Singapore

I have just returned from a week in Singapore,
visiting my son and daughter-in-law.
The precious hours we spent together were interspersed
with a solitude enriched by the visual feast
provided by this fascinating multi-cultural country.

Most mornings I would wander around Arab Street and its environs,
one of my favourite parts of the city, chatting with the locals and photographing the architecture and visual vignettes
with the intention of sketching them later.

Singapore is situated on the Equator, a liminal space poised between North and South.
Everywhere, the lush vegetation flourishes in the humid air,
a jungle biding its time, vines and twisted trunks
looming over the colonial buildings in side alleys.

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and lapping at the foundations of skyscrapers.

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It is a city of astounding contrasts – at its worst, incredible wealth overshadows grinding poverty, at its best the amazing architecture of traditional colonial houses

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contrasts with surreal modern edifices.

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Street art abounds

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       yet if you turn a corner, you may find a place of silent contemplation, a small oasis of calm in the frenetic heart of this most international of cities.

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Always, one is reminded that Singapore is the gateway to Asia.  Indians, Chinese, Malaysians, and the large, international ex-pat community of which my son and daughter-in-law are a part, crowd onto this tiny island.  The aesthetic is riotously varied, the food, amazing and the locals, for the most part, very friendly.

But it is the small objects, patinated with algae in the moist tropical air, that captivate me.

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the serendipitous image of a leaf, floating in a pool,

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a weathered urn

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or fantastic rooftops etched against the sky.

 SingaporeRooftopsTravel broadens us, they say, but it also may lead us inward, to ponder the diversity of our species, to value the manifestations of spirituality that give rise to the beautiful and the bizarre.

It is a privilege and a gift.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Singapore

  1. The street art is transfixing–just a throw of the dice that these artists aren’t famous, with shows in galleries and canvasses hanging on walls of Important People. How wonderful they have found their canvasses, their audiences and, in you, their gallery! Beautiful photos and text, Angie. I am still trying to understand the aesthetic of these post-modern skyscrapers that look like they are melting. Strange and stranger, but as you say–part of the mulitiplicity of this human expressiveness. My favorite, of course, is the single leaf floating in the pool. Like a prayer. Many blessings upon you in 2015.

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