We Love Chinatown
Publisher: Epigram Books
Established by the colonial government, southwest of the Singapore River, to cater to Singapore’s Chinese-majority immigrant population, Chinatown is today a bustling destination, much like its counterparts around the world. Designated a conservation area by the Urban Redevelopment Authority in 1989, the neighbourhood is still referred to as “Niu Che Shui”—literally “ox-cart water”, a reference to how the area received its water supply—by some. The pre-war shophouses that once housed coolies, opium dens and letter-writers are now occupied by a mix of old and new: restaurants, souvenir shops, spas, bars and boutiques. The food stalls on Smith Street pay homage to hawkers of the past, and early malls like People’s Park Complex have gone new age with rooftop gardens. Reflecting Singapore’s multi-ethnic nature, Chinatown also interestingly houses the country’s oldest Hindu temple, and the prominent Jamae Mosque. We Love Chinatown offers a glimpse into this vibrant neighbourhood, as seen through the eyes of the talented artists from Urban Sketchers Singapore.