ART IN ART DECO - Aliwal Arts Centre
BY PAMELA TING, 15 JULY 2016
OUR LOVE FOR ART DECO has gone to a level of wanting to immortalise it through our design of The Starlet Whisky Cabinet, The Maverick Armchair and The Banker Desk Lamp, recreating an era of luxury and sophistication.
We also looked within the confines of our city and found many treasure buildings reminiscent of this 1930s era, some of whose heritage, our government has also taken efforts to preserve.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Funded and built by the Hokkien community, and philanthropists like Tan Kah Kee and the Haw Par Brothers (the very same Haw Par Brothers of Haw Par Villa), the building began life as a Chinese school. Wishing to advance traditional education into a more modern mindset, combining the best schooling methods of East and West, the founders also showed openness towards Western influence, designing the building in Art Deco style.
The Chong Cheng School was funded by the Haw Par Brothers, and the main hall was named after them. You can see the Chinese words "虎豹礼堂” still there today on the facade.
Haw Par Villa, Photo by Choo Yut Shing
On the facade, the name of the school and the name of the benefactors - the Haw Par Brothers, were prominently placed on the main hall. Long horizontal lines that also served as sunshades, as well as geometric shapes indicate the Streamline Moderne style - a late Art Deco style. The building was also crowned with a flagpole in the center - a common feature of many of the Art Deco buildings in Singapore.
Among the Chong Cheng alumni was the fifth President of Singapore, Mr Ong Teng Cheong, who studied at the Aliwal premises during the late 1940s.
READ MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY: http://www.ghettosingapore.com/the-former-chong-cheng-school/
That progressive spirit endures to this day; trading blackboards for canvases, and lessons for performances, the building serves as an enclave for artists and creative businesses today.
Arts events such as the upcoming Aliwal Arts Night Crawl, bring vibrance to the neighbourhood.
JOIN IN THE ARTS EVENT: ALIWAL ARTS NIGHT CRAWL 2017 - RASA WAYANG