Rochor Center, Singapore, June 2017.

The new old

Charlene Small Stories 2 Comments

Singapore

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.

Comments 2

  1. The only constant is change….recently took a road home from my moms house that I hadn’t driven on in a few years, only to find significant changes, the road itself was rerouted and enlarged, bypassing a downtown area of a small town altogether. Felt like the downtown was just wiped clean off the map.

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