prep-room | 106 Joo Chiat Place
Architecturally known as a rumah panggung - a simple bungalow house elevated on stilts (concrete pillars about 1.5 metres tall) - it was one of the remaining few of its kind in Singapore. Having stood along Joo Chiat Place in its shades of greens and yellows, it remained as one of the last few 'older' houses in the conservation area of Joo Chiat. The house was a workplace of sculptor Ng Eng Teng. Upon his return from Ireland, he started using his mother's pre-war bungalow as a studio in 1966 and had since created many of his key sculptural pieces there including public commissions.
Over a period of time, Eng Teng organised parts of the house and the grounds for specific ceramics and ciment fondu productions; and added a shed for his kiln and created a 1.8 metre high basement to store and display his sculptures. Referred by Eng Teng as Studio 106, the house was not only organised to receive visitors for the viewing of artworks, it also functioned as a gathering point for an informal group of ceramists that included himself and Chua Soo Kim. While largely maintained to meet his professional needs, Eng Teng had also introduced a small garden and pond adjacent to the front verandah. Eng Teng resided in his studio until 2001 when he passed away. For a short period until 2004, the house was managed by LASALLE College of the Arts as a residency space for artists. The property was recently sold by the late artist's family and now marked for redevelopment.
Many would remember the sighting of two sculptures, namely "Mother and Child" and upper half of the "The Sultan of Pahang", standing guard, overlooking the main road. Archival in approach, the exhibition features materials gathered from, and related to the house, including salvaged objects, architectural photographic and textual documentations. These materials will be accumulated over the period of the exhibition periodically reorganised to solicit observations, speculations, and further research into Eng Teng, his practice, and home; simultaneously conceived as private and public space.