Street barbers were named as such because they operated along the "five-foot-ways" of shop houses or from makeshift tarpaulin tents by the road. These makeshift stalls comprised a bare minimum of a few chairs, a wall mirror, a cupboard and a few plastic bins with water.
In the old days of Singapore, many street barbers were Malays but there was a fair share of Chinese and Indian barbers too. Full-service in the olden days included ear, nose and tongue cleaning. Ears were scraped of earwax with long thin metal rods hooked at one end. The tongue was cleaned of its white coating by a gentle scraping with the barber's knife. Malay and Indian barbers ended their service with a good head and shoulder massage.
Under a tiny blue tent along a back-alley street, a barber who has beautified his loyal customers for ages carries on snipping away. Yet, time seeks to cut off its relationship with him as. I had a great opportunity in my life to watch how his dedication has kept the craft alive and how his humble establishment can still remain grounded, undeterred by change. Here's the pictures and story that i have collected for one of the least few remaining street barbers in Singapore, a vanishing trade and to be remembered - Barber Mr Lee and his shop located at 23 Amoy Street. Before that, i must say that while i was doing the photo shoot and the short story interview with Barber Mr Lee, my thoughts were steeped in full respect and nostalgia. Sometimes, waxing nostalgic about valued past experiences makes us feel as if our lives are full of purpose and meaning.
Arriving at this rustic destination, as an avid traveller, i often feel as though i have moved back in time. If the past is a foreign country, then it is equally true that tourism transforms histories into proxies for a lost past. Such nostalgic journeys through space and time are inevitably bound up with the traveller's sense of home.
Tired of the mega-malls? Head down to Haji Lane, a small shophouse-lined street in the Kampong Glam area near Bugis. This area has always been one of my favourite retail hangouts. Most of the local wear in my wardrobe and accessories were actually bought from boutique stores at Haji Lane. I will always fork out time to drop by to do some shopping at this area whenever i can. New shops have opened recently and anyone is sure to find some treasures! Don’t go early, though – most shops don’t open till noon. The next time you have a whole afternoon free, take a trip down Haji Lane. Sometimes you just need to get out of the malls. You need a hit of creative smack. You need to find uber-cool with a capital U. Hot foot it to Haji Lane, here's what you will find........
This coming November 25th is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, Europe and Australia. It is usually celebrated every year on the 4th Thursday of November. So it’s that time again, the time where we stop for a minute and give thanks to everything and everyone who helps make our lives just a little bit better. It is a day for expressing thanks for the good things in life.
I will start by telling you once again how grateful i am for the opportunity to touch lives by sharing my thoughts through my camera lens and writing.
It’s been a good year for my photography work, much of them has been publicly recognised and published, something that i have always wished for in my passion and i'd like to give a big thanks to all the people and things that make that happen and also make me for who i am.
So, i will continue to focus next year (and suggest you do too) on being more thoughtful, more sincere and more reflective on myself (yourself), my passion (photography) and my life (your life) as i count my blessings, so that i can continue to experience the thankfulness i am expressing.
It is high time for us to show our gratitude for all the things we are blessed with. It is never too late to do so. Maybe this Thanksgiving Day is a good time to start. We will not be able to rewrite the past, but we can choose today to change the way we have been living our lives, to become grateful individuals. So, let’s remember the real purpose for Thanksgiving Day.
I also really appreciate anyone and everyone who takes the time to drop by at my photography blog. It’s a one woman's operation with a huge heart and soul. Thanks again for making this Thanksgiving a great one! Happy Thanksgiving Day! :-)
Another happy day! What a great start to the weekend! One of my master pieces in the photography work (so far) is featured in the latest November issue of Digital Camera Magazine, a popular leading monthly photography magazine! I am so glad that my photo taken at the famous Cao Dai Temple in Vietnam and the unique religious movement of its worshippers got its recognition and shared with among all of you! My published photo taken in Vietnam features the inside of Tay Ninh Holy See, the seat of Caodaiism, its unique architectural style reflects its blended traditions. The photo was submitted for the "Your Mission - Travel" category released for publication in this magazine issue. It was a good chance to see one of my photograph masterpieces in print again nationwide, yippee! :-)
My Photo on Hangzhou 杭州 Wu Zhen 乌镇 Village Published in My Paper 《我报》 newspapers dated 14 November 2012
A happy day! One of my photo essays on my trip to Hangzhou 杭州 in May this year has been featured in today's MyPaper 我报 newspapers! My photo shoot at the century old historic Wu Zhen 乌镇 village is being featured, can't wait to share such good news with all of you. Yippee! :-)
Oh well, here I am again.
Already somehow in mid-November and already somehow getting ready to depart soon again next month during the Christmas festive season for my year-end travel shoot. Where to? Going to Taiwan!
When i left a high-flying corporate job in the financial industry a couple of years ago, i took time off to travel alone, on my own and it was what opened my eyes to photography in the first place. Ever since then, travel has been a very important part of my life. You can make your life what you want it to be, you can. It takes some work, but don't ever think what you have in your head, can't be what you have in your life. It’s not exactly the most normal work / life balance, but the blessing in that is i can carve out some time and make what I want come to life.
And that is taking time off each year (as long as i can) to travel, to grow myself, to see new cultures, to stretch, to shoot amazing things and to get my feet on some new soil.
So i'll be carrying my life on my back for the next month. I will try new things again. I will go to new places again. I will shoot some amazing pictures again. I’m way too pumped. :-)
You can bet your bottom dollar that I will be posting images and telling my journey after i am back. You can also be assured that the pictures taken in this coming Taiwan trip will be an extraordinary one, i promise!
I will still be responding to emails while I’m over there but at a snail's pace, so please allow for that. I will be away from 25th to 30th December. Hope all of you will have a happy & blessed Christmas celebration ahead too!
Taiwan, here i come, coming soon. :-)
Hi everyone, not sure if you still remember that i told you all recently one of my travel photo stories taken in Hong Kong and Haikou, China will be featured in an upcoming local creative lifestyle magazine, out in bookstores releasing sometime in next year January 2013? The publisher actually got back to me again that they decided to publish both travel stories instead of one of them and that was absolutely a very good piece of news to me!
The publisher, however, had put forward a request to me for some additional editing to my travel stories so as to make it more personalised. Without further, I spent some nights re-drafting my photo essays. Finally after much drafting and redrafting, I felt they were quite good.
Let’s face it, travel is fun. But for those who live to travel, it’s not just about fun. It’s about experiencing life, meeting people, learning about cultures and discovering ourselves. Once we’ve traveled, we’re never quite the same. If that describes you, then stick around. I’m not sure what will come of the latter but for me, i am grateful for this photography essay opportunity that it gave me and for reminding me of the reason why I embarked on this journey in the first place.
My travel photo pieces will be out in January 2013 and I can’t wait to share it with you all when the time comes. I’ll still keep posting photos of course and will blog whenever I feel inspired. In the meantime, i'll still be taking a couple of massive leaps of faith. Stay tuned! :-)
In Singapore, there are no lack of different varieties of ice cream to be found. Be it upmarket brand-names like Hagen Das and Movenpick or more affordable labels like King’s and Wall’s Ice Cream, we the locals are rather spoiled for choices here in Singapore.
I remember when I was a kid, I’d eagerly wait for the ringing of bells in the evenings. It was the sound that marked the arrival of my favourite mobile ice cream seller, who usually made his rounds at the ground floor of my flat once every few days.
The ice cream vendors in Singapore, operate via bike or motorcycles strapped to a huge container, holding various ice cream. The makeshift contraption gives them added mobility and the ice cream vendors here are always constantly on the movie to find better spots to sell their ice cream. The vendors are able to sell their products really cheaply considering that they use only medium and low quality ice cream.
A long-time friend, KH gave this nice blue-coloured camera strap to me for my pro-camera, he got it from Hong Kong, thanks so much! :-)