It feels, right now, like there is so much nostalgic photographic work being done in Singapore. There probably always has been, because places cannot change this rapidly without loss, but I’ve never paid it mind until recently. I used to want to leave, forever, one day.
I started looking for the Singapore I lost a couple of years back. In doing so, I visited sites that others grieve for. The old Dakota Crescent housing estate and Rochor Center are being demolished to make way for development, their residents and small business owners relocated. Ditto the old Thieves Market at Sungei Road. I’d been to all of these places when I was a little girl, but have no attachment to any of them.
But in going back to them over and over, I started hearing ghosts, speaking the many languages of these places, some which I understand, others which I don’t. In trying to find the Singapore I remember, I’m discovering the Singapore I don’t, in the deluge of new that has sprung up in the 17 years I’ve been gone.