My journey in photographing and documenting Old Places in Singapore was inspired a lot by Royston Tan first documentary, Old Places. While watching Old Places, it got me thinking a lot about my photography, the society that I am currently living in and reminiscing my good old days when I was young, stress free and carefree. A lot of history, heritage and culture were slowly fading away into history or were already into history archives of photos, books, blogs etc etc. Therefore, when Old Places was first released, this sparked me off on a new photojournalism journey that I never looked back since the day I took the first step in photographing Old Places, cultures, history and heritage in Singapore. There was a section on my photoblog dedicated to Old Places and you can find my photographs of Old Places that I explored here on my Flickr.
All these never fail to amaze me that we had our own history, heritage and culture that we sometimes never knew about it or we all had forgotten about it. This journey is not something that is one day or one year, it’s always ongoing and continuing. When I was at National Museum of Singapore to watch the premiere of Old Romances, the stories, the love behind their business, old places, cultures. You can feel the love and nostalgic about something that holds dearly to our hearts, especially for those who tasted and enjoyed the lifestyle during their days, whether as a young teenager or adult. For me, a lot of my memories were through my childhood and teenager days. Those were the days; those were my own Old Romances.
Singapore had transformed very fast in the past century, the landscape, culture and environment had changed tremendously. It’s no longer a sleepy fishing village; it’s now an international city hub. The pace of life today is so much faster than before. While watching Old Romances, the provision shops, traditional kopitiam, KTM Railway etc etc, I was glad that I was covering and documenting some of them down into photographic and photojournalism memories. Moving ahead into the future, Singapore faces more challenges in this current climate, to protect and preserve history, heritage and culture while expanding the needs for growth and development whereby some land/Old Places might have to give way for the future expansion.
We all can do a part, no matter how big or small, to make a difference and create an impact to preserve our history, heritage and culture. I am currently active with mini-projects and was happy to be part of these few heritage works (personal and participating with organisations e.g National Heritage Board)
Do support Old Romances, it’s not just for you to rekindle your love and memories, it’s also something to share with your children and grandchildren about the good old days that you lived in and how different compared to the modern lifestyle that we are living in. With all the success and wealth, we must not forget our roots, history, heritage, culture, ethics and hard work that brought us from humble beginnings to what we have today in Singapore.