Public housing in Singapore manifests in the form of HDBs - stately blocks of high-rise flats that adorn the Singapore skyline. Originally conceived and completed in a short timeframe to re-house people that were still living in squatter settlements, the initial designs were functional and utilitarian. This simplicity was meant to optimise both cost and space usage. Over time, better quality flats and housing estates have been developed - with technology such as prefabrication technology being employed where components are built off-site and assembled on location. Hong Sek Chern depicts housing estates of different designs in this painting, acknowledging their importance in Singaporean society given that almost 80% of the population have grown up and mingled with the community in HDBs. They form an indelible part of the Singaporean experience.
She is married to fellow Singapore artist, Anthony Chua.