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"Teck Whye… Taste of a ‘la Mondrian"

Post on: May 17, 2018

The HDB blocks in Teck Whye Avenue is creating waves…. an ordinary estate has become the talk of the town and the pride of the residents overnight!

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) was established in the 60s to provide public housing for the growing population. It has evolved since its inception whereby those dwelling in overcrowded squatters were coaxed into moving into the flats. Over the years, citizens could own instead of renting their flats. What was initially meant for the low income is now for the majority of citizens — flats have bourgeoned into state of art buildings with impressive social and recreational amenities… and are highly sought-after.

Lately, everyone is talking about the unique design of the blocks at Teck Whye Avenue 1. The hullabaloo was too much to resist. I jumped on the bandwagon to take a look at the latest gossips on “What’s Trending” in the heartland. I was in for a pleasant surprise… the avant-garde designs made the flats look so exquisite.

For a moment I thought I was in a private estate! It was captivating — the facade of these blocks have been painted to the designs inspired by Piet Mondrian.

Piet Mondrian was a 20th-century abstract painter from the Netherlands who is regarded as one of the greatest artists of his generation. Also known as one of the pioneers of abstract art, he was a firm believer of basic forms of beauty and hence discarded “non-essentials” in his work. “Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow” is a product of the Dutch De Stijl (The Style) movement. Many attribute Mondrian for bringing popularity to this rather obscure style.

Wow! being at the site was rather dreamlike. I was virtually teleported to the 20th-century art scene which was arguably the most eventful period in the history of art. It was surreal being “close” to something which was beyond my imagination.

Now back to the real world — my search for the allotted blocks made me realise it was in the midst of an old estate. However, adding blocks of primary colours could really put life back into old structures. Kudos to the Choa Chu Kang Town Council for giving residents a ‘la Mondrian’ look.

A number of youths were taking pictures and posing so carefree in their YOLO (You Only Live Once) fashion. The blocks have become a hotbed for Facebook and Instagram post. Not wanting to be outdone, I soaked up the atmosphere with selfies and some “un-millennial” poses of my own.

Netizens generally are elated and have good vibes of the revamp. Excerpts from threads include “Respect to the residents there for choosing such a bold design and colour scheme. I think this is really a breath of fresh air from all the typical HDB paint job.” says one. However, detractors abound — as in all things in life. One critic penned, “Does this not look like Lego pieces to anyone else?” Like it or not, the Mondrian themed paintings is making its presence felt.

The Jolly Good Times hope this article has aroused your interest in taking a trip to Teck Whye Avenue 1 before the novelty wanes. It is a great place to take some snappy pictures. Have fun — bring your kakis along and invite them to Like us on Facebook.

#JollyGoodTimes #TeckWhyeALaMondrian #ShajiThomasVarughese
Photo: George/JollyGoodTimes

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