My Perfect Weekend with artist Brian Gothong Tan

Who: Contemporary artist Brian Gothong Tan, 41, is the artistic director of T:>Atelier, under independent non-profit theatre company T:>Works (formerly known as TheatreWorks). He is known for multimedia projects including the Singapore Bicentennial Experience in 2019 and Havoc Girls & Kamikaze Boys at the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2021. Tan, who is in a relationship, was conferred the Young Artist Award in 2012 and the Singapore Youth Award in 2015.

“My weekends are quite mundane. On Saturday mornings, I walk from my flat in Bedok to my property in Katong, which I bought last year and where I’m planning to build a house.

After a check-in at the property, I like to have breakfast at an off-beat cafe, such as the Yugoslavia Bakery & Cafe at Katong V. I like its Spanish lattes and freshly made baklava.

I then explore Katong’s old-school haunts, such as Hobby Bounties Singapore at Katong Shopping Centre, which sells a wide range of toy models.

For lunch, I often visit the Malaysia Boleh foodcourt at the recently reopened i12 Katong mall. The fried kway teow and bak kut teh are delicious, and it’s a nice way to experience Malaysia without having to travel.

In the late afternoons, my dog Kiwi, a Shiba Inu, and I take a stroll to East Coast Park, circling the Amber Beacon Tower before heading to SandBank cafe. I enjoy the grilled sotong (squid) and truffle fries there, washed down with a cooling affogato. And the pet-friendly cafe always gives my dog some fresh water as well.

We get home by evening, during which I unwind with some Netflix. A recent watch was Emily In Paris (2020 to present) – it is very indulgent, but also fun and much-needed escapism amid the various crises engulfing the world right now.

Working in the arts as I do, I try to use my Sunday mornings to check out the latest exhibitions, for instance at the Asian Civilisations Museum at Empress Place.

Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is also a favourite Sunday morning haunt, especially Canopy cafe, which is another pet-friendly joint. I always order its Eggs Benedict and finish with a refreshing iced long black. Afterwards, it’s fun to wander around the Kallang River that runs through the park.

In the afternoons, I frequently end up at Jewel Changi Airport. It has so many shops to check out, such as Tokyu Hands, which sells art supplies like brush pens that I can’t find elsewhere.

I linger at Jewel for dinner. I was a regular patron of JW360, a Japanese restaurant, but it just closed down. So nowadays, I head to Shang Social, which has excellent offerings of tea and noodles.

After that, it’s just about winding down and mentally preparing myself for the week ahead.”

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