Patchwork quilt of life in S’pore

Public pools, Housing Board flats and MRT stations. Some of Singapore's most distinctive places are also the most overlooked, say three professional shutterbugs.

So the trio - which includes former Straits Times photographer Samuel He - hopes to help people see them with new eyes.

They launched a photography exhibition at Rochor Centre in Bugis yesterday to celebrate Singapore's 50th birthday next year.

Titled Community Quilts, the exhibition consists of eight series of photographs, highlighting places such as Tiong Bahru, which many people frequent for its unique architecture and local indie shops.

Each series consists of eight vertical panels, which in turn are made up of three or four photographs.

The panels are weaved into a seamless whole - the photo- graphers' metaphor for Singapore being one nation made up of many different people.

Aside from 31-year-old Mr He, the other two photographers are Ms Juliana Tan, 25, and Mr Ivan Tan, 26, who own their own businesses.

They had received the maximum $50,000 from the SG50 Celebration Fund, which was set up to encourage ground-up initiatives from Singaporeans to celebrate the nation's golden jubilee. "We spent about five months conceptualising the idea, choosing the locations, getting permits, shooting and doing post-production work," said Ms Tan.

"The idea is for people to relook our spaces and buildings, the places we often take for granted because we walk past them every day. Hopefully, Singaporeans will look at these places in a different light and realise how beautiful they are," she added.

Mr He, who was with The Straits Times for four years and now co-owns a video and photography production house, said: "We decided to hold the exhibition at one of Rochor Centre's void decks because we are featuring the centre in one of the series. It's quite fitting because the centre itself is going to be torn down, so we wanted to document it."

The free exhibition will run until Dec 31 at Rochor Centre's Block 4 void deck on level four.

This article was first published on December 7, 2014.
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