Enter the Whampoa Dragon

Enter the Whampoa Dragon

Their origin may be mystical, but records show that dragons first entered our public housing realm in the early 1970s – in the form of structures like pillars and fountains that is. The first dragons appeared in HDB estates of the 1970s and 1980s. Varying in impressions from the majestic to the menacing, they added character to an otherwise dull estate. Save for a few hidden dragons, many of them have since been demolished.

The original fountain at Whampoa Drive depicted the dragon emerging from a body of water.

The concept of the fountain at Whampoa Drive was to depict a dragon emerging from a body of water.

Up close, the surface of the dragon structure is pieced by porcelain parts, broken bowls and glass marbles.

Up close, the surface of the dragon structure is pieced by porcelain, broken bowls and glass marbles.

The fountain was originally part of a larger park which gave way to the construction of the Central Expressway.

The dragon fountain was originally part of a larger park which gave way to the construction of the Central Expressway.

Enter the Whampoa dragon. Built in 1973, the same year Bruce Lee’s final film Enter the Dragon was released, the Whampoa dragon is one of a rare few to remain. Located in front of Block 85 Whampoa Drive, it was originally a fountain in a much larger park – the latter downsized by the construction of the Central Expressway in the early 1980s.

The three-storey high dragon ceased functioning as a fountain by the mid-1990s and was left in a state of neglect. The structure was eventually refurbished by the Moulmein-Kallang Town Council and the pond filled up. Water may no longer spew from this dragon of Whampoa but the area remains an idyllic spot for residents to gather.

The pond was filled up due to maintenance and mosquito breeding concerns.

The pond was filled up during the restoration because of maintenance and mosquito breeding concerns.

Water or no water, residents still hang around the dragon structure.

Water or no water, residents still hang around the dragon.

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