Across the public spaces between Outram Park MRT and Singapore Art Museum’s present location at the Tanjong Pagar Distripark, Port/raits of Tanjong Pagar showcases the dramatic transformations of the district over the decades, through a series of public artworks by six artists and collectives: Aki Hassan, Divaagar, Space Objekt, Grace Tan, Zen Teh and Isabella Teng.
When the Tanjong Pagar Terminal opened in 1972, it was Southeast Asia’s first modern port to accommodate the container belt system and the beating heart of Singapore’s economy. The following decades were marked by a surge in global container shipping volume and Singapore developed into one of the world’s busiest seaports. These economic pursuits redefined the neighbourhood in various ways, dramatically altering its shoreline, cityscape and social spaces.
The neighbourhood is once again entering another phase of major redevelopment with the ongoing transformation of the former Railway Station and the container port’s move to the Tuas Port, signalling the dawn of another profound change. By drawing attention to the complexities of urban life in contrast to the grinding of heavy machinery and humdrum of port operations that had characterised the written history of this district, the commissioned works in Port/raits of Tanjong Pagar suggest slowing down and taking in alternative perspectives of the vicinity. Journey across the various locations of Tanjong Pagar Distripark, Everton Park, Duxton Plain Park and Tanjong Pagar Plaza and discover the softer side of the neigbourhood which is a testament to Singapore’s transition into a metropolis.