On the bus to KL

Charlene Small Stories 8 Comments

When I was growing up in Singapore, trips to Malaysia happened several times a year. Both my folks, being originally Malaysian, have family there, and my Dad also went game fishing in Malaysian waters all the time. It remains, for me, a place of myth and magic. Every supernatural tale I’ve heard originated there. These days i head for the …

Little things

Charlene Small Stories 2 Comments

Singapore I don’t attend enough to seeing the small beauties around me everyday. Having moved around so much in the last 4 years, foreign beauties are a cinch to parse. They’re novel and unfamiliar. The little delights of home? Impossible. They don’t call it domestic blindness for nothing. Yesterday I met an old schoolmate at the Old Airport Road Hawker …

Out in the old | Dakota Crescent

Charlene Small Stories 6 Comments

Singapore I have a cousin who just moved out of Dakota Crescent, the old ’50s housing estate which is about to be razed to make way for further redevelopment. Originally built to accommodate a growing population without adequate housing, it also housed many whose homes went up in flames in the kampung (village) fires in ’58 and ’59 respectively.1 The …

Landscapes Of Memory magazine

Charlene Small Stories 10 Comments

Singapore I made a magazine with my photos. It arrived a few days ago and I’m taken aback by what a beautiful thing a Premium Magazine is. Look through it in entirety: Landscapes of Memory By charlene winfred Last time I made any kind of a book was three years ago. For as long as I’ve been a nomad, I’ve …

Notes to self in the dark

Charlene Small Stories 4 Comments

Singapore I hit four and a half years as a nomad, three days ago. I like to mark these milestones, because days pass in a blur and it is frequently hard to remember which day it is without consulting a calendar, otherwise known as the info bar on my smartphone. Observing this occasion back in my adolescent bedroom, while a …

What’s the story morning glory?

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I went to listen to a talk by photojournalist Walter Astrada some nights ago, held at the local center for photography and film. The talk started off with a small selection of his past twenty years documenting conflict around the globe, then moved on to his current project: travelling the world on a motorcycle. What I remember best, was his …

Hello again

Charlene Small Stories 1 Comment

Singapore The Guardian had a call out some months ago, for readers’ art work on the theme of transport. Some days ago I discovered I’d made the cut, and that my picture graces the heading of the gallery, which was curated by Madeline Cornell of the Robert Mann Gallery. Check it out. It’s kind of cool. Ok it’s pretty damn …

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. …

Flights of fancy

Charlene Small Stories 4 Comments

Singapore. So much rides on history, doesn’t it? In Singapore one goes to the airport for fun. It’s really a big mall where you can also get on a plane. I don’t say this in jest either – Changi Airport is proudly Singapore’s biggest mall. I hung out here lots in school going years – to talk life and the …

Void deck, Tampines

Charlene Small Stories 2 Comments

Singapore. The void deck, the empty ground floor level of the public housing that 85% of Singapore lives in, is unique part of life here. A space like this is where I learned to ride a bicycle, to skate, to give play to my imagination. It’s where weddings and funerals happen. It’s a space to gather, to seek shelter, to …