13 Photos That Defined Citizens and Foreigners’ Love for Singapore’s Founding Father


I was at the queue on Friday afternoon and later on at night. The view was unforgettable.

The City Hall area was never this crowded.

The young, the old, the local, the foreigners, the nation’s inhabitants showed up in force to send their revered founding father on his last journey.

Companies and their employees shuttered their doors to distribute food and water aid to the crowd at no cost.

There was an unprecedented show of kindness as Singaporeans and Foreigners alike looked after each other while queueing together.

The crowd soldiered on for hours through the sun and through the night with one singular desire to pay their respects to Mr Lee.

Even if all that queueing was just for a few seconds before him in the Parliament House.

Our Prime Minister came to thank the people for being here but was also comforted and gained strength by his people.

No man is greater than the country, Mr Lee would say. But for some people, Mr Lee is Singapore. For Singapore’s success, why we have safe and clean streets, clean tap water, sound education, island-wide greenery and enjoy the rewards of diligence at work, Mr Lee have played an immeasurable role from implementation to execution. For most, Singapore (and her success) and Mr Lee is synonymous.

These are 13 moments I personally witnessed that defined the people’s deep love for our late former Prime Minister, Minister Mentor and founding father.

Writer’s Note: In the interest of the subjects within the frames, the photos are not to be used for personal, commercial, editorial or any other purposes unless permission is given otherwise.














Gone Thy Moments Irreversible

150801 Gone.


After shooting for the company, I was stranded at the bus stop [due to the rain]. You know the ‘aha’ moment when you spot a good subject to shoot? I had that when I saw this domestic helper and dog.

But I was 1 second late. The helper moved away right after I clicked the shutter. I was disappointed because that would have been my only good shot for the night. After taking a second look, I thought it couldn’t have been better [even though it looked a bit eerie]. I liked the fade out effect of my subjects which spoke of a moment that passed.

I call it ‘Gone’ because it reminds me of the moments we missed that is irreversible and can never be replaced. A significant moment in our friend or family member’s life, a moment we could have took a step of faith, or the chance to embrace the unknown.

Last week I went over to my neighbor’s place to deliver a Christmas present for Ian. Meng told me that Ian will remember me now that he sees me more often (plus the toy). In a sense, people are like children. We got to learn to break* schedules to catch and participate in the important moments in our friends and families lives for we can neither replay the scenarios nor catch back those moments.

Singapore Seen: Old Is Gold (Cont’d)

Hosting Colleen, a friend I made while on last year’s backpacking trip, I once again embarked on a trip to the streets of Haji Lane and its surrounding features while showing our foreign friend around. This place is truly a gem, I am always revealed to something I didn’t notice the previous time.

I terribly enjoy hosting a foreign friend and exploring my country together with people. Sojourning Singapore from the eyes of a foreigner definitely brings a whole new perspective to the mundane that we may take for granted. Here are some of the images that caught my eye.

P.S. If you need a personal guide in Singapore, you know who to find.



Bak Kwa, or barbecue pork, Singaporean style.







Looks like a foreign place somewhere in the Middle East?






Rare old bus stop.







Building for a better future.

Singapore Seen: Old is Gold

And so I set off to look for an affordable, good condition and vintage typewriter that I may acquire in the future. As I look up on the internet and walk the ground, I realized there’s still much about this island state that I don’t know and have yet to discover. Sometimes we dream all day of traveling to a foreign country to live the city nomad dream without first knowing our own country. Sometimes we dream of stepping out to a foreign land when there’s a whole wide adventure just waiting for us right at our backyard. For the remaining time that I have for 2013, I am determined to know my own country better. This country has many hidden gems, and its secrets are only revealed to those who proactively search them out.

In this episode, I explore all things old in Singapore. Everything has a story to tell, especially all the old stuff. In a modern society where we are repeatedly fed with half truths such as the need to keep having ‘new’ in our lives – new technology, new gadgets, new vehicles, new everything, I find much comfort in feeling the wood and metal of all things old with my fingertips. It’s through the things of time past that we discover the cultures and strength of the country. Old is not outdated, old is not second grade to new. Old is gold. Without the old, there won’t be the new anyway. And remember, the old were once new too. (Both OT and NT are important, one can’t do without the other.)

Here are some images of the antique shops and its surroundings that I took on my trip, and oh joy it was such a great blast from the past. If you’re a backpacker, you should absolutely put these places under your radar. If you’re a tourist and am looking for a Uniquely Singapore experience and am game for quite a bit of walking, do come along too.




The Heritage Shop

#01-01, 93 Jalan Sultan, 6223-7982. Open daily noon-7pm

Undoubtedly one of the few remaining antique stores, this place is a treasure trove of antiques (or junk). The Heritage Shop fits the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” to the tee. It’s the latter for me. In it you can find vintage food containers that the Chinese use back in the 70s, your favorite Coke bottles (Coke included) from the 80s, antique fans of all sizes, antique suitcases, rusty old keys, old tiles, vintage film cameras, preserved news articles of important events that rocked Singapore and more. I could take all day just trying to list everything from the store. But because this is one of the more publicized and few remaining antique shops still hanging around, prices here are pretty steep. Coke bottles go at $15+/ a-piece and film cameras go at between $200-$300. Typewriters here sets you back at around $200+/ onwards. And the condition is questionable though it is definitely old no doubt. Still, you could acquire some of the smaller items without burning a hole in your pocket. Do consider. Oh did I mention that you can rent their items at 30% it’s nett price?



World Savage by Stevie General Store

70 Bussorah Street
Singapore 199483

This place sells one of the largest collection of best-condition antique items under one roof. The folks at World Savage take pride in selling people pristine, mint-condition and authentic antiques, and I really do mean antiques. Hence, be prepared to spend if you are looking for quality antiques. The store run by two ladies probably not older than 30 are really passionate about what they do, they have been running the store for a decade or more! The typewriters they carry are made from a special type of plastic instead of metal, making them more durable. They aren’t light too. And they cost a bomb. But then again, you are paying for quality and durability. Be prepared to spend more than $800 for their typewriters. If you’re looking for a really good antique typewriter, head on down to World Savage with gusto, their antique typewriters appreciate even more over time.




Spoil Market

I like the puns intended. This shop run by some younger Singaporean sells very limited decent vintage stuff. Much of it is commercialized vintage. What made me like this store though is the operational and super good-condition old phones they have. Be it mass-produced or not, they look to be a fine buy to me, costing between $150 to $250. Plus they have the Mickey Mouse phone too. Oh, and the big ‘water bottle’ or ‘big brother’ phones too. This is not the place to go looking for a functional typewriter. They only carry pristine-looking non-operational typewriters. What’s the point of getting a typewriter if it doesn’t work? But I must say, the shop help is quite pretty. Good phones, air conditioner and pretty girl has it working for Spoilt Market.



The Antique Shop at Landmark Village Hotel (Opposite Raffles Hospital)

390 Victoria Street
Singapore 188061

The messy insides of antiques and vintage stuff piling on top of one another in the antique shop open for public viewing is an eye feast for all antique collectors. Just by standing outside, I have a good idea of what I did like to bring home if I have the spending power. I’m drooling over the Yashica Mat 124. Although I’ve been in there before some time back, the past both times I dropped by this week have been futile in gaining access into the shop. The owner doesn’t seem to be in good health of late, hence unable to man the shop as regular as before. Last time I checked, the film cameras here were around $80 if memory doesn’t fail me. So, the typewriters if they do have some here should be cheaper… right?



Goods of Desire Singapore

6 Eu Tong Sen Street #02-08 The Central
Singapore 059817

This is an over-commercialized store that sells Hong Kong themed products. Sure there are some pretty cool vintage looking stuff, but nah the vintage stuff is all mass-produced and made to emulate some objects and symbols of old. I prefer the real deal anytime. What worked for them is its prime location (located just beside Central at Clarke Quay) and the amazing lightings that draw me in like moth to white lights. I liked the Hong Kong decorated bed and decorations for the married couples which they set up in the middle of the store. Now you can be a Hong Konger too and emulate their wedding experience. This place is pass-able, come only when you have time or are dying from the Singaporean heat.


More images from the surrounding.












Places I am heading to next…

Roccoco Kent // Past Image // The Little Dröm Store // Artsyfact // View Point Trading & Collectibles

Stay tuned!

P.S. I took the routes less traveled so that you can too.

Bustling Chinatown

I had some time to kill last weekend while waiting for a friend at Chinatown. Chinatown is such a magical place. An Austrian runs the sausage bar, a Hongkonger runs the pastries stall, the elderly play chess everyday regardless of everything that’s happening around the world, the shop-help works hard to peddle his products to the tourists everyday. I just wanted to while my time away, but never expected Chinatown to be so interesting even for a local. There is so much activity happening in one place and everybody who comes wants to be part of it. Chinatown is run by locals and foreigners, attracts the old, the young, the Chinese Nationals and the local community, welcomes tourists of all countries with open arms. This is truly, Uniquely Singapore.

See the full gallery here.



By The Boat Quay

Taken during Canon digital imaging class assignment at Boat Quay.

Task: capture interesting images during the magic hour, take anything interesting in the back alley.

One thing I noticed was how popular Boat Quay is as a location for jogging in the evening and as a venue for wedding photography on top of being a popular hot-spot for photography enthusiasts. So much is happening, all in one place. There were the joggers, the folks at the pubs preparing for yet another busy night, white collar professionals taking some time after work to enjoy the scenery, tourists touring the area via on foot or on bumboats. I like the back alleys of busy shop-house restaurants where we can see people of different ethnicity taking a break from work. There’s a sharp contrast when you compare one side of Boat Quay where people are merry-making while on the other side, others are working hard to make a living.

It’s definitely much tougher doing night photography. Big thank you to my dearest brother-in-Christ Michael Chan for lending me the much needed lens and tripod!

View the entire gallery here.

P.S. Photos and the inspiration behind it is solely by the photographer. I would appreciate being tracked back for them if you have used them. Thank you!






PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay