Brighton, 8/9 June 2012
I had to open my old journal to find the words that matched these pictures. Too much has changed since then, for all 3 of us. When we’re 40 and retreating to the point where our lives converged, it was that salty summer of tears and hawker food. And Brighton was the trip before shit became real life. We’re on the M23! En route to Brighton. Getting out of central London was hell....
Amsterdam, April 2012
Some monochromes from Amsterdam with the gorgeous film Ivan mailed me. I remember very little about this trip except renting a bicycle on Day 1 and almost killing myself and a few others along the way. Luckily, Amsterdammers seemed good-natured enough to tolerate the little Asian girl struggling to touch her toes to the ground while her bum stayed on the seat of the giant...
For Nici & Minnie. Please contact me if you’d like your photograph taken. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Having alot is having alot to take away. I am scared.
A 15 minute ferry ride from Centraal Station and you’re in a different world. Something like a spat out movie scene: derelict warehouses sitting beside industrial storehouses, graffiti meets whitewash. Home to manufactured products, 100 odd studios and a skateboard hall. Nothing much to do on it really, but noone said anything about entertainment. It’s just a space. Enjoy it if...
ACCRA (a travelogue)
25th July 2012 We’re in Accra! It feels so good to be on the road. We’ve been ferried in and out of Abwakua and the lodge for the last 9 days, never quite knowing where in-between was. RIght now I’m lying on the top bunk of room 4 in Pink Hostel in Asylum Down, full from the pizzas we shared at Frankie’s in the Osu district (apparently the Oxford Circus of Accra). Willie...
Ghana. Am really quite stumped about where to start on this one. The pages of my first moleskin are soggy from the humid african air, the sweaty damp of fingers flicking through the pages, scribbling down profiles and drawing up + - balance sheets. We were there on a 10-day Microfinance Brigade; we split into groups of twos and threes and went out to speak to families in the community every day...
a short story about a dog
Once upon a time there was a dog. He liked to play fetch. In the winter, he would fetch snowballs. He leapt, And they exploded over his nose. the girl sitting on the bench felt her own nose shiver how lovely winter is, she thought
three pictures of the sun
one, two, three
I stole these in 20 minutes with the pentax 1000 rot borrowed from school; i didn’t have time to think. I didn’t stop to think if it would make a good picture or not, whatever my instinct picked up, i took. Now looking at them I am myself looking at myself, not understanding the promptings behind each picture, not understanding the appeal they hold to me. I spent ages staring at these...
“I wish to be a gypsy.” - is what I emailed myself on a night when my consciousness was being coy. Travel is an escape, an awakening. It shakes the senses and makes me admit I am alive. 2011 has been a year of chances and strangers, the year I discovered restlessness. There’s no end to this wandering, this craving for the road. How could anyone sit still when there’s...
You must keep on praying for light.
1€ Tequilla Party at Stereo, Bielefeld. Thought it would be rude to take a picture of the girl in crutches, rocking the night along with all her friends. Evidently, nothing could stop her from having a good night out. Charlotte says there are often people in wheelchairs on the dance floor as well, and I thought, that’s just awesome stuff.
Last day in Bielefeld, we went to the zoo This stag is the closest I could get to reindeer We had a Bratwurst and Glühwein dinner in Charlotte’s garden tonight, where we ate sausages straight from the grill and wine from a dispenser while the dogs chased each other around in the garden there was a little christmas tree, and the candle flames on the tables flickered with our breaths when...
It is snowing in Bielefeld. I woke up to...
Ginger & White
A perfectly chilled day at Ginger & White with Caroline and Nat. I’d only been to this place once last year because its in ‘far away’ Hampstead, and though I now live around ten bus stops near it still feels really away in my mind. Its such an appealing little place tucked away in a little street, which is only another little street away from the little cart where...
Paris: Café de Flore
THIS IS A HORRENDOUSLY OVERDUE POST. A month after Paris, I look through our pictures and try to compartmentalize my memory. I can’t. You know how super organized people seem to have brains made out of compartments which they can open, extract a memory, put it back, then shut the drawer, locking for good measure? Mine’s full of noodles and oodles like spaghetti (yay, i did not have to...
where shall we go?
Finally, the days show signs of slowing down. I’ve got so many stories to tell but I haven’t felt like telling them. The passions resignedly buried themselves beneath layers of winter wear, letting the body run its easy mechanic rhythm. Did you realize every living second is a dying second too? Like the Virginia Woolf in Cunningham’s The Hours. She is better, she is safer, if...
Norfolk: A photo essay
So, while everyone’s putting up pictures from that foggy day at retreat I’m bringing up the rear with (still) Norfolk. But hey, I’ve always been team tortoise! I love these pictures though, literally snaps which bring you back to the moment. Disposables are practically my wide angle lenses- the 50mm is lovely…. on a flower, a shell, 3/4 of that group photo you...
is when you’re uncertain about what belongs to you and what doesn’t anymore. At least to me it is.
This is Sage, and that is her song, Good...
Silence is golden
the weekend was sun-soaked and drowsy, exactly what my body cried for. so many of late have told me about my idyllic life; traveling from city to city, but that is only what they see. of course there are things in between. arrived in Norfolk sleepless on friday, getting on the bus at Kings Lynn in darkness even though it was only 420pm. Thea picked me up from wells-next-the-sea and we go...
Another picture which made it to the postcards...
Pre-Wedding: Jason & Rita
In the last week of summer back home, I had the absolute pleasure of following Ivan around on one of his pre-wedding shoots. We travelled all around Singapore in a day, grabbing egg tarts for lunch, popping in and out of random bathrooms for outfit changes, keeping our fingers crossed for the weather. The most fun I had in ages, and good insight into a day in the life of a wedding...
To be honest, contemporary art bothers me a little. I could sooner psychoanalyse Picasso than attempt to fathom the motives behind a few pigeon scratches on a massive canvas. I was rather intrigued by the second-last picture though; apparently in conservative culture (Saida, in this context) people would play a kissing scene with the same sex but not for one with a man and woman. How...
A word of caution
Live from Paris
Our aimless and slightly disoriented wanderings from Paris day 1, taken with Fei’s point-and-shoot,
Switzerland seems like yesterday and tomorrow we’re jetsetting (actually eurostar=ing) again, Paris-bound this time. Its funny; one moment you’re here, and a train ride and 2 hours later, you’re somewhere else entirely with its own people and culture. Surreal, almost, but I’m getting accustomed to it. After a mad week and 2 hours of tossing random clothing into le travel...
A hasty (mostly visual) update on Luzern- I figure by the time I post all the pictures from Switzerland it’ll be time to update you loves on Paris. Enjoy! I meet Tiara at Basel’s train station. Its so surreal seeing her in a place so far away from Singapore. In this unfamiliar sphere, she is a representation of home- as if the separate lives I lead were converging in this unlikely...
When I am old I shall have a garden, with silver watering cans and quaint sprigs of bloom. In the summer it will brim with sunlight and smell of damp earth and freshly-cut grass. In the winter I will cover its nakedness with Christmas lights and whisper comfort to the trees. I will fill it with my joys and desires so that it becomes an extension of me even when I’m gone. And when I am...
Life in Continuum This picture was taken last...
On traveling alone
Let me try to explain the many charms of traveling alone. When by myself, I’m a little more pensive, a little more perceptive to the things around me, there being no distractions but myself. I’m free to lose myself in daydreams without being rude to fellow earthlings with me on the road. These joys manifest themselves best on travels; I find myself wandering along forests, lakes, busy...
GIMMELWALD: Part 1
So, my film’s finally arrived and I’m starting with my favourites. This was the day I spent in the Gimmelwald. Gimmelwhat, you say? Honestly, its so tiny and unheard of even to many locals I had a hard time explaining to others where exactly it was that I was going. (Starting with Interlaken,) A train, bus and a gondola ride later I was in this sleepy village, kicking off my...
I owe Nicolai the fourth picture (entitled big foot & little foot). August seems ages ago, and I’d almost forgotten about these pictures. A little photo diary from OCF retreat: the day we went out in the magic school bus. Great company and I got thrown into the sea. What’s not to love?
books make the best decoration
One of the top items on my Summer To-Do list was to photograph my Father’s office. Not that its much of an office; more like a library, really. I love books, even just to smell and hold. For 20 years I watched the books multiply until they finally overflowed out of the room and into the corridor, where they now sit on a shelf. Feeling like The Selby, I close the door, try...
Is incredibly tiring. I doubt, however, that i will ever tire of it. We’re in Switzerland now, in a small town Basel which is practically where Switzerland meets France. As usual, pictured are all in film, so you will have to make do with some digital snaps from Dubai/when we were flying over the Tigris River from Dubai to London. Creation never ceases to astound me; Ansel Adams is a very...
Still in Negombo: The fish market in bursts of colour. P.S see what I mean by everyone sharing the same smile?
This is the account of how a flight to London landed me on the streets of Colombo, Sri Lanka. My inability to live life in an organized and well-proportioned manner has gotten me into quite a few adventures which I have been blessed to have emerged from in what my mother calls ‘one piece’. Let me tell you about my brush with Sri Lanka. But first, a little history lesson. The first...
I met Eug to watch Equus. Like a typical Jun, I wear my best skirt and then carry something which completely shatters le glamorous image. Eug: Jun, what is that? (points to the mesh of white cloth stretched around a hula-hoop thing in my hand) Me: A mosquito net? Eug: You bring a mozzie net to a play? What for?! Me: Um, I’m building a fort later? Eug: A fort?! There are people...
the ghosts whisper emerald
A rainy morning- I’m at Fort Canning by 8 with a bunch of other volunteer photographers for A true Kodak Moment (more on that next time). There are more photographers than subjects so as usual I nip off for a little exploration. I now understand why everyone takes their wedding photographs here; the architecture has a clean yet charming character, colonial whites delicately balanced...
What do you do with a tiny bathtub? Read Enid Blyton in it of course. With Caroline Kan’s handydandy handyman skills, we managed to lug it out of its comfort zone and into the bedroom. In our tinier (some will tell me I haven’t grown out of those yet) days my sisters and I used to fight over who’d sleep in the bathtub, and toss everyone’s pillows in to cosy it up....
I found her on a humid day in a resort at Sentosa. It was during my church’s Young Adult’s retreat, when the guys decided to take a swim. Not having brought my swimming things, I reclined uncomfortably in an oversized tee, drowning in the saturated air. I found it rather odd that there was a row of flowers aligned perfectly by the pool, and then I saw the girl, a splash of pink....
During my internship I met a perfectly nice associate. When I told this perfectly nice associate about my ambitions for photojournalism, he told me, “Time to grow up Jun! Wake up, join the real world!” But part (and more) of me knows I never will. Its a hopeless disease, this one, the one that fuels my bottomless wanderlust, love for literature, culture and art. My kind knows the...
> Chinese lady at the bus stop on a rainy day. I was wondering why she had a towel-covered hump on her back when I saw the tiny hands and feet peeking out. > Running/Splashing around with my sister at macritchie. You can hardly see anything because of my terrible lomography skills. > Officially my favourite coffee at home and BooksActually just across the road, what’s not to...
We found him this way, half asleep on a bench in Changi Village. A ginger cat nests on his lap and another, on ground not too far away, possibly by coincidence. I am looking to make a photograph and he, unsuspecting, makes the perfect subject. Just before our shutters click, he stirs, and I see his eyes are grey. A moment or two to focus his gaze, which is cloudy with yellow ebbing from its...
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it...
Note to self: When in need of a fog machine, substitute with poor-quality sparklers. We smoked up quite a storm 2 nights ago, perfecting our “再爱主多一点” (the title of a song the kids in thailand taught our mission group a couple of years back) lightpaint. Cue ‘Twilight’ moment when the breeze blew the fog towards some trees on sloped grass- and subsequently into the nursing...
Just a little post-internship musing/unused photographs; bits and pieces from our crib in London, Charlotte’s place. I do miss it, the long sunday afternoons spent here just bumming eating and making our own bubble tea. Study parties in the kitchen and eating soba with impatient fingers. Home away from home. Today, in response to my comment that I should stay home more because my...
More doggehdogs. This is Dawn’s golden non-retriever, Caesar (after the salad)