The Arab Street area of Singapore is a quaint and lovely destination for tourists as well as locals. It used to be known as the textile centre, but in recent years it has also become the haunt for good Middle Eastern food, funky cafés (like The Hangar) and a great many little retail shops specializing in fashion, homeware and other really cool stuff. A new addition to the Arab Street area is Scene Shang, opening in March 2016, this home and décor shop offers oriental designs with a modern flair.
What I really like about Scene Shang is that it is not cluttered with a myriad of products. Rather, you will find yourself with time to admire the beauty of each item on offer. Even with the specially curated, limited selection, I found it hard to pick only the few of the items mentioned here.
The Shang System
I fell in love with Scene Shang’s very own SHANG System the moment I set my eyes on it. The SHANG System is a masterpiece of modern luxury embracing design characteristics of the Ming Dynasty. It is a modular system consisting of a PAN (tray), HE (box or drawer), and DENG (stool). You can stack the pieces together in any configuration as desired or use any of the pieces individually. The drawers come in a palette of pastel shades but they can be customized to your specification.
With exquisite beauty and versatile functionality, it is no wonder that the SHANG System has won Special Commendation at the Singapore President’s Design Award 2014, and Golden A’ Design Award in Furniture 2016 in Italy.
The Maverick Armchair
The Maverick Armchair is another beauty that caught my attention. The armchair is made from up-cycled steel frames and refurbished with new internal cushioning covered in faux leather. There are six different colours to choose from.
Throw in a cushion depicting an Art Deco building on Tiong Poh Road or of Aliwal Arts Center from their Embrace Me collection, put on a relaxing jazzy tune, sit down and sip a glass of whisky. Better yet, mix yourself a Gin Rickey, and reminisce about the splendid grandeur and romantic optimism of the 20’s.
Scene Shang features a series of Mini Windows by local renowned artist, Arthur Ting. This series of Mini Windows is an elaborate depiction of Singapore’s heritage shophouse windows. The artist uses water colour to illustrate the unique Peranakan tiles seen on the façade of these shophouses and surrounding details, but intricately constructs the wooden panels of the windows and eaves with mixed media to give the window a three-dimensional effect.
I couldn’t resist this magnificent beauty, and have reserved one as a birthday gift to my husband. You see what I am doing?
I have been searching for unusual bookends that are not too tacky and I have found them in Scene Shang. They are a pair of decorative bookends made of brass. To me, they are more than bookends. They add a special touch of refined taste to break the monotony of my boring book shelves.
Sooner or later I am going to take home at least a couple of their pretty porcelain vases and tea cups. These Middle Kingdom wares are a showcase of craftsmanship that remind me of the Chinese ancient ceramics I saw on my visit to the museum in Shanghai years ago. I was mesmerized by some of the ceramic wares that were as thin as eggshells. Although what they have here aren’t as delicate, you still feel you have to be extra careful. But surprisingly, they are dishwasher safe.
You can browse or shop online at shop.sceneshang.com, but you will certainly not regret spending a relaxing Sunday afternoon in Arab Street area and dropping in at Scene Shang. As soon as you open the door, you will be soothed by a pleasing scent. The friendly, polite, very helpful and knowledgeable staff will offer you a nice cup of tea (I bought Imperial Earl Grey and made a cold brew, very refreshing!). You will feel like making yourself comfortable in one of the Maverick armchairs and sip tea all afternoon.
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Images provided as credited. Winnie Chow’s boxesnthings.com range of OMMO kitchenware can also be found at Scene Shang. You can also find out more about Winnie and Boxes & Things by reading her story.