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On the surface, Singapore comes across as a behemoth of commerce and consumerism, between its towering CBD buildings dedicated to banking to the seemingly countless malls that dot the island. But like all things, there is more to Singapore than meets the eye. In recent years, Singaporeans have surged towards creative pursuits and the result is a thriving contemporary arts scene and a flurry of locally handcrafted goods. The Design Shop inside the Red Dot Design Museum is a great place to start your collection of locally designed contemporary art pieces, however, venture into these indie shops located across the city for even more unique gems.
Instead of bringing back durian chocolate in the shape of a merlion or those terrible ‘Singapore is a FINE city’ t-shirts, visit The Farm Store and pick up quirky, adorable souvenirs that your friends and family will actually really like. Best yet, these products are crafted by local designers. Think earrings in the shape of moon cakes, pastel-colored magnets of famous local spots such as Maxwell Hainanese Chicken Rice and 328 Katong Laksa and pillowcases with art-deco architecture prints. The Farm Store is online only, so you have no excuse when you can do the shopping from your home or hotel.
Not a shop per se, but rather a moving pop-up market that is run by designers and artists who want to give young brands a platform to showcase their products and find their place within the contemporary arts scene. The Local People run events 2-3 times a month and this is the place to go to find the burgeoning designers who aspire to be the next Benny Ong or Carrie K.