Preserving Heritage in Art & Food

YC is my favourite Singaporean muralist; he does an important & beautiful work preserving our Singaporean heritage through his paintings. He recently completed a 3-storey in Chinatown – it’s on my To-See List. View another one of his murals here and here.

Last year, he had a studio exhibition of works on canvas (and wood, blinds, table tops) where I enjoyed the work featured above.

Looking closer, I had to get some real life examples of the foods & bird cages he depicted:

A quintessentially Singaporean breakfast of kaya (coconut custard) toast, soft-boiled eggs, tea/coffee. This used to be my breakfast of choice at the end of many a run, pre-pandemic. I have not eaten out in public since.

水粿 Shui Kueh (literally “water cake”) is a steamed rice cake, served with preserved radish. Although a popular breakfast food, my most recent fond memories of this food is at the end of Marriage Encounter meetings, when it is almost always present at our potluck suppers.

Loving Husband ran to get this image for me from one of the few remaining birdsong venues.

Tiong Bahru Bird Corner (2020), YC Yip, Acrylic on Blinds, H180 x W180 cm, exhibited by Art Porters “Something, Somewhere, Somewhen” (12 Jan – 14 Mar 2021)

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Manja at Embarassment of Riches’ has a This day in my Blogging History segment at the end of each of her posts. I am inspired to peek back at my old posts from around this day to see what caught my attention then:

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This post is my contribution to One Word Sunday: Heritage hosted by Debbie at Travel with Intent


      1. I don’t believe I have had the pleasure of coconut custard. Next time I am in your lovely country, I will be sure to try it. Lately, I have been eating a lot of coconut flavoured foods.


    1. I am delighted that you enjoyed the conceit & planning that went into this post, Carol Ann! Maybe one day you will visit Singapore and it would be my pleasure to introduce to you other Singaporean breakfast foods (there is a reason breakfast is my favourite meal of the day – except ironically, my personal favourites are PB&J toast & pancakes!)


  1. I love this post Ju-Lyn. Such a great idea to pull together the murals with real photos.

    Aside from your pictures, one thing grabs my attention … What is a Marriage Encounter meeting?


  2. What a lovely mural and a different, but yummy-looking, breakfast to what I’m used to. So glad to see that you keep doing your blogging memories. Thank you for linking to my memorable event. 🙂


    1. I love that we are able to connect in so many different ways – such fun! We don’t always enjoy these traditional Singaporean brekkies – it’s also a special treat for us! (It’s usually just toast with peanut butter or beans on toast for me)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am fascinated by the Birdsinging Club. People really bring their bird cages so the birds can sing to one another? That is one of the most incredible, wonderful things I’ve ever heard.

    Also, I, of course, want to try ALL those foods! 🙂


        1. This weekend, I thought of you when we ran through a little neighbourhood enclave right into the midst of birdsinging aficionados. We stopped to listen a while, snap some pics, marvel at the little swings & toys each bird had.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. I think about you a lot these days when we are doing our run explorations … I found a Durian cafe which I am going to take you to when you visit! They do cakes & pastries with said fruit … maybe you might actually like those.

              Liked by 1 person

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