After a hearty lunch at Tiong Bahru Food Centre, I would usually take a stroll around the neighborhood. The community centre is a good place to escape from the mid-day heat and on Valentine's Day I was back again. This time round, I was surprised to see a familiar little set-up in front of the centre's history corner. What's with this mock-up of a provision shop?
Time seems to have stood still in this provision shop mock-up. This traditional Chinese-style calendar was not "updated" during my visit in February. Can you pick out the handwritten characters; I think they look like 下货.
This was NHB's community series exhibition on provision shops entitled Traditional Provision Shops: A Thriving Past & An Uncertain Future. Under an energetic director of heritage institutions and industrial development, NHB embarked on a series of travelling community-related heritage exhibitions which they put up at different places. I think this was the first; the second was on wet markets and the third, void decks. According to this article, the exhibition was at Jurong Regional Library before Tiong Bahru and will "run until October at eight more community centres and libraries, including the National Library in Victoria Street and Pasir Ris Public Library."
Since it is hard to catch the exhibition if you do not have the schedule (I'm not aware if they release a schedule for all the venues), I decide to put up the exhibition - information panels only - in this post. Do note the exhibition is, in part, experiential; the old-school biscuit tins, milk tin, abacus, telephone, analog weighing machine etc. are as much part of the exhibition. As the exhibition venues include community centres like this one, where there is lack of security patrols and CCTVs, I'm not surprised if some hungry folk or vagrant has designs on the biscuit tins and other provisions. Let's hope they are not expired.