I’m all about the art of self-portraits. Nobody really cares when you post a photo of a random location so I always make sure there’s a subject in my photos - and usually, it’s me. I love to travel and share such moments with my followers, which is why I plan my trips around the most photo-worthy spots around the world! But who said such photos can only be taken at the destination itself?
Airports are no exception. People think that airports can be mundane, but Changi Airport proved to be nothing but ordinary. While I was on my way to the next photo-worthy destination, I found myself not only snapping away in front of the many attractions I found at the airport, but taking time off my phone to appreciate the art and nature that surrounded me. For an Insta-addict, I must say… I didn’t know I was capable of that! Tbh, that was quite a feat. Here’s how my day unfolded as I made my way around the terminals of Changi Airport!
504 Clocks Have Better Coordination Than Me
Determined to find the next best spot for a photo opportunity, I searched up the hashtag, #ChangiAirport on Instagram and I came across “A Million Times” - a kinetic art installation that many tourists were raving about online, so I decided to pay it a visit because, you know, just me and my FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
Initially, I wasn’t fascinated. The 7.5m wide and 3.4m tall board only consisted of stationary black lines. I thought, alright… that’s pretty minimalistic, so I whipped out my phone to grab a still shot of my face against the black and white canvas, but as I stared at it longer through the front camera of my phone, the black lines, which turned out to be the hands of a clock, began to move from unpredictable and mechanical spinning to a series of perfectly synchronised designs and patterns. It started forming words like “Good Morning”, and could even tell me the time! Now, that’s cool. The fluid movements of the kinetic installation captivated my attention and I stood there to watch the full display by 504 clock faces.
Location: Terminal 2, Level 2, Departure (Public)
Nothing Beats #MotherNature
Who’s a nature lover? Me! As I entered the transit hall, I couldn’t help but be attracted to the four giant glass bouquets, decorated with a mosaic of reflective and shimmering stained glass, spotted in the distance. This would make a great photo, I thought, so I began walking towards it. Before I knew it, I entered an earthly paradise full of Shangri-La vibes that was none other than Terminal 2’s Enchanted Garden. Here, I was blown away by the flora and fauna that magically came to life with sparkling lights and sounds of birds, insects and blooming flowers. Turns out, there are motion sensors that trigger nature sounds to be played and fibre-optic lights to light up meandering pathways. Anywho, it felt so real that I was fooled!
I walked deeper in and soon found myself standing next to the fish pond where a small crowd had gathered. It was time to feed the fish! I was in luck - I had stuck around long enough to catch the afternoon koi feeding session, so I approached the staff who kindly provided me with a handful of fish food and had a go at feeding the fishes myself!
Location: Terminal 2, Level 2, Departure (Transit)
Koi feeding times: 8.30am & 3.30pm everyday (excluding Sundays)
I still had time to spare. So I thought, why not take the shuttle to Terminal 4 and explore there too? I quickly boarded the shuttle bus at Gate 51 in Terminal 2 and made my way to the newest Terminal 4. On the way, I took out my phone to look back on the photos I took earlier, only to realise that I forgot to snap a photo at the Enchanted Garden. Silly me! I was probably too carried away feeding the fish that I forgot to grab a few shots of it.
I’m In My (Heritage) Zone
After arriving at Terminal 4, I was so engrossed in choosing the filter for my next Instagram post that when I looked up, I found myself standing in front of a row of shophouses. My first thoughts - Shophouses? In the middle of the airport? Where exactly am I? Though I had zero idea where I landed up at, the row of shophouses was quite a familiar sight. The facade reminded me of the Peranakan shophouses that nestled around Singapore. It had been awhile since I last walked past such colourful shophouses, so I quickly snapped a photo of the heritage-themed walls and went straight to Old Chang Kee in front to grab a curry puff to satisfy the growling tummy.
As I was munching on my snack at the couches in front, I began to notice the two middle shophouse bays transforming at the corner of my eyes. Music started playing out of nowhere and I thought to myself, it must be another one of those ads trying to convince me to buy something again. I was prepared to get up and find a quiet spot when I looked up and realised, this wasn’t just a furnished wall!
The middle two shophouse bays were an LED screen that projected a musical love story. The theatrical performance, titled “Peranakan Love Story” tells the story of a blossoming romance between two passionate musicians living next to each other. It featured a stellar cast of Singaporean artistes that included veteran actor Adrian Pang and vocalist from popular local indie-pop-band The Sam Willows, Benjamin Kheng. From the familiar tune of “Bunga Sayang” to the nostalgic shophouse setting of Singapore, the display was so captivating that I unknowingly sat back in my seat and caught the full 6-minute performance. No doubt, I felt a sense of nostalgia when I saw the shophouse facade and was intrigued at the prospect of catching a glimpse of life in 1930s Singapore! Totally wouldn’t mind watching it again.
Location: Terminal 4, Level 2, Departure (Transit)
Show intervals: Approximately every half an hour
I’ve never felt bad about obsessing over the perfect picture and spending 24/7 on the gram, but that few hours at Changi Airport got me off my phone and made me realise how much of art and nature’s beauty I was missing out on! Kudos to you, Changi, and a big, big thank you. If you are like me, catch this short film.
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