Building Singapore

Lots of street shots to do with construction workers.

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Quite literally, these are the people who built Singapore.

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I grew up in Singapore, and even to me, the heat is too much at times.

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So yes, this is hard work.

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These were taken at various places.

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The scenes are ubiquitous.

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Singapore depends a lot on foreign labour.

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Working behind the scenes.

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So we have these.

Camera: Olympus XA 2

Film: Agfa Vista 400

Shamshuipo

Shamshuipo, as you can see, is my other haunt.

There’s enough bustle for street photographs.

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The colours can be interesting too. The red and green combo is nice.

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He didn’t even notice me.

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In contemplation.

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I was testing out a generic rectangular lens hood on my lens to make sure there wasn’t any vignetting.

This is one of two flea market stalls selling film cameras.

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It’s a low volume high flow business. The offerings change every week.

Occasionally, you could see a few Leicas. I saw an X Pro 1 here once…

Thanks for reading!

 

Camera: Canon 600D

Legacy Lens: SMC Takumar 35mm f 3.5

Shamshuipo: Monochrome High Contrast

Again at Sham Shui Po.

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Life follows function.

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The buildingsĀ are useful for nostalgia.

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Though they’re still here.

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Bodies crammed between buildings.

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A selection of goods.

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At the butcher’s.

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Chinese foodstuff.

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Frenetic energy.

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Bustle.

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Check out the lap cheong (Chinese dried sausages)!

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Yummy.

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A window reflects.

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Work in progress.

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Still building.

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Renewal and construction.

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A tree trunk is tamed.

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Shroud on building.

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A conference.

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A building pushes.

 

 

Camera: Canon 600D

Legacy Lens: SMC Takumar 35mm f 3.5

Yuen Long Wet Market

We were at a wet market in Yuen Long.

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I walked past this shed and felt I really had to take a shot.

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If you’re in construction, you have to be a bit of a Spiderman.

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They’re very agile.

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Chicken rice stall.

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We walked through a wet market.

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Straw hats for sale.

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Very fried and oily calamari (or were they oysters)?

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I thought the wall was rather beautiful.

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I was having a William Eggleston moment here.

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The second floor of a village house.

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Dried seafood.

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More dried seafood.

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Some more dried seafood.

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Dried seafood, anyone?

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Last chance to buy dried seafood!

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Scaffoldings offer lots of compositional possibilities.

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I walked around to obtain different angles.

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I have so many others but I’ll stop here.

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The underside of awnings too, can be beautiful.

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Check out the lines, colours and shadows.

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Sometimes the most common of things can offer up beauty.

The blue and yellow above go very well together.

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The arm offers a quirky variation to the scene.

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Bamboo scaffolding.

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Some more scaffolding.

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Parking lot signage.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

All photographs here were taken with the now classic Canon G11.

 

 

 

Singapore Heartland

Heartland is the title of a novel by Daren Shiau.

We don’t meet often, though our paths have crossed a few times at various literary readings/events.

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The novel is about the coming of age of a young man who grapples with class disparities, national service (conscription) and romance.

It is also about every Singaporean son…

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The heartland is the social-cultural space we grew up in.

For me, it’s what nostalgia is made of.

There is a shiny global Singapore (Gardens by the Bay, Marina Sands, Clarke Quay, etc.), and there’s also the heartland of Singapore we return to in the evenings.

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It’s the uncle we see every day, loitering at the void deck.

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It’s hawker food!

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It’s that uncle on a bicycle I side-stepped to avoid in the morning.

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All of that adds up to a sense of community…

And both national and personal growth is a kind of departure, a severing of ties from the past…

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We’ll never return to the seesaw of our childhoods again.

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Things are too new to be comfortable.

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All that unearthing and shifting of foundations…

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There’s always work in progress.

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Hence all we can do is learn to look back and find a glimmer of our home again in our imagination…

For collectors: open-edition prints are available at my Saatchi Art page.

Thanks for reading!