A new pop-up store, diner and gallery in Singapore’s Little India will play host to homegrown designers, craftsmen and artists for 6 months.
19 September, 2013
Housed within two conservation shophouse units along 72/74 Dunlop Street in Singapore’s ethnic quarter of Little India, Temporium’s smartly painted white and green facade makes it easy to spot among its ‘mom-and-pop’ neighbours.
Inside, the space is separated into distinctive zones – a cafe and a retail space carrying homegrown women’s fashion labels on ground level, and a second retail space for local menswear labels and a gallery area on level two.
“We were looking for a small pop-up space to sell Tofu stationery,” explains Michelle Au, co-founder of Tofu and the director/curator of Temporium. “The Director of Breezeway, who happens to be family, told us she had just acquired two new units in Little India, and asked if we wanted to do something with it.”
With 4,000sqft of space to fill, the project has evolved into an initiative to promote the work of budding and established designers, and provide opportunities for creative collaboration.
On the retail front, Temporium carries a range of local fashion design labels such as SUNDAYS, -J-A-S-O-N-, Stolen and Yumumu. The cafe, led by artisanal coffee brewer Papa Palheta and ceramics collective Weekend Worker in partnership with Chef Wilin Low of Wild Rocket, then provides an experiential dining experience complete with customised dinnerware that customers can purchase.
The cafe was designed by Untitled Projects, while the retail and gallery interiors were undertaken by Tofu.
“We wanted to make each room different. We wanted the layout of the space to [fit] the [different brands],” says Au.
This is the first interior design project for Tofu, and Au says it has been a great learning experience for the team. She adds, “We don’t really tie ourselves to just branding; we like to explore different mediums, because creativity to us is really about conceptual thinking. [So this project is] just a different medium for us to express ourselves,” Au explains.
The women’s wear retail space on ground level is decidedly soft and feminine in its choice of colours and materials, while the menswear area on the second level has a more masculine ‘street’ vibe. In both retail spaces, Tofu has made creative use of the walls as a canvas to showcase the products.
Au shares that the gallery space will serves as venue for exhibitions and workshops – visitors may find a showcase of pottery one week and a leatherworking workshop on another.
Tofu and Breezeway intend for Temporium to be an annual event to promote “nostalgic architecture and contemporary designs”. Two more properties are already lined up for 2014 and 2015.
Temporium at 72/74 Dunlop Street is open from 7 September 2013 – 8 March 2014. Visittemporium.com.sg for more information.
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