Textures in Singapore Tiong Bahru edition

The part of Singapore my father is from is called Tiong Bahru.
Now a historical protected heritage site in Singapore, Tiong Bahru is a neighbourhood full of pre-war two story apartment houses and a much slower pace of living.

Growing up my sisters and I knew it as the place for extended family gatherings on holiday occasions.
Somewhere in my teens it became a place of stillness, full of lazy afternoon napping and old food stalls.

Returning now, three years from my last visit, Tiong Bahru is nursing a growing community of  independent and concept cafes and stores. These stores are not permitted to destroy parts of the architectural structures in order to preserve them for heritage. What this means is a host of spaces that are fusions of old and new aesthetic design, that sometimes work well and other times not quite.

This trip I trekked back to Tiong Bahru a couple of times just to walk through and explore. There is so much about this neighbourhood that I know so well and at the same time know so little of.
The photos from this haul reflect my marvelling eye.

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Photos in Order:

1 -2 : BooksActually, Tiong Bahru
3-5:  Tiong Bahru district
6 – Flock cafe, Tiong Bahru

Textures in Singapore

Singapore is the city of my birth, and my first eight years of childhood.

For the first time this trip, I went to many of the more tourist-geared locations, and photographed the famous side of Singapore I am not familiar with.

This country is often balancing on a very thin line between its past and present, its history and its innovation.
The textures I discovered on my trip home sometimes mirror that effect, creating moments of aesthetic that settle deeply into my heart, mixing and mingling with each other.
Old Singapore, New Singapore, time and space between them. These photos look for all of that.


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Photos in Order:

1 – Chinatown alleyway: 牛車水
2 – Marina Bay Sands Flower Dome
3 – Marina Bay Sands Solar Trees
4 – Marina Bay Sands Cloud Forest Dome
5 – Marymount Station
6 – Bishan Rd
7 – Marina Bay Sands Cloud Forest Dome
8 – Bukit Gomback neighbourhood

Textures of Taiwan: Taipei

Textures in a city are intersectional, they are physical, visual, and emotional aspects that interact with each other and create a certain mood or aesthetic.

Taipei is a city I’ve been to before, which means that walking back into the city with a camera is a different experience immediately.

What do I love about Taipei? What textures in  Taipei appeals most to me? What do I remember of the city?

These photos are a remnant of those thoughts and feelings.
It was never about being able to take a spectacular photo, just maybe, an honest one.

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Photos in order:

1 – 饒河夜市門口, RaoHe Night Market entrance
2 – 臺北地下街, Taipei City Underground Mall
3 – 大安區忠孝東路, Da An district, ZhongXiaoDong Street
4 – Somebody Cafe, 西門町,XimenDing
5 – 九份茶坊, Teahouse at Jiu Fen.
6 – 海邊的卡夫卡, Kafka by the Shore live music cafe

Textures of Taiwan: Taichung

Taichung was a rest stop for us after the drama of Alishan.

The highlight of Taichung, however, was the National Taiwan Museum of  Fine Arts. One of the best museums I’ve ever been in, full of intelligent, contemporary pieces.

I only featured 4 photos for this post, but that’s also telling.
Some places, you forget to capture because there is just too much to take in.

I’d like to think that is the best way of being present.


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Photos in order

1 – N Joy Taichung Hostel
2 – 國立台灣美術館 National Taiwan Museum of  Fine Arts.
3 – 國立台灣美術館 National Taiwan Museum of  Fine Arts.
4 – 國立台灣美術館 National Taiwan Museum of  Fine Arts

Textures of Taiwan: Alishan

For a brief 2 days and one night, we traveled two hours up the mountain into the heart of the mountain ranges facing West.
High above sea level, the intersection of different colours and textures are fresh. The sky and the ground here do really meet.

And i must say, there is nothing like the realization that up here, clouds walk among us.

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Photos in order:

1 – 山上雲海 – Cloud seas on the Alishan mountain ranges
2 – 雨後的風景 – The view after mountaintop showers
3 – 奮起湖,瓜園 – FenQi Lake, growing gourds
4 – 奮起湖,舊房子- Old Residential places in FenQi Lake
5 – 阿里山遊樂區 – Alishan Recreational district
6 – 民宿和茶農場 – Residences and Tea Farms on the mountain
7 – 奮起湖 – FenQi Lake

Textures of Taiwan: Tainan

Tainan is a city the colour of old things. It is the oldest city in the country, and is still home to many vestiges of Taiwan’s past, including the Japanese Occupation.

We often think faded when we think old, but as I roamed the city I found that old sometimes means bold, bright, and hardy.
I loved the way the old stood in this city.

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Photos in order:

1  -台南老街 – Old residential alleyways
2 – 觀夕平台 -Sunset viewing platform
3 – 懷舊玩具  – Tinker Toy Vintage stall
4 – 台南老房  -Old residential houses
5 – 延平街 店 -Shop on YanPing St.
6 – 延平街頭  – Shop near YanPing St.
7 – 林百貨頂樓 – Top Floor at the Old Hayashi Department Store

Textures of Taiwan: Kaohsiung

Every time I make up my mind to organize my traveling photos into an album and share it I stare at the number of photographs to be screened and give up before I even begin.

I wouldn’t call myself a photographer.

Photo taking is my way of recording things I want to remember for my art – my writing.

When traveling in Taiwan earlier this summer I was really drawn to the way an environment is made up of layers upon layers.

These layers interact with each other to create the landscapes around us.

To me, these layers have moods and affectations, and upon encountering them I want to remember their particular sensations.

They inspire me to write things.

So I’ve compiled a few photographs from each location I visited just to share the scenes I thought most lovely.

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Photos in order: 
1 – 蓮池潭 – Lotus Lake
2 – 蓮池潭, Pavilion on the Lotus Lake
3 – 駁二藝術特區, Pier 2 Art District
4 – 駁二藝術特區, Pier 2 Art District
5 – 真愛碼頭, Love Pier
6 – 旗津島, Cijin Island
7 – 旗津島, Cijin Island
8 – 旗津島, Cijin Island