Seek the The Gift of Time by August 12th!

Will You Marry Me?

9th August 2012. Written by Xin Li.
National Day.
The last exhibition by Shinji Ohmaki at the Hermès store at Liat Tower was a major disappointment but this time round, the Parisian luxury brand has sort of redeemed itself at the Gift of Time Exhibition featuring American artist and designer, Hilton McConnico whose works has a rather surrealist or whimsical touch to it and its apparent in the exhibition itself.


The Southeast Asian Art-Deco style Tanjong Pagar Railway Station provides a historic setting for the exhibition, making the venue a worthwhile reason to visit the exhibition in the first place. The railway station, gazetted as a national monument in April 2011 was opened in 1932 to serve as the terminus for the West Coast line of the KTM railway and was in operation for 79 years until it was closed on 30th June 2011.

Tanjong Pagar Railway Station - Murals

The building incorporating neo-classical, decorative arts and local styles was designed by Serbian architect, D.S Petrovich from Swan and Maclaren, the oldest running architectural firm in Singapore which also designed the many of the most iconic buildings in Singapore today including the Raffles Hotel, the Cenotaph, Jinrikisha Station, Victoria Memorial Hall and most notably, the National Library Building, and yes, Ken Yeang was once a team leader of Swan and Maclaren Architects until 2000.

The Gift of Time

Back to the exhibition, one major disappointment for me is that the exhibition itself has little relevance to the site context unless you want to say train timings and schedules is after all still time related to time.

The Gift of Time

Nonetheless, the exhibition is definitely more interesting that Shinji Ohmaki’s work and despite the crowd, the staff here were more friendly. I shall now dwell too much on the works or it would spoil the surprises the exhibition has in store for you.

The Gift of Time

The works in general were very colourful making use of colours to distinguish itself from another phase of the exhibition (which made me think of Zhang Yimou’s treatment of colours in the film, Hero, 2002)
The Gift of Time - Time Suspended
The Gift of Time - Time Suspended

The work Time Suspended is about time being ‘frozen’ at a key moment, in this case, both time and the house are suspended, as the house is in the air and time seemed to freeze at that moment. The work itself has a Damien Hirst kind of vibe to it and I can’t help thinking of Muybridge’s Galloping Horse in my mind when I was looking at this work. Images of a galloping horse plays in my mind as if I am trying to get time to run again.

The Gift of Time - Time Suspended

The works display Hermès products widely. At times, I couldn’t help like I am in a Hermès shop rather than a gallery. The work Balancing Time for example uses fine china from Hermès. Nonetheless, design the invasive brand promotion, credit has to be given for the beautiful presentation of the works, there are some hits and misses for me but overall it is still quite a decent one.

The Gift of Time - Balancing Time

More images taken at the exhibition…

The Gift of Time
The Gift of Time
The Gift of Time

After the exhibition, you could head to the back where you could find nostalgic confectionary stalls, mama shop and sweets from Popaganda. Or if you prefer something classy, there is a U Café for you to enjoy some coffee. I think they are related to the Plain at Duxton. Pity it was a public holiday, so it was too crowded for me. The exhibition is going to end real soon, so catch it and the opportunity to see Tanjong Pagar Railway Station before it ends.

Mama Shop

The Gift of Time
1st August – 12th August
11 AM to 9 PM Daily
Tanjong Pagar Railway Station


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