Yishun art trail's third installation traces area's food heritage

Yishun Community Hospital nurses (from left) Nur Rafiqah, 21, Saroja Muniandy, 55, and Wendy Yew, 22, who also took part in a litter-picking exercise, posing for a wefie at the newly launched mural which depicts what the area looked like in the 1960s
Yishun Community Hospital nurses (from left) Nur Rafiqah, 21, Saroja Muniandy, 55, and Wendy Yew, 22, who also took part in a litter-picking exercise, posing for a wefie at the newly launched mural which depicts what the area looked like in the 1960s.PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Many may be familiar with the Goodlink Park area in Yishun for its food such as Chong Pang Nasi Lemak and Gin Thye Cake Shop's offerings, but the area's food heritage actually goes back several decades.

To capture that, Nee Soon South Community Club commissioned a mural showing an outdoor eatery, with stalls lined side by side and customers having their meals on wooden tables and stools. It is located under a pavilion at Goodlink Park Playground, off Sembawang Road.

The 4m by 2m mural, which depicts Goodlink Park in the 1960s, also features the Chinese characters for "Yishun" scrawled on a signboard.

To commemorate yesterday's unveiling, Ms Lee Bee Wah, an MP for Nee Soon GRC, painted numbers on the registration plate of a car in the mural - S2018N, with S for Singapore, 2018 for the year of the mural's unveiling, and N for Nee Soon.

The mural is the third piece in Nee Soon South's public art initiative. Ms Lee told The Straits Times that the inspiration for the art trail came from Sheffield Town in Tasmania, Australia. "People go to Sheffield... just to look at the murals," she said. "I hope that slowly, we can transform Yishun in the same way. All these murals will tell the story of Nee Soon South, and it can also attract visitors."

In 2016, a pineapple structure was installed at Block 850 Yishun Street 81 to commemorate the area's history as a pineapple plantation. Last year, a mural was painted at Block 776 Yishun Avenue 2, depicting a scene from Lee Teck Public School, which used to be located there.

About 150 people, including volunteers and residents of the constituency, witnessed the launch of the latest addition to the art trail. They also took part in a monthly litter-picking exercise around the estate, dressed in red and white in celebration of Singapore's recent 53rd National Day.

The Goodlink Park area used to be a kampung but was developed over the decades into a private housing estate. The Gin Thye Cake Shop has been operating in the area since 1964. It moved to its current location in Sembawang Road in 1978.

Mr Lawrence Lim, 44, second-generation owner of the shop, said in Mandarin: "I grew up in this area. In fact, the kampung we lived in is where the Housing Board Blocks 800 and so on now stand. This area has really changed so much in the last 40 years or so."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2018, with the headline 'Yishun art trail's third installation traces area's food heritage'. Print Edition | Subscribe