Sit pretty in Bencoolen

24 June 2017
The Straits Times, Life, Page D4-D5

Anyone wandering along Bencoolen Street can now rest on a new set of playful benches that are also enticing for art lovers, stargazers and perhaps parkour enthusiasts. Paddle Pop-coloured dogs, a gable-roofed house with no walls and a roller coaster-inspired loop are among the six quirky benches that brighten the new-look Bencoolen Street. Six students and alumni from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa) each came up with his or her own twist on the ubiquitous four- legged wooden bench.

They are winners of a design competition organised by Nafa last year. Their creations, picked from 26 entries, were installed last month. They were chosen by judges from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Land Transport Authority, National Heritage Board and the school, among others. The benches were funded by the URA under its Our Favourite Place programme, a scheme that aims to enliven public spaces.

Recent Nafa graduate Belinda Gan wanted a "playful and eye-catching" seat that would distract pedestrians from their mobile devices for a bit. The result was Doggo & Kitty Cat, a trio of fibreglass benches shaped like animals. Painted in ombre hues reminiscent of Paddle Pop ice cream, Doggo consists of two canine- shaped double-seater benches, while Kitty Cat is a solo seat with the feline on its back. Meanwhile, her fellow winner and former Nafa student Kwek Sin Yee took inspiration from the verandahs of kampung houses, where the occupants would gather to entertain guests.

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Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.


NAFA alumna Kwek Sin Yee

NAFA graduate Belinda Gan