Jake Koh, age 5 shares "When my mummy shared with me about hawker food, it reminds me of my favourite pizza, it has salami and broccoli, and sausage bread, dumplings, and noodles"
My favourite food, Koh Hoi Leung, flour, salt, water, 15cm x 20cm
Hawker delights, Jamie Koh, flour, salt, water
Jamie, age 9 describes her artwork
Set 1: This is my first project. It is a bowl of ramen and a tray of utensils. I chose this because I like Japanese ramen and I think the tray of utensils is very fancy.
Set 2: This is my second set. This is a plate of prata and beside it you will notice a bowl of curry to go together with the prata I chose this because I love to eat prata especially with curry.
Set 3: This is my third and last project this one you will see its very different from the others because it is a huge tongue and a piece of meatloaf you might misunderstand the meatloaf for something else but I understand because when I made this I did not plan it i just stuck two short chop sticks in.
Hawker food gives me a sense of comfort. An influx of new dining spots have entered Singapore in the past few years, dining at the hawker centre grounds me and brings me back to my roots. -Xu Ning
I remember Papa would buy me 4 packets of rice plus half a chicken. Mama laid down the newspaper. The kids jostling around, together with the adults, we dived in. Mouthful of the fragrant rice and chunky succulent chicken meat. Conversations around. - Shulian
When I was having a meal at Albert Court Hawker, an elderly gentleman at my table was eating Rojak and listening to music on his phone and humming to it. He noticed my foot tapping and increased the volume and smiled at me. It was a bright sunny day, and the preppy song made me want to visit the beach! - Roshni
When I was much younger my mom used to bring me to the hawker centre to buy me a bowl of warm, sweet tau huay. I used to enjoy it very much while my mom rushes to the market. She will often inform the Tau Huay stall uncle (owner) to keep an eye on me while she goes off to shop. It was such a pleasant community, keeping a lookout for each other. -Buvi
The real reason I visit a hawker centre is not for the food but for the great company... coo! The flocks of pigeons that come to greet me while I sit and enjoy a meal remind me of home where this is a common sight at local eateries. -Simran
In this project, we invite members of the public of different generations to make art using found objects and sensorial elements, to reflect and respond to their interpersonal relationship with a selected hawker centre. The artists will then contribute with their response art done retrospectively. These artistic responses by both artist-creators and public-creators will hopefully foster a greater willingness in the community to embrace the unknown and be open to novel experiences. We aim to stimulate the co-makers curiosity and psychological mindedness, encouraging interest in self and the differences between self and others. The outcome of the project will be a showcase of these socially engaged processes and responsive artworks in a site-specific exhibition in a hawker centre.
pROJECT MEMORY oNLINE aRCHIVE
Elders of Singapore
SHARE THEIR thoughts on HAWKER CULTURE
We facilitated art workshops with the elderly to honor and celebrate their memories shared with Singapore’s hawker culture through online platforms. Due to the Covid-19 situation sessions were provided through online platforms and residents were sent individually packed art kits.
We would like to especially thank the staff of the respected nursing homes for making this possible.
The artwork displayed is by 𝑴𝒅𝒎 Wan. She created some yam abacus seeds. She kneaded the dough carefully while sharing that this is a traditional Hakka dish made of yam and tapioca flour that takes the shape of an abacus. It is often eaten during Chinese lunar new year as it symbolizes reunion, wealth, and prosperity.
Mdm Wan suggests that we continue to support dishes like this so that it does not disappear in the hawker scene.
Mdm Teresa Wan, 算盘子, flour, salt, oil, and warm water, displayed on wooden panels
Residents of St. Josephs home
sTUDENTS OF LASALLE COLLEGE OF THE ARTS
Residents of Moral home
Drawing on the role of our hawker culture in human relations built upon intergenerational psycho-socio-emotional constructs, we aspire to explore the creative and sensory experiences that collectively nurture our shared sense of cultural identity through public art-making engagement in a community. Participants are invited to journey through the traces of verbal or non-verbal cues, as well as kinaesthetic and emotional experiences during art making.
Materials/objects found in a space embody the histories and felt experience of the space. By using materials found in a community space, the focus is on how the qualities of materials are sensed, felt, and transformed, such that the process may evoke, inspire, and unearth the collective unconscious of the social-cultural experience related to that space. With art materials as food, the community members and artists as “performing” artists, this brief art-making process encourages participants to be at the here-and-now. It provides opportunities for viewers and/or artists to push their limits of willingness to explore and engage with the art-making.
Dorothy G, a first-year student from Lasalle College of the Arts says "As an international student from Hong Kong, the hawker culture in Singapore reminds me of those comfort local food culture in my city"
On how it feels to create with home-based materials she says "The whole interaction with the materials was just like the time when I bake on my own. Like I have the control over the different "ingredients" and I started to make the dish I wish to do. And the most important thing for my dishes or baking is to let them look as nice and tempting as possible because the nice looking of the food adds a lot of marks to the eating experience!"
d., Guilty Pleasure, Sculpture; Flour, Salt, Spices, Plastic Box, Wood Stick, 15x15x8 cm
Artists of Singapore
Shen Jiaqi, Reminiscing Seletar, Acrylic painting on wood panel, 43x66cm
The hawker centre on Seletar Hill is one that held many of my childhood memories, from the weekly routine of getting Saturday morning breakfast to the delicious ‘ban mian’ that I loved as a kid. I can recall making friends and meeting neighbors who made a living from the food centre, and how they would excitedly tell us about the day’s happenings. As a child I would sit and watch the repetitive motions of the stall owners as they serve one customer after another, while my family chats with the friends whom they bumped into. These are precious memories that can never be recreated, as the site is now a bustling shopping mall. This painting is created after the only photo I could find of Seletar Hills food centre, as we did not yet have the habit of documenting our daily lives and surroundings as much as we do today.
Depicted with colors of the sunset, this work is an attempt to honor the various hawker centres that have been demolished as part of our country’s progression, and the how the collective memories that were created within these spaces form the history of our nation’s hawker culture.
"Hawker Culture" mean memories to me. I believe it is made unique to every one of us. How we consume "Hawker Culture" at different times of our lives brings back certain memories that we had - for instance, having kaya toast when I was studying overseas versus when I started working.
Eating traditional breakfast inside "kopitiam" (coffee shop), which used to be a simple daily affair for all of us, has become impossible during circuit breaker. Playing with lightings and shadows on this illustration, I hope that people can still find comfort and hope from this dish that is forever gold to me.