Shop and support local at these arts markets

Market organiser The Local People has been known to set up in what the group calls "disused places", such as the Singapore Land Authority Power Station Art Market in August 2018.
Market organiser The Local People has been known to set up in what the group calls "disused places", such as the Singapore Land Authority Power Station Art Market in August 2018.PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE LOCAL PEOPLE

SINGAPORE - A hospital might seem like the last place you would want to party in, but it is the venue of choice for market organiser The Local People's next unorthodox art market.

Held in partnership with the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), the event called I Am Citizen will take over the former St. Andrew's Mission Hospital on National Day - with art installations, performances and a bazaar paying homage to all things Singaporean. The one-day affair marks the first-ever open house for the restricted property in the Central Business District, which is off-limits to the public.

The hospital building itself, built on a wedged-shaped site and featuring a triangular stairwell, will be transformed by local artists with site-specific installations to the theme of 'Singapore, Our Home'.

Inside, visitors can browse an art market featuring 50 local designers and makers peddling handmade wares. These include a debut collection of illustrated greeting cards from paper goods brand Feelings Club, T-shirts with food designs by Outofthenom, and accessories from lifestyle brand The Duf Store.

Art collective IKI Makers Union will also be hosting craft workshops in block printing, calligraphy and bookbinding.

You can even catch a live streaming of the National Day Parade up on the rooftop, which will be converted to a screening space for the event.

When night falls, the entertainment lineup will go beyond the typical music performance - with experimental performances by local creatives UglyMukbangGirls, and artist duo Mazri Ismail and Natasha Izatil. The latter will put up a collaborative piece questioning the role of traditional Malay heritage and identity in today's modern society.

The Local People has been known to set up in what the group calls "disused places", providing a platform to showcase the works of Singaporean artists and craftsmen. They previously organised events at unconventional spaces that included under the West Coast Highway, at the abandoned Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and Pasir Panjang Power Station - all in partnership with SLA.

For I Am Citizen, their fourth collaboration with the statutory board, visitors are encouraged to take public transport to the venue, with Tanjong Pagar and Chinatown being the closest MRT stations.

"We are very excited to transform yet another architectural landmark to showcase a space that is usually not open to the public," said Ms Pin Goh, founder of The Local People, adding that the team was enticed by the architecture and "small pockets of spaces in which the local art community could activate".

"It was important to ensure that local artists and designers could experiment and add their creative spin in each pocket, to create an experiential Singaporean art exhibition like no other."


In the lead-up to National Day, The Straits Times rounds up three other markets featuring local craftsmen and businesses you should check out:

1. Singapasar 2019

Singapasar 2017 at the National Design Centre. PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE FARM STORE

Singapore's own design-centric pasar malam returns for its fourth edition at the National Design Centre. Organised by multi-label boutique The Farm Store, Singapasar 2019 kicks off on Aug 2 with 39 home-grown brands.

Get your hands on locally designed or made products ranging from apparel to accessories and even food. Several labels are debuting all-new products at the bazaar too, such as hand-sewn beaded bangles in our national colours by jewellery label Eden + Elie, local food-themed stickers from the brand Say What?, and bubble tea- and chilli crab-flavoured popcorn from snack brand Crusty's.

After your shopping, rest your feet at adjoining restaurant Tanuki Raw, which has concocted an exclusive Singapasar tipple called the Calamansi Beer Cocktail - inspired by the calamansi drinks and bottled beers at our local kopitiams.

WHERE: National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road

WHEN: Aug 2, 4 to 11pm; Aug 3 and 4, 11am to 9pm


2. Design Pasar

Porcelain wares from Supermama. PHOTO: SUPERMAMA

Take a walk on the industrial side, with a craft market of local artisans at King George's Avenue. For one day only, the Jalan Besar industrial estate will play host to Design Pasar, a pasar malam-inspired market jointly organised by design consultancy Foreign Policy Design Group, woodworkers Roger & Sons and co-working space The General Co.

All three companies currently operate at 115 King George's Avenue.

At the market, you can pick up handmade wares such as porcelain plates from Supermama, design trinkets from Gallery & Co. and artworks from members of the Organisation of Illustrators Council (OIC) - a networking platform for Singapore-based illustrators. Other local vendors to look out for include Basheer Graphic Books, ceramics studio Weekend Worker and jagua tattooist Jynk Ink.

There will also be a section dedicated to retro carnival games, where skilled players can walk away with exclusive design merchandise instead of the usual stuffed toy prizes. Later in the evening, catch live performances by local bands like Subsonic Eye and Long Live The Empire.

WHERE: 115 King George's Ave

WHEN: Aug 3, 4 to 10pm


3. I Eat Design II

Sugarcane earrings and local food cufflinks from PHOTOS: COURTESY OF KLAY.SG

For those who want more than the token grub thrown into the mix, home-grown retailer Naiise is bringing back its food-meets-design event for a second edition - this time at the new Naiise Iconic store in Jewel Changi Airport.

The free event happening inside the store gathers local food and craft vendors for activities such as one-for-one tea sampling at the Tea Bar by Teapasar, and a miniature food workshop led by food artist Sherrys.minis. At the workshop, participants will learn how to make miniature clay cake slices in local flavours such as milo, ondeh ondeh, Thai milk tea, bandung and Horlicks.

Otherwise, shop from the store's 140 local brands, alongside new vendors like, which retails hand-sculpted, food-themed accessories like durian earrings and nasi lemak miniatures, brought in just for the event.

You can also purchase unique food offerings such as marbled red and white cakes from Boufe Boutique Cafe and edible cookie dough from Dohkie, Singapore's first edible cookie dough shop.

WHERE: Naiise Iconic, #02-205/206, Jewel Changi Airport

WHEN: Aug 3 and 4, noon to 7pm