Tiong Bahru may be teeming with cafe hoppers these days, but portions of the neighborhood are still left untouched by gentrification — such as the rarely opened Tiong Bahru Air Raid Shelter. As the last pre-war civilian air raid shelter still existing in Singapore today, the 1,500sqm space at Guan Chuan Street has remained pretty much unchanged since its construction in 1939.
Until now, that is. For the next few weeks, the air raid shelter will house an exhibition showcasing paintings, sculptures, and installations by eight young and emerging artists. The first of its kind, Raid is curated by artists Daniel Chong and Zulkhairi Zulkiflee, and features names such as Ivan David Ng, Tay Ining, Vanessa Lim, Jacqueline Sim, Pooja Kanade, and Nhawfal Juma’at engaging with the space through their works, offering historical or architectural interpretations of the site.
Chong, 23, told Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore that they happened to “stumble upon an amazing space that is rich with history and well preserved”. In case you didn’t know, the site is also the only public housing building by the Singapore Improvement Trust to be built with an air raid shelter as part of its design.
If you’re keen on swinging by the free exhibition — which is part of Singapore Art Week 2018 — here’s a map to help you navigate around. Also check out Raid’s Facebook event page for more details on artist talks, guided tours, and sharing sessions.
Raid is on from now till Feb 3, Tue-Sun noon-6pm at Tiong Bahru Air Raid Shelter, 78 Guan Chuan St. Free.