Company. With a two-tiered pyramidal roof, it was of a typical design. The original building was replaced with a new mosque.

The management of the mosque was headed by Alauddin Shah, the Sultan's grandson, until 1879, when he passed the torch in to five community leaders. In 1914, the lease was extended by the government for a further 999 years and a new board of trustees was appointed, with two representatives from each faction of the Muslim community.

By the early 1900s, Singapore had become a centre for Islamic commerce, culture and art. Sultan Mosque soon became too small for this burgeoning community. In 1924, the year of the mosque's centenary, the trustees approved a plan to erect a new mosque. The old mosque had by then also fallen into a state of disrepair.

Architect Denis Santry of Swan and Maclaren adopted a Saracenic style, incorporating minarets and balustrades. The mosque was completed after four years in 1928.

Sultan Mosque has stayed essentially unchanged since it was built, with only repairs carried out to the main hall in the 1960s and an annex added in 1993. It was gazetted as a national monument on 14 March 1975.

Today the mosque is owned by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS).

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The Champs Elysee of Singapore

Tone study for watercolour along Orchard Road Promenade (the Champs Elysee of Singapore). I had to do a quick sketch of this view to capture the tones and contrast because people were starting to get curious about a stranger standing in the middle of a promenade and drawing... 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Toa Payoh Town Park - Part 2

A return to Toa Payoh Town Park for a second plein aire. This tree has a most peculiar structure - almost bonsai-like.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

MacRitchie After the Rain.

The effusion of water vapour into the air as the sun peeked to illuminate the place created a misty atmosphere perfect for watercolour this morning.

MacRitchie Reservoir (Chinese: 麦里芝蓄水池, Pinyin: Maìlǐzhī Xùshuǐchí) is Singapore's oldest reservoir. The reservoir was completed in 1868 by impounding water from an earth embankment, and was then known as the Impounding Reservoir or Thomson Reservoir.

Before the early 19th century, most of the Singapore main island was covered by primary forest. Soon after the British established a settlement in Singapore in 1819 and commercial activity took root, there was a demand for fresh water. However, it was decades before the settlement's first fresh water supply was established.

Between 1820 and 1870, a substantial portion of the virgin forest was cleared to assist Singapore in becoming an important trading post. Prior to this, Chinese planters had also worked the forested land for timber and the cultivation of crops like gambier, pepper and rubber [rubber was not planted commercially in Singapore before the 20th century]. By 1886, only 10% of the original forest cover remained.

In 1823, British Resident John Crawfurd proposed the building of a reservoir and waterworks, setting aside $1,000 for these plans but nothing came of them. Another plan that ended up in smoke was the idea to tap the headwaters of Singapore Creek.

Finally, in 1857, Straits Chinese merchant Tan Kim Seng donated $13,000 for the improvement of the town's waterworks but delays, poor planning and use of the wrong building materials ate into the budget. New plans were drawn up for an impounding reservoir in Thomson. Tan's money was insufficient – the cost of the new reservoir was $100,000 – but colonial headquarters in Calcutta refused to make up the rest of the cost. When Tan died in 1864, the reservoir was no nearer completion.

Construction was eventually completed in 1868 but the pumps and distributing network were not finished until 1877. By this time, public confidence in the government's ability was dented.
In 1882, in a move to salvage its reputation, the Municipal Council erected a fountain in Fullerton Square in honour of Tan Kim Seng. The fountain was later to moved to Queen Elizabeth Walk, where it stands today.

In 1891, the holding capacity of the Impounding Reservoir or Thomson Reservoir, after its designer John Turnbull Thomson, was expanded to over 465 million imperial gallons (2,110,000 m3). Municipal Engineer James MacRitchie oversaw this $32,000 expansion and the reservoir was named after him in 1922. In the 1890s, he had urged the government to buy the Chasseriau Estate for use as a reservoir but it was not until much later that the purchase was made.

However, the reservoir's 4 million imperial gallons (18,000 m3) a day were still insufficient to meet demand. Water was pumped into the reservoir from the upper section of Kallang River, one of the island's bigger sources of fresh water. Other fresh water supplies – Lower Peirce Reservoir and Seletar Reservoir – were completed in 1912 and 1920 respectively. However, the government realised that Singapore would not be able to meet its own fresh water needs. In 1927, a water treaty was signed with the Sultan of Johor. Singapore received its first supply of water from Johor in 1932 but Singapore is now more independent.

The development of the MacRitchie Reservoir brought the forest devastation around the area to a halt. The forest surrounding the reservoir has been protected as a water catchment reserve. The forested areas surrounding the other two reservoirs, Peirce Reservoir and Upper Seletar Reservoir (formerly Seletar Reservoir) were also protected when these reservoirs were developed.

During World War II, the Japanese Imperial Army during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore built a Shinto Shrine, Syonan Jinja,in the middle of the MacRitchie Reservoir forest in Singapore. When the British forces re-occupied Singapore, the Shrine was destroyed. However, ruins of the shrine remain and serve as a quaint piece of History accessible only to those willing to look for it, given its obscure location. The National Heritage Board declared the site a Historic Site in 2002, although no plans have been made public to develop or to protect the site.

More than one square kilometre of primary forest still flourishes in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve today, particularly around MacRitchie Reservoir. Rubber trees, remnants of the plantations from the 19th century, can still be seen along the fringes around the reservoir.

There are boardwalks skirting the edge of the scenic MacRitchie Reservoir and walking trails through the forest. They range in distances from 3 km to 11 km. Interpretative signboards along the boardwalks allow for a self-guided tour along the fringes of the MacRitchie forest.

The boardwalk around the perimeter of the MacRitchie Reservoir brings the visitor through interesting secondary forest in the Central Catchment nature area. The boardwalk which hugs the reservoir also allows for easy exploration of freshwater wildlife. The Ant plant (Macaranga bancana.) and pitcher plants are common in the area.

In addition to the boardwalk, another popular attraction is the HSBC TreeTop Walk, a 250 m aerial free standing suspension bridge spanning Bukit Peirce and Bukit Kalang which are the two highest points in MacRitchie. The bridge was completed in July 2004, and the TreeTop Walk was officially launched on 5 November 2004. The structure, which is 25 m at its highest point, offers visitors a panoramic view of Upper Peirce Reservoir and the surrounding lush rainforest. Jelutong Tower also offers a view of the Singapore Island Country Club golf course and the MacRitchie Reservoir.

The 3.2 km and 4.8 km trails are still used as cross-country running routes for various inter-school competitions today.

Schools can be seen using the reservoir as a place for water sports such as canoeing and kayaking. There are certain competitions held there annually. A new amenities hub has been recently constructed following the opening of a multi storey car park. This is part of the renewal programme.