When the travel bug hit, I wanted to take Pangzi to the unlikeliest of places to cure his wanderlust: Far East Plaza.
“Why Far East Plaza? I don’t want to go shopping!” he protested.
“So you haven’t heard. Far East Plaza is soon to be a shopping mall no more,” I said.
Kind of sad. I grew up shopping at Orchard Road, and Far East Plaza was a stop I’d never miss. Remember 77th Street, anyone?
“What’s happening to the place?” Pangzi asked.
“Well, the coronavirus is killing the retail business one way or another,” I explained. “Far East Plaza isn’t spared either.”
Indeed, when we visited we noticed about half the shops were closed. Not sure if they were closed for the day, but it was only 6pm.
“Daddy, why are we here then?”
“Well, Far East Plaza is turning into an art museum. Sort of.”
“Yeah, surprise surprise. They’ve converted quite a number of shops on the first floor into art galleries.”
Different galleries were displaying artwork of different genres, from photography to contemporary art. There was no telling how often it was curated though.
Nevertheless even before the lockdown, Far East Plaza had already hosted art exhibitions at the podium area. The transformation had been coming.
“But I don’t want to see art. I want to fry!” Pangzi said, still protesting.
“Come I take you around the world,” I offered, pulling him into a room with a collection of photographs taken in various countries from Japan to Spain.
“Wow, these are great photos,” he said appreciatively.
“Some minister took them when we were all allowed to fly. Now you can imagine you’re out of Singapore,” I said helpfully.
“That’s cheating you know. You just want me to see art with you.”
“Can you not grow up so fast?”
It’s great to have another excuse to come here, but I still like the Far East Plaza of the past.
For nostalgic reasons.
We were here: