Chinatown Market, 1965
MG Kumar, ‘Chinatown Market, 1965’, 2020, Oil on canvas, 22 x 29 in
‘Know then there's a radiant rainbow in the sky,
And sun and showers from heaven truly bless the land.
Chinatown's heritage and colours will not fade or die,
As long as its roots and role steer clear of shifting sand.’ – Yip Cheong Fun Andrew
In no time, kampongs begin to stretch themselves along her western bank. Their terracotta roofs rise skywards like toadstools that spring up after the monsoon rain. As you walk through her bustling marker street, you may pick out a silken handkerchief tucked away behind the embroidered samfus, or say your prayers at the Thian Hock Keng Temple. Do not be surprised when you chance upon the Nagore Dargah or the Al-Abrar Mosque – despite her name, Chinatown embraces all.