I want to save my home town

I want to save my home town
Superhero is one of the photos meant to draw attention to the plight of Wilfred Weegee's home town.

SINGAPORE - Singapore permanent resident Wilfred Lim feels it is his duty to create works that draw attention to the plight of his home town - a small fishing village in Pengerang, Johor - which is making way for an oil refinery.

The 25-year-old, who is pursuing a degree in fine arts at the Nanyang Technological University, was one of six winners of this year's Noise Singapore Award, which comes with a $5,000 grant for young artists to further their artistic aspirations.

My Paper speaks to the visual artist, known as Wilfred Weegee in art circles, about growing up in a kampung and the trade-offs that come with urban development.

What was it like to spend the first 18 years of your life in a kampung?

My family and I lived in a wooden house surrounded by coconut trees for eight years, before moving into a concrete house in the same kampung.

My childhood wasn't filled with video games or computers; instead, we spent most of our time with nature. There was a big drain in front of my house where I caught guppies and other tropical fish. There were floods every December, and fish would end up swimming right outside my house. My dad used to catch and cook some of them for us.

How do you feel about the redevelopment of your home town?

When I was young, the idea of development excited me. After all, development is supposed to offer everyone a better future.

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