Perspectives from the Ideal City by Peter Chen

I’m a “city girl” and I love museums about cities. I am fascinated by cities’ economic importance, their unique identities, and the problems and possibilities they present. Two of my favorite city museums are Museum of the City of New York (natch) and the Musée Carnavalet.

The closest thing to a city museum here is the Singapore City Gallery housed on the first three floors of the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s headquarters in Chinatown. The gallery “provides a rather compelling insight into the government’s resolute and much-admired policies of high-rise housing and land reclamation.” I frequently stop by to marvel at the three scale models of the island of Singapore, the central region, and the central area (or Central Business District [CBD]).

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Peter Chen’s “Perspectives from the Ideal City,” a brilliant and haunting series of sixteen panoramic photographs, opens this weekend in the Atrium Gallery. I caught this exhibition in 2011 at the now defunct Post Museum. Chen, an architect, multi-disciplinary artist, and assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University, documents recognizable structures, such Old Kallang Airport and the former National Library, in states of abandonment, statis, or disappearance. The show runs until June 16, 2012.

FYI, Chen’s prints are available for purchase. His black and white prints, each approximately 1400mm x 600mm, are printed with archival ink on 320gsm paper and mounted on aluminium composite panel. Email for more information.

(Additional credits: From top to bottom: Library, 2008; Five Foot Way, 2003; Hangar, 2010; Cinema, 2010.)