Tag Archives: History

Singapore Biennale 2016 – An Atlas of Mirrors

The Singapore Biennale 2016, with the theme “An Atlas of Mirrors”, was recently concluded on the 26th February 2017, having started on 27th October 2016. This was the fifth edition of the Singapore Biennale and I am glad that I managed to visit most of the artwork exhibitions present at Singapore Biennale 2016 before it ended. Looking back at my own personal Singapore Biennale visits, I covered four out of five editions, starting from year 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2016, with photographs that I took during my visits to Singapore Biennale curated and consolidated inside this Flickr collection.

The theme “An Atlas of Mirrors” for Singapore Biennale 2016, was on the instruments of vision and navigation to explore around the world used by the human race. The atlas was used by the human race to explore and venture all around the world, to discover the unknown and open up new chapters in history and time, not just in terms of landing on a new country, it’s also about the cultural, sociological and psychological revolution and evolution. As the human race used atlas and maps over centuries of exploration, scientific development and technology growth, coupled with more rapid and intense human movement around the world.

Do we know, how and where we see ourselves, see the world, see the future, from we we are right now? With the growth and boom of information technology, internet and social media, are we even learning more about each other from different parts of the world? Or have we retreated into mountains and caves, becoming even more isolated than the industrial revolution era? Do we need the mirror to constantly look at ourselves and ask ourselves questions?

Over my four visits to Singapore Biennale, from 2008 to 2016, they had always been an eye opener for me, not just for my eyes, also for my heart, mind and soul. There were times when some of the artworks by the artists were too deep and complex for me to understand and relate. There were also some artworks that clicked immediately with my mind, heart and soul. The Singapore Biennale is one mega arts event that allow me to explore and learn more about contemporary art in Singapore, the region and around the world.

Couple an atlas and mirror together, that’s the theme for Singapore Biennale 2016 “An Atlas of Mirrors”. While I can’t say that I have every answer to the things I said in my earlier paragraphs, at the very least, it pushed me to think beyond the views and experiences that I have inside me currently, in the business world, in my photography and in life.

Due to personal situations that happened in the last quarter of 2016 and early 2017, I wasn’t able to split my time and visit the Singapore Biennale 2016 a few times, to slowly absorb and understand the artists abstract artworks and the meanings behind them. I only managed to visit them just four days before her closing day. Nevertheless, I am very glad that I did it, feeding my my mind, heart and soul with contemporary art from Singapore Biennale.

Some of the artworks at Singapore Biennale 2016 connected with me in some ways or another, here are some of them

  • There are those who stay / There are those who go
  • The Great East Indiaman
  • Cooking the World
  • “If you can dream a better world you can make a better world or perhaps travel between them”
  • Black Forest 2016
  • History Repeats Itself
  • One Has to Wander through All the Outer Worlds to Reach the Innermost Shrine at the End
  • The Covenant
  • Melampaul Batas (Beyond Boundaries)
  • SONICreflection

Do visit my Flickr folder – Singapore Biennale 2016 and view more photographs that I took during my exploration and adventure of the contemporary art festival!

I leave you with this short video recording (that I did with the Canon EOS M5 review camera unit that I was reviewing during the time when I was at Singapore Biennale 2016) on the artwork produced by Melissa Tan from Singapore, titled “If you can dream a better world you can make a better world or perhaps travel between them”

As the Singapore Biennale 2016 concluded her fifth edition, have you ask yourself, from where you are right now, how do you visualise the world, and see for yourself where you are right now and into the future?


Created with flickr slideshow.

Updates and changes to my photography sites

The time is now, it had been brewing behind the scenes for some time since 2016. There were times when I looked back and reflected on myself, whether things could have been done faster. In life, sometimes, many things don’t go according to plan.

Sometimes, the people around you understand or make a point to seek first and understand, sometimes, there are also people around you that doesn’t want to understand and know what were the circumstances and situations.

As I took the first step into opening my own small business in photography on the 1st day of 2017, there were a lot of things behind the scenes to get things up and running for my small photography business. From setting up a new photography portfolio website, to restructuring and realignment of my other photography sites. The economic conditions are slow and very challenging for year 2017 and 2018. Taking the first step into operating a small business, is a huge leap of faith and courage. I am and I have to work a lot extra harder and smarter, taking on 2 more jobs (helping my friends business in legal services and forex/stocks trading) beside growing and building up my small photography business.

First and foremost, let me introduce to you the updates and changes below:

New photography portfolio website using Format platform – http://www.tghphotography.com

First and foremost, I thought I had a photography portfolio. Yes and No.

A fellow photographer friend commented that my photography and travel interest site (probably in 2015) was messy and people can’t see my true portfolio. He was spot on and I took note of that, without going full steam ahead into making the changes, that was before some things happened in 2016.

In 2016, after personal setbacks and fell right into the bottom of a well. I started to plan and make changes. While picking myself up, licking my wounds and handling personal losses to my loved one and 2 close friends in year 2016.

The process was much slower than I what planned and wanted it to be. Finally, I pieced all my jigsaw puzzles and planning together, giving rise to my new photography portfolio.

Photography and travel interest site – http://www.photojournalist-tgh.tv

This website used to double up as my portfolio, with more than 10 years of photography and travel content (since 2006). It had accumulated a pretty rich amount of photography and travel content. With the establishment of my new photography portfolio, this would be relived of official photography portfolio duties.

She will continue to serve in her capacity as a photography and travel interest / social media / blogging website, my digital marketing, social media and blogging arm for my photography and travel.

Hosting/sharing of photographs in photography/social media communities

~ 500px – https://500px.com/tangenghui

~ Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/tangenghui

These two photography communities are where I have uploaded and shared my photographs from my past years of photography adventures. These two communities are closely linked to my photography and travel interest site, whereby I wrote about the events that I attended, camera reviews, travel etc and visitors can visit Flickr or 500px to view more of the photographs that I took.

With the establishment of my new photography portfolio, my 500px and Flickr would be restructured and realigned them to be secondary photography portfolios.

There might be people who question the need for multiple photography sites to host and showcase my photography works. They each have their goals, objectives and directions in terms of my outreach, engagement and sharing of photographs. Having a presence in the two different photography communities help to expand and diversify my photography presence, outreach and branding.

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/TanGengHuiPhotography

My Facebook page will remain status quo, no major changes to its direction and usage. This is part of my social media outreach, digital engagement, marketing and publicity platform for my family, relatives, friends, clients and supporters on Facebook.

This Facebook page is not just about sharing my photography works, it’s also a sharing platform for photography tips, news, interesting events taking place and my travel segment as well, from travel news, travel tips and travel events.

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/tangenghui

My Instagram currently is a personal Instagram account, therefore, it’s not specially and specifically curated photography portfolio. This is a pretty carefree Instagram account, not bounded by too many of my own rules and regulations.

I might setup another Instagram account, purely for photography portfolio purposes. Until this takes place, my current Instagram account would take on the role on the Instagram platform, as part of my social media outreach, digital engagement, marketing and publicity platform for my family, relatives, friends, clients and supporters.

Final closing and personal thoughts

A new established photography portfolio, along with a strategic restructuring and realignment of my other photography sites, all these new changes and movements allowed me to streamline and manage my business, marketing and social media outreach.

Nothing in life is perfect, we just have to learn, grow and pick ourselves up from our mistakes and failures. At this juncture in time, all of the above would serve me well in running my photography business and growth in the near future.

Today, reaching this milestone, opening up this new journey, the route leading me towards this post today, was never straightforward and smooth going as I thought it would be. The setbacks in year 2016 spurred me to create and carve my own future. Being stuck at the bottom of the well, climbing my way up and out of it, this was another huge learning and growing curve in my life, to pick myself up from all the hurt, damage, anger, disappointment, lost of confidence and self belief.

Some said, I am slow in doing all these things together. True, no doubt about that and I do not deny that point. I do things a bit slower than others because I am more prudent, plan and strategise further ahead. How many people really knew about the recovery curve that I went through?

Most people don’t want to know the things behind the scenes, the “blood, sweat and tears”, they only see the end results and money, this is the capitalist economy that we live in.

Everything above is a huge leap of faith, it’s a new hope. No matter how much or how detailed planning in life that a person can do, in whatever areas they take on, there are no guarantees in life, I used to learn that there are only 2 guarantees in life, they are death and taxes, now make it 3 ~ Change is the 3rd guarantee in life.

This new journey actually started on 1st January 2017, it’s only with the launch of my new photography portfolio that I can write all my plans, happenings and thoughts here.

I know this is quite a bit of lengthy read, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart, for taking your precious time to read (when most people are not reading much) and for your continuous support, if you have read till the last line here.

Hokkaido 2016 Photography Adventure Day 7

27th October 2016 – Day 7 Lake Toya -> Usu -> Noboribetsu -> Shiraoi -> New Chitose Airport

Today is the last day of my Hokkaido travel photography adventure, my whole trip till date had been awesome, enjoying the autumn and winter seasons in this trip along with wet, cold and bright sunny autumn weather.

Lake Toya

Sunrise shoot (near to carpark beside The Windsor Hotel Toya Resort & Spa)

I wasn’t able to get a nice sunset (I did manage to get a nice sunrise at Biei) during this Hokkaido trip and on Day 6 evening, Kato san suggested to get a sunrise shoot on my last day of my trip. Why not? I set the alarm clock to wake up early and go for a sunrise shoot, keeping my fingers crossed for good weather and not too cloudy sky!

Even though it was autumn, I felt really cold on the 27th October 2016 morning, my autumn wear wasn’t warm and thick enough. Luckily, Kato san loaned me an outdoor overall suit with a pair of rubber boots. That kept me warm for this morning sunrise shoot.

Kato san drove to this hill top, where a luxury hotel is located, the Windsor Hotel Toya Resort & Spa. There was a carpark beside the hotel and it was the spot where we waited for the Hokkaido sunrise above Lake Toya. As the day started to break, we saw a thick cloud cover across Lake Toya. Initially, I was worried that there would be no sunrise with such thick cloud cover. Yet, Hokkaido again decided to bless me with a gorgeous sunset, rising above the mountain range, her rays punching through the clouds as she rose up to warm us up from a cold October autumn morning.

The next thing was to return back to our hotel, warm ourselves up in the onsen. This would be my last onsen and I wanted to enjoy it before returning back to Singapore. The onsen is the most suitable method to warm ourselves up from a cold autumn morning!

Scenic lake drive around Lake Toya

While the early morning sunrise was cloudy, the morning weather at Lake Toya was really good! I saw clear blue sky with thick fluffy white clouds. Kato san drove me around the other loop of Lake Toya. This was a very pretty scenic drive, I found a spot great for car photography shoot (driving on the road with Lake Toya and mountains in the background), we also spotted a pair of swans that swam to us on the shoreline, thinking that both Kato san and myself have some food to feed them!

Ice cream at Lake Hill Farm

When you visit Lake Toya, Hokkaido, this is one of the place that you MUST visit! I heard about this ice cream, it’s really famous, the ice cream is smooth, fresh and very delicious!! There were a lot of flavours and I couldn’t possibly try all of them, I wish I could though!

Lake Hill Farm has a very beautiful garden, with a bird’s eye view of the nearby mountain range! The green garden open space is ideal for the children to play and have fun while enjoying the ice cream!

Check out their website here – Lake Hill Farm!

Usu

Zenko-ji Temple (有珠善光寺)

Japan has many Shinto and Buddhist temples across the whole country. I always love to visit them whenever I get to visit Japan. When I visited Tokyo in 2004, I still remembered my visits to Meiji-Jingu shrine and Sensoji temple, I was in awe by their history, tradition and beauty of the holy places.

On Day 6 evening, when we on the way back from Muroran to Lake Toya, we drove past the coastal area and we spotted a Buddhist temple in the Usu area. Since it was already dark, we decided to drive there and take a look in the late morning.

Upon parking the car, we walked into the temple grounds. Nothing prepared me for this visit, I have entered into a very old Buddhist temple in Japan that is still relatively unknown to the world. This temple is listed on the local tourism body website and there are signages showing the location of the Zenko-ji Temple. However, beyond that, I am not too sure if this temple is even known to the rest of Japan and the world.

Kato san had a chat with the locals outside the Zenko-ji Temple, I couldn’t speak Japanese therefore Kato san did the translation for me, explaining the history behind this temple. We were also given permission to enter and visit the temple, along with permission to take photographs of the main prayer hall. Some temples can be strict on photography, therefore I am honoured and happy that permission was granted. They had a gorgeous Japanese garden inside the temple grounds, very rich history and heritage items inside the temple. This had been a real eye opener for me to photograph and share some of photographs of Zenko-ji Temple.

We went exploring behind the temple up onto the small hill, the walk was like entering into an enchanted forest full of mystery. The autumn foliage was in full bloom, making this temple ground even more magical with its bright autumn colours.

Through my photographs and few paragraphs of sharing, I hope this would give this Buddhist temple more publicity and awareness. If you are visiting Hokkaido, the regions of Lake Toya and Noboribetsu, do consider visiitng the Zenko-ji Temple in Usu.

Address from Google Maps: 124 Usuchō, Date-shi, Hokkaidō 059-0151, Japan

Website: http://www13.plala.or.jp/zenkouji/

Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/datekanko

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/f.akatsuka

Noboribetsu

Lake Kuttara

Leaving Usu, Kato san started driving towards Noboribetsu region, a very popular tourist destination, very famous for its onsen and they have some nice locations for autumn colours foliage too. First stop was Lake Kuttara, along the route u to the next few destinations that I am sharing in the later paragraphs.

Hiyoriyama Observation Deck日和山展望台

Driving uphill from Lake Kuttara, a short drive away, we arrived at the top of the hill, Kato san parked his car and we walked towards the Hiyoriyama Observation Deck. The smell was strong and pungent with sulphur fumes in the air, it was unbearable at times for me since I am not used to sulphur smell in the air. I was also able to spot the hot steam vents from the observation deck. I enjoyed the sceneries around it; this was indeed a good place for autumn colours foliage photography. However, I was struggling with the pungent fumes, just not used to it!

At the foot of the hill lies, Oyunuma Pond, where we headed to next after a short time spent at this observation deck.

Oyunuma Pond

At the foot of the hill, we arrived at Oyunuma Pond, it’s surrounded by forest and trees. The strong pungent sulphur smell was very distinctive and powerful, visitors would be learn more about the physical geography of Noboribetsu, that makes this region very famous for their minerals and volcanic grounds.

I reckon this area makes a good spot for autumn colours foliage photography especially when it reaches the peak season.

Jigokudani (Hell Valley)

Just round the corner from Oyunuma Pond, we arrived at a very famous tourist destination in Hokkaido. Welcome to Jigokudani, also known as Hell Valley, this is a very popular tourist destination with both local and international visitors. A short walking distance away is the town of Noboribetsu Onsen and the onsen in this region is very popular due to the proximity of the sulphur and minerals from the Hell Valley region. Kato san shared that the onsen in Noboribetsu Onsen town has different types of onsen baths for the visitors, I might try it one day in the future if I ever get the opportunity to visit Noboribetsu region again.

When I walked into the valley of hell, I wasn’t afraid of the place, Jigokudani is beautiful during the autumn foliage season! I am just not used to the strong pungent smell of sulphur fumes coming out from the grounds of Hell Valley!

Shiraoi

My Last (and very delicious) Lunch in Hokkaido

Kato san asked me what I would like for lunch before he drove me to New Chitose Airport for my evening flight home back to Singapore. I wasn’t sure of the food options and I listened attentively to his suggestion. He showed me some photos of this beefsteak at this nice little wooden hut restaurant, I saw the price and it was really reasonable for its excellent quality and standards (when I returned back to Singapore, eating a similar beef steak here would cost 3-4 times more)

Soon, we left Noboribetsu onsen town and head towards Shiraoi along the expressway. A short car ride of approximately 45 minutes, I entered into a farm, stopping in front of a nice little wooden hut restaurant. I am thankful and grateful to Kato san for helping me with the ordering and translation.

Two hot and sizzling pan soon arrived at our table, I was so excited! Once I took my first bite, I was like in food heaven! The beef tasted really delicious, soft, tender and juicy beef.

After finishing my super delicious beef steak, I was so happy with my last lunch! I reckon that they are one of the best beef producers around in Hokkaido (if not the best).

Website: http://wagyu-oukoku.com

New Chitose Airport

This was the final leg of my Hokkaido autumn travel photography adventure 2016, the road trip journey from Shiraoi to New Chitose Airport. I made the decision to go there early, have a rest and coffee with my friend, Hokkaido Photo Guide, Kato san.

Reflecting back on my Hokkaido autumn travel photography adventure 2016, I had so much fun traveling solo and with my Hokkaido Photo Guide Kato san. If you are a photographer and would love a customised travel photography plan, I highly recommend my Hokkaido Photo Guide, Kato san, drop him an email on his website or Facebook page!

Goodbye Hokkaido, I am sure I will be back again! Maybe I might lead a group of photographers next time, or maybe I might come back to continue exploring the other regions of Hokkaido that I haven’t visited yet!

Hokkaido Autumn 2016 Day 7


Created with flickr slideshow.

Hokkaido Autumn 2016


Created with flickr slideshow.

i Light Marina Bay 2017 is back!

Asia’s leading sustainable light art festival, the iconic i Light Marina Bay is back in 2017. They would be starting today on the 3rd of March 2017 to the 26th of March 2017, to be held at various locations around the Marina Bay area. For this edition of i Light Marina Bay, there are 20 sustainable light artworks from nine countries including Singapore, being displayed around Marina Bay. This event has been organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) since 2010, I had been following and covering them since they first started, do check out my i Light Marina Bay collection inside my flickr!

Besides, the artworks, there are also other programmes and dinning options for for all visitors to i Light Marina Bay 2017! Let me highlight some of them, there will be three complementary themed festival hubs for visitors to this event. One of them is the The Fantastical World of eco.me at The Promonotory, they will be showcasing sustainability-themed activities such as recycling and upcycling marketplace, an urban garden, a learning yard, a kinetic energy playground, immersive performances and music from 3rd to 5th March and 9th to 12th March.

The other two hubs are Art-Zoo, an imaginative inflatable play-garden at The Float @ Marina Bay and Gastrobeats, where visitors to this event can sit down, enjoy the food and drinks selection available there and enjoy the music! There is something for everybody for the children to adults, it’s a great and meaningful event to bring your family and children down to Marina Bay and enjoy i Light Marina Bay 2017!

During my preview session on 1st March 2017, I was able to view some of the sustainable light artworks, let me share with you some photographs of the artworks! Come on down to Marina Bay Singapore, from 3rd March to 26th March 2017, explore and have fun at i Light Marina Bay 2017!

Artwork 03 – Social Sparkles

Artwork 05 – Horizontal Interference

Artwork 06 – Home

Artwork 08 – Moonflower

Artwork 12 – You Lookin’ At Me?

Artwork 16 – Kaleidoscopic Monolith

Artwork 19 – The Colourful Garden of Light

Artwork 20 – The Body of the Sea

I would share more photographs into my flickr folder along the way when I revisit I Light Marina Bay 2017 over the next 3 weeks! Do keep a lookout for them inside my flickr collection, Twitter, Instagram and FB page!

For more information on i Light Marina Bay 2017, you can visit their website for more information and details! There is also an app, bilppar, that you can download for your smartphone, to explore and navigate i Light Marina Bay 2017. The bilppar app is free for download from the Apple store or Google Play.

 


Created with flickr slideshow.

100 Days

9 photographs for a monumental 99 tribute

Remembrance – A 99 year old matriarch of 5 generations

100 Days

Lomography announced Color Negative F²/400 35mm film

Photographers! Film is not dead!

The Color Negative F²/400 35mm film is making a comeback with Lomography and this would be good news for analogue lovers and those who are going into analogue photography for the first time.

Let me share with you more information and details of the Lomography Color Negative F²/400 35mm film from the press release information below –

BRINGING BACK A LONG-LOST FILM

Lomography is all about being different — about ignoring the rules, trying something new, and going with the wackier option. In 2010, illustrious Italian manufacturers announced that they were going to stop producing film. But what initially appeared to be another victim of the digital age caught Lomography’s eye as a fantastic creative opportunity. Lomography jumped at it, snapping up the last ever master roll of 400 ASA film. Seven years later, having worked diligently to keep the fire of analogue photography burning, Lomography is excited to blow the dust off its one-of-a-kind hidden film gem and present it to you in 35mm format!

CAREFULLY STORED AS A MASTER ROLL

By storing FÇ/400 as one big roll instead of slicing it up into 35mm strips, the quality of the film remained well protected. Stowed away in the Czech Republic for seven years, this film has developed a totally distinctive look. Lomography is thrilled to offer analogue photographers everywhere a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get their hands on a film unlike any other. Since it’s taken from the very last roll of 400 ASA, stock is very much limited! Snap up a 35mm roll from Lomography Gallery Stores worldwide for as little as 5.90 EUR/USD/GBP or make some great savings when buying packs of five or ten from the Lomography Online Shop.

REFINED GRAIN WITH AN X-PRO FEEL

FÇ/400 is one-of-a-kind Color Negative. Having spent seven years aging like fine wine in oak casks, FÇ/400 has retained all of its refined colors and beautifully unique tone. What’s more, it has developed hints of the characteristic X-Pro aesthetic and beautiful blueish tones in certain shooting conditions, making it unlike any other Color Negative film on the market. Your shots will be drenched in distinctive effects, making FÇ/400 the perfect film for experimenting and trying something new. Load up a variety of different cameras, switch between high and low ISO, and shoot in a range of conditions. Your images will stand out from the crowd!

Where to buy Lomography films –

Check the full line of Lomography films: https://shop.lomography.com/films/lomography-film

Lomography Color Negative F²/400 35mm Price –

  • Single Roll – 9 SGD
  • 5 Roll Bundle – 40.50 SGD
  • 10 Roll Bundle – 76.50 SGD

* Information and pictures courtesy of Lomography *

Battle for Singapore 2017 – 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore

On 15th February 2017, everyone of us needs to remember one of the important dates in Singapore’s history. 75 years ago, on 15th February 1942, Singapore fell to the Japanese and we entered into a period of history known as the Japanese Occupation of Singapore. It is very crucial and important for Singaporeans (especially for those that did not experience the Japanese Occupation of Singapore) today to learn more in depth on this part of our history.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore, the National Heritage Board (NHB) has organised many different initiatives across the year 2017, starting from the annual Battle for Singapore commemorative event, starting from 16th February to 12th March 2017. There are different activities, guided walks, public talks and activities at the various Museum Roundtable (MR) museums to learn more about the events leading up to the Fall of Singapore, the stories of the Japanese Occupation from the survivors and veterans.

The Battle for Singapore 2017 commemorative events runs from 16th February to 12th March 2017, a total of 49 tours to 11 World War II (WWII) related sites and structures in Singapore. They are interesting and informative guided tours, I strongly encouraged my readers to sign up to learn and know more in depth of the Japanese Occupation of Singapore. There are four new tours for the Battle for Singapore 2017 –

  • Singapore Occupied: This offers a visit to the buildings and sites that held the Japanese Broadcasting Department and the Kempeitai (Japanese Military Police) Headquarters, to name a few.
  • Botanic Gardens to Bukit Brown – a WWII Trail: Walk through the heritage corridor from the Botanic Gardens to Bukit Brown cemetery, and hear the brownies share stories of WWII heroes and prominent personalities at heritage landmarks, including the Jacob Ballas Garden, old Raffles College as well as Former Command House. Explore the remnants and stories of the ‘kampong’ life that was once at Bukit Brown cemetery.
  • Fort Serapong @ Fort Siloso: Discover the fascinating structure of the former Fort Serapong, which was one of the three forts that were built at Pulau Blakang Mati to defend Singapore’s waterways.
  • The Last Days of Empire: Japanese Advance Along Bukit Timah Road, 1942: This walk attempts to tell the harrowing story of the battle based on the grim testimonies of the soldiers who fought in the last days of the British Empire.

(Information courtesy of National Heritage Board)

For more information, please visit www.museums.com.sg and check out their website for more details. Sign up for the guided tours begins on 6th February 2017 at 1000hrs, slots are limited and allocated on a first-come first-serve basis.

During the media preview of the Battle for Singapore 2017, we went for one of the guided tours: The Last Days of Empire: Japanese Advance Along Bukit Timah Road 1942. Here are the details of this guided tour if you are keen to sign up when registration opens –

Tour dates: 25, 26 Feb; 4, 5 Mar 2017

Timings: 9:00 am – 12:00 noon

Meeting point: University Cultural Centre, National University of Singapore

Let me share with you some stories and photos of the locations along this guided tour.

This tour is organised by the National University of Singapore, Southeast Asian Student’s Society in collaboration with National Heritage Board. The tour is led by Dr Mohamed Effendy and Syonan Gallery Docents. The start/meeting point is University Cultural Centre, National University of Singapore.

There is a grass patch beside the entrance of University Cultural Centre, overlooking Clementi Road and Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE). Clementi Road connects to Upper Bukit Timah Road, whereby some of the heaviest fighting between the Japanese forces and British forces, as well as the Australian, Indian, Malay and Chinese volunteers took place along this stretch of road.

WWII marker near to Clementi Road and Dover Road

Our next stop was along Dover Road, at the edge of University Town, National University Singapore. Behind this bus stop, there is a World War II marker/plaque that marks the area where captured commandos from Operation Rimau in 1944 were behaded near Clementi Road and Dover Road. Having read up and research on World War II, I came across Operation Jaywick and Operation Rimau, knew about these two operations conducted by the Allied forces. The location whereby the captured commandos of Operation Rimau was something that I didn’t know and from the tour, I learned something new that afternoon.

Junction of Clementi Road and Ulu Pandan Road

After Dover Road, we went on to the junction of Clementi Road and Ulu Pandan Road. I grew up in Clementi and Clementi West areas (and still living in this area), thus I know the area quite well. Dr Effendy shared on the importance of the hill on the left side of Ulu Pandan Road (where the Singapore Police Force had taken over the Mowbray Camp, formerly used by the Singapore Armed Fores). The area where Pine Grove now sits, was another high point where there were artillery guns placement to defend attackers coming in from the sea but not from inland, that’s where the Japanese came in from.

Junction of Clementi Road and Upper Bukit Timah Road/Bukit Timah Road

This is a major arterial road junction, with Bukit Timah Road and Dunearn Road leading to the city centre of Singapore, while Clementi Road leads towards Pasir Panjang followed by the harbour and city centre. Dr Effendy shared a few stories at this location, on how the Japanese forces advanced towards the city of Singapore.

Bukit Timah Hill (WWII marker at foot of Bukit Timah Hill)

The Bukit Timah area saw some of the heaviest fighting between the Japanese forces and Allied forces. Bukit Timah is a strategic and important location for both British (to defend) and Japanese forces (to attack). The Bukit Timah and Duneran Roads lead towards the city area. There is a WWII marker at the foot of Bukit Timah Hill, giving visitors information on the battles that took place in the Bukit Timah area during the Battle for Singapore in 1942.

Bukit Batok Hill – Syonan Chureito

A beautiful hill park, surrounded by nature and wildlife. This hill has some WWII history behind it, during the Japanese Occupation, a Shinto shrine and war memorial was built on this hill, to commemorate the fallen Japanese soldiers who were killed in action during the Battle for Singapore. Today, the only remains of the Syonan Chureito were the 121 concrete steps built by the prisoners of war.

Former Ford Factory – Syonan Gallery

During the media preview, the Syonan Gallery was not ready to host us thus we did not manage to visit the revamped Syonan Gallery at the Former Ford Factory. This would be the end point for this guided tour. I would try to arrange my timing and schedule, I would visit the revamped Syonan Gallery and add on to below after my visit.

Attending a guided tour is good, informative and interesting. Listening to the subject matter experts do give you a greater, wider and more insights into the history for the Battle of Singapore. Do sign up for the different guided walks that you are interested in.

I am planning to sign up for a few guided tours that I am interested in. I would share my stories and photos after attending the guided tours that I signed up, stay tuned!

* I would like to thank National Heritage Board the invitation to the Battle for Singapore 2017 preview event *

Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail CNY 2017

The Year of the Rooster 2017 is going to start soon in about 12 days time (starting from today 16th January 2017), ushering in the Chinese New Year on the 28th January 2017. Leading up to the festive season of the Chinese Lunar New Year, we have exciting events, activities and our favourite festive bazaar at Chinatown.

Having grew up in Singapore, I visited Chinatown a number of times during the Chinese New Year festive bazaar, to indulge in the festive atmosphere. It can get really crowded during this period and this is a great time to experience the Chinese New Year festivities in Singapore.

I recently went for the Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail held during the Chinese New Year 2017 festivities on 14th January 2017. Let me bring you through some of the destinations, features and highlights that you can experience for yourself with your family, relatives and friends during this Chinese New Year festivities at Chinatown (12 more days of Chinese New Year festivities before the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year on 28th January 2017)

This Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail was interesting for me because we had the gorgeous and beautiful Mediacorp artiste Sora Ma, leading us for this walking trail! She’s a great travel/tour guide, awesome interaction with the stall owners and walking trail participants, in the midst of the huge crowds and congestion!

Meeting point/Starting point: Chinatown Heritage Centre

The Chinatown Heritage Centre is an excellent destination for everybody, for the locals and our international visitor friends. This is the place where you can go and visit, to learn, see, feel and discover the footsteps of Singapore’s early pioneers and explore the personal stories of early Singaporeans who lived in Chinatown.

I visited and toured Chinatown Heritage Centre on a separate visit with my university alumni group during an alumni outing. It’s definitely an eye-opener and I strongly encourage everybody to visit Chinatown Heritage Centre. More information and details can be found on their website.

There are two exciting programmes at Chinatown Heritage Centre during the Year of the Rooster festive celebration

Happy Rooster Family Album

6 January to 28 February 2017

Daily: 9am to 8pm

27 Jan: 9am to 5pm

28 Jan: Closed

If you are born in the Year of the Rooster and you are visiting Chinatown Heritage Centre, you can get free admission into Chinatown Heritage Centre if you participate and be a part of the Happy Rooster Family Album!

Year of the Rooster Capteh Challenge

6 January to 28 February 2017

28 Jan: Closed

The capteh is a traditional game, I personally played it before when I was a young kid. A fun game, if you can juggle a football consecutively, you are definitely game enough for the capteh! It can be challenging yet it will be fun!

All you have to do is to catch Chinatown Heritage Centre’s signature memorable moments at 1pm and 4pm daily to participate in the capteh challenge. If you can keep the capteh flying in the air by kicking and controlling it for 8 consecutive times non-stop, you can win free admission to the Centre!

Try it out! It’s going to be a fun experience!

Chinese New Year Festive Street Bazaar

A must visit when you are in Chinatown during the Chinese New Year period, indulge and soak in the festive atmosphere of the Chinese New Year festivities, the huge crowds, the bazaar, the goods and food on sale.

It can be very very crowded, making it very difficult to walk around the congested streets during this time. Take it slow and easy, wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

Check out some of the stalls that we visited during the Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail!

YouthEATS @ Temple Street

A new addition to the traditional and regular Chinese New Year festive street bazaar, it’s my first time too! You have to check out the stalls and their food below –

Must try, I reckon you would love them! Sometimes, I don’t need to write a food review for them because I just want to show you the food and where to find them! Go try it!

Spots for Chinatown light up photography

I do love coming down to Chinatown for photography during the Chinese New Year festival season. I took photos from this location previously! There are a lot of different lightings, lanterns and displays during the festive season. Let me share with you, one of the locations to view, enjoy and take photographs!

Garden Bridge (Chinatown Pedestrian Bridge)

You can’t miss this bridge when you are in Chinatown, many people use this bridge to cross from one side of Chinatown (Pagoda Street, Temple Street, Smith Street, Mosque Street) to People’s Park Complex, The Majestic, OG People’s Park.

This would be one of the locations for me to take photos of Chinatown during the Chinese New Year festive season. Visit it during the night when the lightings, lanterns and displays are lighted up, making Chinatown extra bright and colourful!

Lepark @ People’s Park Complex

This is probably one of Singapore’s not too well known yet locations that I believe would slowly grow, transform and evolve into a destination that is popular with creative artists, youth and future flea markets. Lepark is located on the 6th floor of People’s Park Complex, the roof top carpark!

I heard a lot about this location and I had yet to visit Lepark. Thanks to this special Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail, I finally got to visit Lepark. When we were up there on 14th January, there was YHFLEA: Come Lepark Edition a first-of-its-kind collective flea and car boot market with Lepark and Young Hungry Free. Although YHFLEA was only held for two days (14th and 15th January), I hope they would return again and slowly help Lepark grows into a destination for all to visit in the future.

Lepark is another ideal location for street/urban landscape photography of Chinatown and Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar CBD sector. I have a feeling that more photographers will start to visit this location as time goes by. Let’s hope that all these activities and events would slowly transform and grow Lepark at People’s Park Complex.

After visiting Lepark, this marked the ending point for this specially organised Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail tour on the 14th January 2017. It was a fun trip with Sora Ma as our tour guide! Of course, we have to take group photos with our gorgeous and beautiful Sora Ma!

The Chinese New Year festivities are now taking place at Chinatown, do visit and explore some of the festivities, locations and food that I shared here!

Thank you Ninemer PR for the invitation and Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee for organising this walking trail!

Reflection – Photography 2016

First and foremost, before I started writing down my thoughts on Reflection – Photography 2016, I searched through my archives, found my reflection articles for the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. I wonder what happened to my years 2014 and 2015? That is a mystery for me to solve.

The year 2016 had a significant impact on my photography due to unforeseen circumstances outside of photography, in my professional and personal life. If you would like to know more about what really happened, I wrote and posted on what happened to me over the past three quarters of 2016 on my personal site, it’s inside the archives or you can also read Reflecting 2016 – Part 1 and 2.

Fellow photographer friends mentioned to me that they haven’t seen me post and share as many photographs, compared to previous years. They were spot on, great with details and observations. A quick look at my Flickr collection on the 2016 memories, I got 34 albums inside this collection, partly due to the fact that my Hokkaido 2016 autumn photographs (7 sets) and 3 sets of portfolio works have not been uploaded yet. Therefore, I might have 44 albums of photographs for year 2016 memories collection in my final count for this album.

That’s my Hokkaido Photo GuideTsuyoshi Kato san, during my Hokkaido October 2016 trip.

With the exception of my Hokkaido 2016 autumn photographs, the year 2016 would probably be a year of not too much excitement nor mind blowing for my photography. It’s probably due to the other circumstances that had severely affected my photography, most crucially, my personal projects were all put aside.

This cute penguin from Jurong Bird Park basically sums up my Photography 2016 Reflection –

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017.

Time to resurrect my personal photography projects and rejuvenate my photography in year 2017!

Canon PhotoMarathon XIV – 19th November 2016

The 14th edition of a fun, exciting and challenging community photography competition, the Canon PhotoMarathon 2016, took place on 19th November, held at the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre. There were close to 2000 passionate photography enthusiasts gathered and participated in this year’s Canon PhotoMarathon.

With my participation in Canon PhotoMarathon XIV, this is my 6th year participating in this photography competition (I participated in years 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016). The Canon PhotoMarathon was more than just a photography competition, it’s also a time for photography enthusiasts to get together and have fun taking photographs together (and also helping each other to get their shots for the competition!). Participating in Canon PhotoMarathon is also a time for me to catch up and chat with photography friends from Canon Singapore, Canon Imaging Academy, EOS World Singapore and also making new photography friends there too!

Before I proceed to share on what were the three themes for Canon PhotoMarathon XIV and what I shot, let me share about photography for everyone in the society that took place during this year’s Canon PhotoMarathon.

Canon’s corporate philosophy of kyosei – living and working together for the common good, was part of Canon PhotoMarathon XIV program. Canon’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program partner with the Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) and Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) to host more than 30 participants, giving them the opportunity to partake in the excitement of Canon PhotoMarathon. It was really great to see photography playing a part for those participants to enjoy, giving them an avenue to express themselves through photography and enjoying photography during the Canon PhotoMarathon. I reckoned that the participants from Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) and Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) had a very interesting time shooting the themes for Canon PhotoMarathon XIV!

What were the themes for Canon PhotoMarathon XIV? This year 2016 themes were different, a little bit special and my usual “I scratch my head and don’t know what to shoot” moment till I absorbed and digested the individual theme before knowing/planning what I want to shoot.

The three themes of Canon PhotoMarathon XIV were

Theme 1: Vision

Theme 2: Kyosei

Theme 3: #NoFilter + #NewPerspective +#Space

Here were what I shot and submitted for Themes 2 and 3 for Canon PhotoMarathon XIV (I did not submit for Theme 1 because I was away for a photography assignment that morning although I did my own Theme 1 shoot though)

Theme 1: Vision

Theme 2: Kyosei

Theme 3: #NoFilter + #NewPerspective + #Space

Shooting Theme 2 was very challenging for me, this theme also got me thinking very hard, on conceptualisation, creating stories to tell and how I can constantly improve, no matter what is the level of photography experience and knowledge that I am currently at right now.

Although at the end of Canon PhotoMarathon XIV, it can be very tiring physically after moving around and rushing against time to get the photographs for competition submission. The overall experiences had always been good, the fun, friendships and the love for photography. Participating in Canon PhotoMarathon over the years gave me an opportunity to learn, unlearn and relearn my photography. Lifelong learning and improvements apply in my photography journeys till date and it is still ongoing as always!