Making Lengkok Bahru Home
In an unassuming neighbourhood in Singapore, a movement to knit the community of Lengkok Bahru together has been quietly brewing.
Led by Lin Shiyun, the creative director of non-profit arts company 3Pumpkins, the neighbourhood has seen life breathed into its ageing façade in recent months. Pop-up playgrounds, cheerful graphic design pavements, mobile libraries and interactive art installations that are here today and gone tomorrow have also injected quite a bit of excitement into the lives of its residents.
‘Seeing the Obvious’
Such was the trajectory of Shiyun’s work at Lengkok Bahru before COVID-19 struck. 3Pumpkins’ latest project, ‘Seeing the Obvious’ was intended to take participants on a madcap Bingo game trail across nine stations around the neighbourhood. Art installations by students from Nanyang Polytechnic and other artists in Singapore dotted the neighbourhood and awaited discovery by the residents.
Alas, it was not meant to be. With the increased safe distancing measures that were introduced in February, Shiyun ended up taking small groups to visit one site after another.
After ‘Seeing the Obvious’ ended, she decided to set up a small mobile library for the children of Lengkok Bahru to have something to look forward to. Before the heightened circuit breaker measures kicked in, the children could browse the books at their own leisure or join in small group storytelling sessions.
“While it didn’t quite work out the way we hoped, we still managed to make plenty of connections in the neighbourhood. Everyone involved was inspired by what we managed to achieve in these projects, and they want to be part of the next one,” Shiyun shares with a small smile.