Meet the Dwellers – Beauty in the Ordinary

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Behind the neat, ordered facades of HDB blocks is a living compendium of lives, people and stories; some more colourful and compelling than others but all uniquely interesting in their own special way.

Among them is artist Ernest Goh, who sees beauty in the ordinariness of everyday living in the HDB heartland.

Facades, pillars and walls are just what they are – building parts and structures. Until someone comes along and turns them into a thing of beauty to behold.

In his hands, plain walls are transformed into imaginative murals that shutterbugs and ‘Instagrammers’ flock to capture. Most memorable are his giant portraits of chickens, goats and fish that were put up around Tiong Bahru Estate to celebrate its heritage.

Ernest is both an artist and a published photographer. And this may well explain the art that he hewns, seeing through lenses different from most, and why it speaks to a wide audience. Fascinated by the stunning photo spreads that National Geographic magazine is noted for, he was inspired to pick up his first camera while taking photography classes at the community club near his childhood home in Bedok.

Imbibing the belief that interactions between humans, nature and animals beget compassion, his work today pays homage to these empathetic connections. Finding stimulus in the spaces and environment he inhabits, Ernest’s art forms are anything but ordinary.

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