Mandopop singer William Scorpion with his cat Miu Miu at his house in Tanglin Halt on 5 May 2013.
Mandopop singer William Scorpion may already have a retirement residence in the north of Thailand but home, in the meantime, is still a two-room flat in Tanglin Halt.
Of his cosy, minimalist and white-based apartment, the flamboyant performer, 52, says: “I call this my transition home.
“Most of my furniture from my previous home have been shipped to Thailand. I didn’t put so much thought into the design of this place because I always came back late from the club,” says the former executive director of nightclub Shanghai Dolly in Clarke Quay. He is also an equestrian instructor in the day.
But for a man who made his name with a larger-than-life stage personality, Scorpion wanted “nothing drama” for his current abode. “The concept I was going for was something that was simple and liveable.”
Scorpion, who recently released his biography Sanuk Jing Jing Na!, has a riding stable and bed- and-breakfast in Phayao, Thailand, both of which are under construction.
He goes to Phayao, which is about three hours from Chiang Mai by road, twice a year for a fortnight each time. He has a business partner to help look after the business when he is back in Singapore.
Scorpion, who is divorced, used to live in an HDB point block in Holland Drive, but scaled down to this two-bedroom unit six years ago.
Interior of Mandopop singer William Scorpion's two-room flat in Tanglin Halt.
While his daughter Zsa Zsa, 27, lives in an apartment in River Valley with friends, his son Nicholas, 24, shares his flat.
Nicholas, a bachelor and a chef at Tippling Club, moved in with his dad three months ago because it was more convenient – his kitchen duties has him coming home late. Previously, he lived with his aunt.
Father and son have different tastes in interior decor. Scorpion says: “Nicholas is very Western and likes the New York cosmopolitan feel… not these antiques.”
The singer did not engage an interior designer and decided on the look of his home alone. He created 3m-long floor-to-ceiling white storage cupboards to keep knick-knacks out of sight. An aquarium, housed in a rectangular cut-out in the cupboard, contains a lone arowana.
While Scorpion loves the design, which hides unsightly wires and filters, he says his son is less keen on it.
“Nicholas says that it’s like a zi char stall, where the hawker keeps the fishes in the big tanks to sell,” he says with a laugh.
He downplays his talents at interior decorating. Yet, the apartment bears traces of the tricks he came up with to make the space appear bigger.
For example, he picked a chic, transparent dining table set, complete with stools, so that the space would appear uncluttered. A clear chandelier hanging above the table completes the look.
Dining room of Mandopop singer William Scorpion's two-room flat in Tanglin Halt.
He also added mirrors at the entrance and in the small dining room to make the space feel larger.
Accessories such as the bookcase and sofa are in white, and shimmery wallpaper adds a touch of glamour. “I like having wallpaper because it’s easy,” he says. “If I don’t like it anymore, I strip it off and change. Painting is too much, with all the pots and brushes.”
His home also features animal knick- knacks. Figurines of pigs which he bought in Ubud, Bali, and two horse busts are placed on a mantel – a nod to his equestrian heritage. He also has a labrador, Rockstar, and two cats, Toad and Miu Miu.
Animal figurines on book shelves at Mandopop singer William Scorpion's two-room flat in Tanglin Halt.
A wedding bed headboard at Mandopop singer William Scorpion's two-room flat in Tanglin Halt.
He speaks fondly of his former home, which he says was more “dramatic” as it was filled with antiques that he bought from collectors in the region. These are mostly now in his home in Thailand.
A few antique pieces are still with him, though, including two wedding bed headboards. He also collects ceramics of pots, particularly those with interesting shapes. He has about three pieces here, with 15 more in Thailand.
Potted greenery on a mantel in the dining room of Mandopop singer William Scorpion's two-room flat in Tanglin Halt. It is part of Scorpion’s ceramic pot collection.
Of his old treasures, he says: “You will never get two pieces alike. I have a four- poster bed from Bali which someone probably died in but I don’t care. These antiques will never change with time and I never look at them as furniture. ”
Written by Natasha Ann Zachariah for The Straits Times. Photos: The Straits Times. This article was first published in 2014.