Singaporean artist Dawn Ng on finding her muse at a lesser-known jetty

Mar 14, 2018

The artist, whose works are exhibited at the Singapore Art Museum, shares the places around Singapore that have inspired her work.

YY Kafei Dian is a kopitiam (traditional local coffee shop) along Purvis Street that’s not the least bit Instagrammable – and that’s what I love about it. It serves the most balanced teh C siew dai (tea with evaporated milk and reduced sugar), and its kaya (coconut jam) is spread on warm, fluffy buns. One of my older works, Walter, was shot in a shophouse along that road.

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The quiet area near Beaulieu Jetty in Sembawang is where I go to catch splendid sunrises, with the sky painted with colours from the softest pastels to sharp tangerine. The hues I used in my installation commissioned by Hermes Foundation were inspired by this.

When I have the time, I hole up in Looksee Looksee, a beautifully designed public reading room and tea salon on Beach Road; it’s replete with books curated by locals in the creative industry. While in the area, I also pop by design stores Supermama and Scene Shang.

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Bukit Brown Cemetery is one of the most peaceful places I know. You can find every shade of green in the thick of the jungle there.

I grew up in the Katong district, which I feel has retained its authentic local culture. The area’s food game is strong; try the botanical-flavoured gelato at Birds of Paradise.

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