The Little India cinema that beats the odds

Local publisher Epigram Books is behind the We Love series, a collaboration with artists from Urban Sketchers which covers areas like Katong, Tiong Bahru and Bedok. In their latest volume, We Love Little India, we spotted the lovely Art Deco building that appears on our cover. Here, we speak to the engineering manager and amateur artist who drew it.
Tell us about how you got involved with Urban Sketchers. 
I started sketching about one and a half years ago. During one of my dull business trip weekends, I picked up a pen and started doodling. The first attempt turned out to be not fantastic, but decent. I found the Singapore chapter of Urban Sketchers and joined them. When I finally went on one of the public monthly Saturday sketchwalks, it actually turned out to be really nice.
What made you draw this picture of Rex Cinemas?
I was always a little amused that in the modern world of super big multi-hall cineplexes, a very small little cinema can not only survive but also specialize in just screening Indian movies. I pass by Rex fairly regularly as my dentist is nearby, and I thought it would make an interesting subject for the book.
What are your favorite things to draw?
My favorite subjects are old buildings or cityscapes and I particularly enjoy drawing in little details like pipes, cracks on the wall, TV antennas or small plants peeping out from the gutter. Obviously, Little India fits this preference nicely. Interestingly, while I was sketching once in Little India, I was approached by a family to draw their new home.
Hock Choon Tan’s sketch appears in We Love Little India, a collection by Epigram Books. $12.90 from most local bookstores or