Sunday, April 05, 2009

a small neighbourhood


This is a sketch at a neighbourhood where foreign workers and residents co-exist amicably side by side. Or is it? This small neighbourhood made news last year when an owner was charged with allowing ninety foreign workers to be housed in a 1,300 sq ft private apartment. Although many new private apartments were built in the recent years, this place still maintains a large number of original richly ornamented shophouses where prices are now beyond reach of common folks.

I did this sketch under the cool shade of a big tree with current hot temperature at 33 degree C. The row of shophouses on the left is lined with front gates adorned with elaborated designs that suggest these are middle-class families. However, the row of shophouses on the right which is facing the busy main road, is the heaven for either low-income families or foreign workers. The tell-tale signs are the barbed-wire railings, derelict wooden planks, canvas and the large quantity of laundry hanging at the crumbling balcony. It is also uncommon to find flying cable and large numbers of TV antennas in this tiny city-state country.