My Tanjung Uma Village Picture at Batam, Indonesia Selected As Asian Geographic Magazine Photo of The Week (Week 29/2013)
One of my travel photos taken at Tanjung Uma Village in Batam, Indonesia last year June has been selected as the Photo Of The Week (Week 29 of 2013) in the Asian Geographic Magazines!
Special Thanks to the Editorial Team of Asian Geographic Magazine for publishing my photo. You have made my day!
Please also feel free to browse my full photo blog story on the century old fishing village, Tanjung Uma travelled in last June:
Singapore's Long-Lost Through-Door Mail Delivery At Tiong Bahru Original Pre-War Flats
The doors of some original five-storey Singapore Improvement Trust "SIT" (which is the Housing Development Board's "HDB" predecessor) blocks in Tiong Bahru can be found fitted with a slot for letters and the newspaper to be delivered through. Such 'through-door delivery' were the days when the post man was faced with the duty of delivering mail to the doors of the numerous flats in the heydays of Singapore. Until the early 1970s, post boxes were installed on the ground floors due to rapid increase in high rise apartment blocks being built which made it much easier for the post man to carry out his work.
Tiong Bahru SIT flats with their olden-day, 1950s look and unique architecture, are very spot-on, immediately recognizable features, especially against the typical high raised HDB flats and condos nearby which constitutes most of the modern Singapore landscape.
Today, many Singaporeans continue to live and visit the area, which is known to captivate people with its old charm. The beauty of Tiong Bahru estate is abundant and each district in Singapore has its own unique story to tell.
When was the last time you listened to a cassette tape? Allow me to pay tribute to the humble music cassette, my faithful musical companion for a large chunk of my life.
I was cleaning out a drawer at home the other day and came across a huge stack of old cassette tapes. Remember those? Before you could burn a CD or download a song off the internet and way before the invention of the iPod and mp3 players, we had cassette tapes. CDs were around, yes, but back in 1990s if you wanted to copy a CD, or record that song you really liked off the radio, you had to put it on a tape.
Many of us have old cassette tapes, if not lying around somewhere, then packed away in some cabinet. With the rapid advancement in technology, cassette tapes have become nearly extinct. This is because there are more convenient, portable and user-friendly data storage devices such as CDs, Ipods and flash disks out there. This has compelled the majority of us to shift from using cassette players to more modern listening methods. The developments and installation of new music systems have not made things easier for cassette tape lovers.
You may have a collection of cassette tapes that contain music and recordings that you consider sentimental. This include the rock and roll music of the Beetles, the music of the late seventies and eighties. All these cassettes played a big part in my growing up. They’d travelled to distant shores with me in my walkman and formed the backdrop to parties, good times and bad.
My Photo of Aliwal Street Barber in Singapore Emerged As Winner for Week 3 of the SG Memory Bank Lucky Draw
Some of our most precious memories are captured in photos. Any photo of people, places or events about Singapore that tell a story can be a part of the Singapore Story via iRememberSG, in conjunction with the Singapore Memory Project (SMP).
The SMP is a whole-of-nation movement that aims to capture and document precious moments and memories related to Singapore, a recollections not merely from individual Singaporeans, but also organisations, associations, companies and groups.
This can help in community bonding by connecting contributors with shared memories and similar experiences. This will help to draw Singaporeans from all walks of life closer and foster greater social cohesion.
Please feel free to browse my recent full blog post on the vanishing trade on Street Barbers in Singapore, featuring Aliwal Street Barber:
This month marks my 3rd year photography blog anniversary. It seems like forever ago since i wrote my first post and yet also just like yesterday. I am still amazed daily though at all the wonderful things that have come about because of my passion. I've also been able to go on some amazing trips and meet some wonderful people along the way. I hope i can continue on for at least another three years. Thank you again for all your support and encouragement. This photography blog represents a turning point in my life. It represents a change in my attitude, my perception, my conscious decision to change the direction of my life and walk a new path. I never thought i would go so far or have such a long journey (as a blogger). It all stems from a very simple intention - just my love of photography as well as travelling and it has brought me so far to today.
The best is yet to come.
If you have been following my photography blog, you will realise that i like to reminisce. I have been writing a series titled 'Vanishing Trades / Scenes in Singapore'. In one of my blog posts in late November last year, i did a documentary shoot on one of the last few remaining street barbers in Singapore who is in his 70s. Such street barbering was once a common sight in Singapore’s back-alleys. Running a business on the streets was a way of life in early Singapore. Equipped with little more than a few pairs of scissors and razors, street barbers did brisk business providing quick, fuss-free trims. They were exactly like the barbers of yester year.
These days, however, they are a dying breed, soon to be relegated to the dusty pages of history. I find it is important nowadays to make the appreciation of heritage relevant to youth through real-life examples. I have always wanted to show that such trade has been around for decades and hopefully strike a chord with our younger generation. It's a pity that soon the handful will stop work as they are so much a part of our Singapore history.
I managed to locate another last remaining roadside barbers in Singapore and his barber stand is situated behind a row of old shophouses along Aliwal Street. You can barely notice him if you do not pay special attention. The street barber, affectionately known as Uncle Tan by his customers, has been cutting hair for more than 35 years. He has been snipping away at tufts of hair at his makeshift Aliwai Street stall for the last 20 years, rain or shine. According to Uncle Barber Tan, during Singapore heyday in the 1950s, there were close to 20 street barbers vying for customers in a bustling side lane in Bugis, aptly dubbed "Barber Street". Today, Uncle Barber Tan in his late 60s cuts a lonesome figure as the sole remaining barber who continues to ply his trade there.
I would like to thank Uncle Barber Tan for giving me this great opportunity to photograph, document and share the story of street barbering, a very soon-to-be vanished trade in Singapore. Every barber has a different tale to tell of how he entered the profession.
My Photo Essay on Street Barbering, A Dying Trade in Singapore Featured In The New Paper Big Picture 2012/13 Week 38 Finalist #2
One of my photo essays on a vanishing trade in Singapore - Street Barbers - was shortlisted for the second place in the New Paper Week 38 Big Picture Contest! Happy Reading!
Please feel free to browse the featured story at this URL:
Stay tuned for my next upcoming blog post on Street Barbers, a dying trade in Singapore, a continual story of another last few remaining street / roadside barbers in Singapore, besides the one featured in this photo essay as well as in my blog post on "A Vanishing Trade in Singapore - Street Barbering, To Be Remembered" in November last year.
The old charm of Singapore comes back to life as you take a lovely stroll through this very quaint and interesting museum that is housed in a tiny shop house. Tucked away in the historic Bussorah Street within the Kampong Glam area, the Children Little Museum is for the children to see and understand the things of our good old days and a place for the adults to reminiscence. you can disappear from the present into a tiny two-floor museum filled with childhood memories. At first glance, the shop seems to have the usual two dollar trinkets, but once you come closer you'll see that the toys are the kind you haven't seen in a while. Adults will walk down the memory lane as they reminisce about their childhood, while children will find it a delight to discover the vanishing activities from the yesteryear.
At the Children Little Museum, visitors can get lost in childhood memories and kids can see what playtime used to mean. A tin robot greets you with a welcoming grin at the entrance, where marbles, plastic balloons and other simple toys are sold. The exhibit of Children Little Museum will give us an insight into people’s habits whether it is a tin toy, or your favourite 'kids' magazines. One will be able to ponder and daydream of how life might have been.
Children Little Museum is a treasure trove of childhood curios including everything from old school supplies to old wooden rocking horses. More than just a museum, it is a place where children get to see and understand the remnants of the good old play days and a place for the adults to reminisce about their childhood. One should view the toys of our yesterdays and get a glimpse of the past in relation to our present. Embark on a journey that takes you through the snippets from the past.
A Vanishing Trade in Singapore - Traditional Hands-on Knife & Scissors Sharpeners, To Be Remembered
In the early days of Singapore, knife and scissors sharpening was a prevalent job. Knife sharpening as an art form, is a form of professional service provision. Have you heard of them before in Singapore? Do you know of their presence here in Singapore? Knife sharpeners, often known as scissors grinders, sharpened knives, scissors and other sharp metal objects. Most of the knife sharpeners were itinerant and travelled from one housing estate to another with their tools. It was expensive to buy a new pair of scissors or a knife during those days and it was also somehow a belief that scissors become more seasoned and worked better when sharpened. People therefore preferred having their knives and scissors sharpened by knife sharpeners rather than buying new ones. However, the business of sharpening knives and scissors simply became redundant over time in modern advanced technology times. People preferred buying a new pair of scissors or a knife to save themselves the hassle of going to an itinerant knife sharpener. With busier schedules, people also had no time to carry their knives and scissors to the knife sharpener. Lifestyle changes induced people into buying classier knives than retaining old ones. Knife sharpeners are therefore rarely to be found in Singapore today.
Personally, i do not know much about knife sharpening professional service in Singapore. Hence, i made a trip down to People’s Park Complex in Singapore Chinatown area, tucked away at a corner on the second floor, there was a unit where i learnt the art, history and profession of knife sharpening. The shop owner known as Madam Lee, who has been in this trade for more than 40 years, is a very kind, humble and friendly person. She was so willing to share with me her stories, how she got started in knife sharpening, her experiences and memories over her knife sharpening business.
I would like to thank Madam Lee for giving me this great opportunity to photograph, document and share the story of traditional hands-on knife sharpening, a vanishing trade in Singapore.
This blog post is my final travel post on my recent journey back to Taiwan travelled in May. It contains travel memories of my return from the Taipei International Airport on the departure day. I have scrambled to finish writing in time, as there are a few local Singapore documentary shoots being lined up to be blogged as well as need to start planning the itinerary for my next travel photo trip very soon again!
当你出境离开台湾时, 你有看见机场第一航厦中那面美丽的墙吗? 那是由方文山创作《在旅行的路上》一词, 书画大师朱振南挥毫的 "文学之墙". 别忘了停下脚步, 拍照留念, 细细品尝文学之墙的祝福. 那一天我在桃园机场回国登机前, 看到一首流行教父方文山创作的《在旅行的路上》诗词, 结合书画大师朱振南的笔墨, 欢送着无数即将远行的旅客. 传统与创新文化融合的文学之墙, 成为许多人出国前第一个拍摄的新焦点.
潇洒的笔墨, 挥洒出桃园机场新生命. 许多旅客常驻足桃机一航厦出境南北区廊道文学之墙拍照留念, 吸引他们的是方文山作词的机场之歌, 透过书法家朱振南墨迹, 跃然墙上.
金曲奖最佳作词人方文山, 一出手就用充满个人印象堆叠的创作特色, 将桃园机场一航厦的出境走廊妆点得充满流行元素与台湾精神, 再透过朱振南的飞舞墨迹, 让华语文化与流行音乐, 在桃园机场巧妙的融合. 方文山的词句平易近人充沛情感, 朱振南的书法樸实雄健气韵生动, 常见许多出境旅客驻足欣赏, 竟然忘了登机时刻！
免税商店在桃园机场入口廊道, 结合当代书法与诗歌的概念将其命名为 “文学之墙”, 朱振南结合方文山, 以多元而混搭的艺术美感, 呈现台湾在地风景, 小吃与民俗文化等土地共同记忆, 体现了来自台湾在地的风土民情与浓热情意.