Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Paintings by Mr Ong Kim Seng benefiting patients in need


Acclaimed watercolourist Mr Ong Kim Seng has produced a collection of paintings to capture the memories and history of the Singapore General Hospital campus before it undergoes extensive re-development over the next few years. In fact, some of these iconic buildings in Mr Ong's paintings had already been demolished, but the images were reconstructed with the help of careful research, photographic archives and oral history.

We are pleased to share that the following three paintings are available for sale to interested buyers. Proceeds of the paintings will benefit SKH's patients in need.

Please contact us at giving@skh.com.sg to arrange a private viewing and discussion.

AH LENG'S CANTEEN

It wasn't very large. It certainly wasn't luxurious: One former medical student describes it as just a shack with a thatched roof. But for the generations of medical, dentistry and pharmaceutical undergraduates, Ah Leng's Canteen was the hangout place until it was closed in the early 1980s to make way for the construction of the Ayer Raya Expressway. The name was synonymous with Mr Wong Niap Leng, who took over the canteen from his father who had started in the 1920s. The younger Mr Wong, who ran the canteen with his wife and daughter, not only fed hungry students, he also extended financial help to those who were short of cash.

SGH CAMPUS AERIAL VIEW

The fluidity and unpredictability of watercolours reflect the landscape of SGH Campus, which has seen many changes since the Singapore General Hospital first moved from various places to its present site, known then as the Sepoy Lines, in 1882. SGH - with its distinctive Clock Tower - really came into being in 1926 with the opening of the Bowyer, Norris and Stanley Blocks. The march towards the SGH Campus that is known today occurred in the 80s and 90s, when an eight block complex housing clinics and wards were added, and specialist services became

full-fledged national centres. The Campus is seeing yet another change, this time in a more massive expansion that will take the country's largest healthcare group into the 2030s and beyond.

TAN TECK GUAN BUILDING

It is a little-known, unimposing building on the grounds of the Singapore General Hospital. But its unassuming exterior belies the important role it holds in the history of Western medical education in Singapore. Before the establishment of the country's first medical school in 1905, Western-trained doctors came mostly from Britain and India. But as local enrolment increased, the school underwent an expansion. The Tan Teck Guan Building, built in 1911 with a donation of 15,000 Straits dollars from rubber tycoon, Tan Chay Yan, housed a lecture room, a pathological museum and dissection room,

a library, and administrative offices. The two-storey building - named after the tycoon's father, Tan Teck Guan, a son of philanthropist Tan Tock Seng - is now occupied by the Ministry of Health, together with the nearby College of Medicine Building.