top of page

District 18: Activation 1

Updated: Feb 8, 2019

| Documentation by Syarifuddin Sahari |

23 January 2019, 7:30pm - 9:30pm

On-site at Tampines Round Market and Food Center (TRM&FC)

3 Words or phrases that lingers:

Syimah: Fishy, Wet, Ulu

Hariz: Adek, Rojak, Quiet

Jonit: Pools, Dystopia, Neon

Shaw: Observe, Reflect, Share

Sonia: Fishy, Cleaning, Outdoor

Carmen: Sunyi, Spectator, Neon

Chloe: Heritage, Sensing, Transition

Shangbin: Surprising, Introspection, Learning

Desmond: Membrane, Outsider, Trying to dissolve


It was a cool, windy night, hardly any clouds were seen and the stars were peering through. The food center was almost empty except for a few groups sitting sparsely throughout the food center. Some stalls were still operating such as the steamboat stall, while others were either closed or preparing the ingredients for the next day like the Muslim stall, which gave rise to the smell of spices. There was a considerably huge lack of birds present as compared to during the day where Haizad, Hasyimah, Hariz and myself had the site recce.

Haizad first gathered everyone to introduce them to the round market & food center and to explain more about what they will be doing for District 18.

Haizad and the artists gathered somewhere in the almost deserted food center.

After the introduction, Haizad asked everyone to walk around the TRM&FC to orientate/familiarise as well as to observe and be present in the space at night. Most importantly, we were not allowed to speak and not to think in the shoes of artist trying to create a new work, but from a third-person view, watching what goes on. This reminded me of P7:1SMA’s philosophy of existing in the in-between, and as we walked along, it felt like we were a presence from another realm, with people looking at us curiously.

We walked around the food center in roughly 3 concentric circles; close to the perimeter/boundary of the food center, in the middle corridors and finally a bit closer to the center of the TRM&FC.

The first round had us walking almost outside the food center. Some of the artists even interacted or made contact with the stalls outside. There was also some incense being burnt along the edges and on some altars which I respectfully decided not to photograph. Decorations had been put up for Chinese New Year, basking some areas in red light.

“Observers” walking along the outskirts, observing the shops within and just outside the food center’s boundary.

As previously mentioned, most of the people that were still there were customers of the steamboat stall. There were big groups, presumably families and friends, eating together and the indistinct chatter/noise was the loudest here. There was also a drink stall open, and one of the dancers commented that these two stalls could have “pakat” to benefit from each others’ business.