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"From time immemorial, the beautiful face has inspired poets, artists, architects and writers. We all know how it feels when a person of incredible beauty, proportions and harmony stands before us - it is mesmerising and often takes our breath away. Plastic surgery as we know it today, is man's application of medical knowledge and science to change the way we look and feel about ourselves safely and predictably. It is a complex marriage of medicine, art and the often unfathomable desires of the human mind, heart and psyche. I am constantly fascinated by the human reaction to the final result and of what we expect of ourselves."
- Dr Woffles Wu
 
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House of Memories
  More About Dr Wu

Dr Woffles Wu's home reeks of Old Nostalgia. Built 56 years ago, it has hardly been renovated

Tay Suan Chiang
Article from Straits Times

WORLD-RENOWNED plastic surgeon Woffles Wu is famous for rejuvenating faces with his nip 'n' tuck skills, but when it comes to the place he calls home, he prefers to keep features frozen in time.

Bucking the trend of tearing down old houses and building new ones of glass and steel, he still owns the house he was born in - an ageing four-bedroom bungalow in Bishan.


FROZEN IN TIME: Four generations of Dr Wus family - from his grandparents to his son - have lived in this house.

At 56, the grand old dame is older than Dr Wu's 47 years.

The plastic surgeon-to-the-stars, whose clinic is at Camden Medical Centre, is unafraid to show his sentimental side as he proudly describes the 1,800 sq ft home as a house of memories. His grandparents, parents and himself have all lived under its roof over the decades.

Even today, Dr Wu's mother, his son Ollie, seven, and a maid live here, but due to space constraints, the plastic surgeon, his wife and three-year-old daughter live in a rented house two doors away.

Stepping into the old bungalow is like a step back in time.

The original mosaic flooring is still intact.


TRADITIONAL DINING: A marble-topped kopitiam table and matching chairs take pride of place in the dining room PRESERVED IN TIME : Lush greenery surround the home, whose window grilles were all the rage in the 1950s.

In a corner of the living room is a two-door teak cabinet with Chinese carvings that now holds toys and knick-knacks. Dr Wu says this used to belong to his late grandmother Lim Kheng Eng and was a dowry present.

In a bedroom, another set of cupboards that belonged to Madam Lim is now Ollie's, and bears his marker-pen doodlings.

Even the steel window grilles and gate to the living room have remained unchanged.

The only structural changes occurred in 1972: The family needed more space, and so a porch was created and the driveway turned into an extra room. "Apart from the addition, the house has not been changed. Everything has been here forever," says Dr Wu.

The house was bought for $30,000 by his late grandfather Ong Cheng Bow, and was completed in 1951.

While Dr Wu's neighbours are building higher and modem bungalows, he is determined not to do the same. In fact, he plans to restore the home this year to its original 1950s style as a tribute to his childhood days.

"You could say I'm too sentimental or impractical,"he says. "But at my age, I can -afford to be impractical."


CABINET RESHUFFLE: Once part of the dowry for Dr Wus late grandmother, this two-door teak cabinet now holds toys and knick-knacks.

 
       
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