The name Cliff Tan might not ring a bell just two days ago, but now, thanks to his quirky and fascinating MRT map, his name is the talk of the town right now. So, it might be a surprise to know that the man himself is no longer a Singapore citizen, and that he cannot even return to Singapore right now due to some visa issues.
Cliff Tan himself indicated in an interview conducted by TheIndependent.SG, where the architect trained ex-Singaporean said he did up the MRT map because he was losing touch with the place he once called home, and that the MRT map in its current incarnaton is confusing, as some locations are not even where they are supposed to be in the physical world. Thus, out of passion, he created his map, which he claimed is “geographically more accurate” and “giving each line an identity”. Many Singaporeans, it would seem, agree with his map, and has called on LTA to adopt Cliff's map instead of their oen boring linear ones.
Cliff used to study architecture at Singapore Polytechnic before he went to London to complete his studies. Thereafter, he worked at Heatherwick Studio which is working on the new Changi Airport. Terminal 5. However, stress from working on this project forced him to quit, and he is now working in a shop in London, where he calls home, as a cashier. Cliff said he regretted quiting, as he now finds job opportunities as an architect harder to come in London by due to his age.
And visa issues has also meant that Cliff and his family are not able to come back to Singapore any time soon.