I have never entertained the thought of losing my memories. But lately, I seem to have forgotten what Singapore is. On a good day, I can probably name all 50 states in the USA and the accompanying state capitals. But if you ask me which stations lie between City Hall and Woodlands, well, I won’t be a millionaire. About a year ago, I began romanticizing the notion of “making pictures with my heart.” Here’s a typical scenario in which I would use that catchy phrase: when I miss a Kodak moment because I am too lazy to carry a real camera, I say: “Don’t worry, I have taken that picture with my heart, it stays.” Alas, there are indeed limits to the human brain (and heart). To borrow the words of American photographer Jeff Jacobson, “I simultaneously feel deeply at home in this country and like a perpetual visitor to a strange and bizarre land.” So these pictures are, on one level, my attempts to clarify those conflicts. And on a more practical level, they are just my personal effort to eternalize some scenes which will soon be gone. These are also my gifts to Singapore.
I have never entertained the thought of not publishing Panoramic Singapore. But lately, I seem to have forgotten what the project is all about. On a good day, I can probably remember the film and camera I used, and which eye I used to focus for which image. But if you ask me which images lie between Geylang Lorong 30 and Bedok Jetty, I won’t be a millionaire. About three years ago, I began romanticizing the notion of “publishing a book with other people’s money.” Here’s a typical scenario in which I would use that catchy phrase: when I miss a chance to nail a huge sponsorship, I say: “Don’t worry, we still got time.” Alas, there are indeed limits to patience. To borrow the words which I have used before, “Individuals and corporations with the means and hearts can make a difference.” So this book is, on one level, my attempt to give closure to a project that ought to have wrapped a long time ago. And on a more practical way, it is just my personal effort to raise money for my next book. These are also my gifts to myself.