[View in HD here.]
So the Rediscover crew decided to hit up Chinatown, to snoop around and see if we could unearth anything new from this already-very-well-known part of Singapore. As we trekked around in the blazing afternoon heat, squeezing through crowds filled with uncles, aunties and tourists alike, this peculiar shop caught our collective eye. Situated a little further up Sago Lane, the storefront is easy to spot with its rows of old records out on display, instantly setting it apart from your usual Chinatown fare. If you’re lucky, you might even catch one or two of the shop owners carefully cleaning newly acquired old records, making sure they are in the best condition before putting them up for sale.
Treasure Dragon Trading, like its namesake, is a treasure trove of goodies. Other than music records and cassette tapes, one can also find toys that our fathers and grandfathers used to play with, and even decorative memorabilia that dates to our forefathers’ forefathers’ time. In fact as we stepped into the store, it felt like we had entered a time capsule of sorts. The wares are neatly arranged and displayed upon shelves that line both sides of the store, in an almost museum-like manner.
After spending some time with Mr. Lim Kian Hua and Ms. Susan Woo, the father-daughter team behind Treasure Dragon Trading, we learned that Mr. Lim has been an ardent collector for as long as he can remember, ever since he was a little kid. Relating how he tries to collect anything and everything that he can get his hands on, Mr. Lim explained how many tend to overlook the value of the things that they throw away and this presents an opportunity for a profitable business. And it seemed like his passion for all things old has rubbed off on his daughter too. Ms. Woo, currently running the store with her father, has bigger plans for Treasure Dragon Trading. She has even started a website, with the intention of putting their entire collection online to reach international customers.
It’s amazing how much you can learn about Singapore’s heritage and culture from such a small, confined space. Without a doubt, the store offers a rare glimpse into the Singapore of yesteryear, a time that has long passed us by. There’s a saying that goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Each and everyone of the old things here definitely have their story to tell, their own unique past. Thankfully for them (and for us), stores like Treasure Dragon Trading provide them with a present and hopefully, a future. So here’s to hoping more people will realize the potential value of the things they possess!
After all, old is gold isn’t it?
Treasure Dragon Trading
Blk 4 Sago Lane #01–121
HP: +65 90605875
Text by Song Lim. Photography by Lizzy Lee. Video edited by Derek Foo.