Activity 10: Singapore Now and Then

Activity Leader: Asnee Tasna (Thailand)

Location: Queen Street



Singapore is a compact city state with surprisingly varied characteristic, its multi-racial population offers the unique sketching experience of its own. As visitors, one can’t help but notice the strange co-existence of the unlikely cultures, customs, traditions, people, architecture and landscape. But as sketchers, such rich variety of Singapore cityscape translates into a pleasantly surprise and sketching challenge and fun.

Activity Description

Singapore Now & Then will aim to explore the old and the new of Singapore by visiting its national monument, the historical and the iconic building, Raffle’s Hotel and its hi-tech National Library, another icon building of the recent days. These two buildings are situated not far from each other yet far different than each other in so many ways. The activity will allow the participants a glimpse of, as well as to capture with his or her own hand, the Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling was invented and patronized by a host of elites including Ernest Hemingway and Somerset Maugham, in addition of a visit to the public area of the hotel with its splendid court yards.

In contrast to the tall arcade, arched shopping windows and cast iron pavilion and front porch, the 16-storey National Library stand tall on its distinctive glass and steel structural envelop. With its tall, widely open public space and the sky bridges linking the two blocks of the buildings on every single floor, National Library gives the challenging sketching opportunity for the participants to capture the Now and Then of Singapore, in a new way, an easy and fun way, that is.

Learning Goals

Singapore Now & Then is not to record the Raffles Hotel and Singapore National Library building for their actual likeness of details or architectural features (but you can of course do that if you like) But instead, the aim of this activity is to enjoy seeing, feeling and sketching them the way you FEEL, not the way you SEE.

The participants will be encouraged to immerge in the environments, observing the building’s shape and features, understanding its characteristics and background. And the participants will attempt to create their own interpretation of the buildings. The sketches of the building can be in a simplified form, a modified shape, a certain part or corner of the building, and so on.

The goal of this activity is indeed to learn interpreting the given form, shape and environment of the subjects creatively. The activity will start with a group discussion on the overall concept of the exercise, the visual characteristic of the subject building follow by some suggestion of the possible approach by the group leader. The participants will then mark the selected areas or features of the building and sketch them on their own sketchbooks, with their own preferred tools. The size, type of sketchbooks or supporting materials, type of media, sketching style, technics and the number of sketches are all by the participants’ preference.

Singapore Now & Then shall last some 2-3 hours and the sharing of the finished works and group photography will be carried out at the end of the session.