Tampines St 42 HDB block with TV test pattern design goes viral in China because nostalgia

One image, many meanings.

Kayla Wong | September 05, 2018, 12:20 PM

A picture of a Tampines Street 42 HDB block of flats adorned with the iconic TV test pattern design has gone viral in China.

The photo of the block of flats is accompanied by the caption, "This condominium in Singapore can be named Tuesday Afternoons".

It was uploaded on Weibo on Sept. 3, and has since been shared more than 19,500 times and received over 27,000 likes.

Weibo is China's most popular microblogging platform.


For many Chinese born in the 1980s and 1990s, the image of a static television test pattern screen reminded them of the times when they were children.

Switching on their TV sets on Tuesday afternoons and expecting to be greeted by hours of delightful entertainment, the disappointment sets in when they are met with an image of a TV test pattern and a loud, jarring monotonous sound.

This image of the Tampines HDB block has brought many Chinese in their 30 and 40s right back to their childhoods.


Brings them back to a time gone by

I remember seeing the same test pattern on many TV channels after midnight too.

Those who get it should already have kids.

Probably the most painful 4 hours during the summer holidays. Haha.

This picture actually brings me physical discomfort.

Just a Singaporean's comment passing through

I'm Singaporean. That's not a condo lah, it's called HDB!


A bit of Chinese TV history

According to Shenyang News & General Channel, China's main state broadcaster CCTV (previously Beijing Television before 1978) used to conduct its maintenance every Tuesday afternoon.

Other area-specific television stations then took the cue from CCTV and also arranged for their maintenance to be done during the same time, resulting in the practice being carried on.

But sometimes, the maintenance was done during ungodly hours like after midnight, which explains why some netizens remember seeing the TV test pattern during those times instead of Tuesday afternoons.

All screenshots and top image via Weibo