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The Not-So-Peaceful Last Days of Peace Centre

Many of us know Peace Centre as a dingy old mall, far from its glory days of being one of the pioneer malls in Singapore alongside others like Golden Mile Complex. Peace Centre opened in December 1974, and its reputation slowly declined as the popularity of KTV lounges grew in the 2000s. 

But gone are the days of Peace Centre being perceived as a dim, worn-out mall frequented for affordable prints and tuition centres. It has undergone a remarkable transformation into an artistic hub, fostering a budding community that actively showcases its creativity to the public. Now housing thrift shops, vintage bookstores, art establishments, and even an escape room, Peace Centre has undergone a complete 180-degree shift from its previous incarnation.

In October last year, good friends Yvonne Siow and Gary Hong founded PlayPan, an initiative to promote community and social engagement with the site. The initiative aims to bring a community together through collaboration with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation, and many others. 

The interior of Peace Centre filled with graffiti.

Upon entering the mall, I was welcomed by lively graffiti adorning the walls of Peace Centre, which transformed it into an artistic canvas. The space has evolved into a hub for Singaporean artists to freely express their creativity, adding a refreshing and cool vibe. I genuinely wish this unique concept could become a more permanent fixture in Singapore’s art scene, as it brings a rare and vibrant atmosphere to the city.

Blueprint Art House — a platform for young creatives

One organisation in particular, the social enterprise Blueprint Principles, set up Blueprint Art House. Blueprint Art House is led by recent School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA) graduates and friends, with a total of 16 artists working together to bring art to everyone visiting. Being a part of Blueprint Art House myself, I believe it really supports emerging young artists and students hoping to pursue a career in the arts. This serves as a platform for us to exhibit our work and gain hands-on experience in gallery management and merchandise sales, all while leveraging our passion for the arts and engaging with like-minded individuals. 

The front of Blueprint Art House’s second shop.

Run by SOTA graduates Robyjnn Lui and Natasha Ng, Blueprint Art House sells art pieces and artists’ merchandise like prints or jewellery, with 10% of profits dedicated to supporting Blueprint Principles’ two chosen charities: Infant Jesus Homes & Children’s Centres and Beyond Social Services.

Artwork by SOTA graduate Natasha Ng.

Blueprint Art House strives to create an environment that offers not only a rich viewing experience but also a sense of tranquillity for visitors who enter the space. This warm and inviting atmosphere resonates across all tenants in Peace Centre, with many also appealing to the younger generations by embracing Gen Z’s hip and contemporary interests. From thrift shops selling the trendiest clothes to vintage books for any book lovers out there and more, Peace Centre is the perfect hangout spot, with eateries within walking distance! Catering to a diverse audience, Peace Centre now provides an immersive experience that ensures visitors not only appreciate its artistic aspects but also feel a profound sense of connection within its vibrant community.

Inside Blueprint Art House’s first shop.

Art for all

In a conversation with Robyjnn, she expressed that “it’s less so of bringing art into the wider community but more of changing people’s mindsets and opinions towards the arts in Singapore.” As the arts gain more visibility in Singaporean society, endeavours such as PlayPan and Blueprint Art House democratise art, making it accessible to all. This helps individuals from diverse backgrounds converge and build connections through a mutual interest or passion for the arts. 

Frequently, one might observe or experience a certain sense of inaccessibility surrounding the arts, and this sense limits who may appreciate or partake in artistic endeavours. It is imperative, however, to foster open-mindedness within communities and acknowledge that art should be accessible and enjoyable for all. 

By providing an integrated art and lifestyle experience, where the public can shop for art merchandise with friends or just hang out on the weekends, Peace Centre is taking a step in the right direction to progressively alter societal perceptions towards art. Individuals are likely to organically incorporate art into their respective communities, thereby making it an integral aspect of their lives.

Prior to the opening of Blueprint Arthouse, I must admit that I had not visited Peace Centre, having only frequented Parklane and GRiD (located adjacent to Peace Centre). To be honest, there was little appeal for me initially. However, having visited recently, I find myself genuinely disheartened to witness its impending demolition. You’ll definitely share my sentiments after visiting and seeing Peace Centre transformed for yourself. It’s definitely worth a visit to explore the diverse array of unique shops, including Blueprint Art House, before its closure on 28 January 2024. 


Peace Centre is open until 28 January 2024, with PlayPan’s Play for Good festival taking place over the next two weekends. Find out more on Instagram and at

Header image: Entrance to Peace Centre with dazzling artwork by DPLMT.

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