THE Tiong Bahru SERIES

 Ms. Song Monk Geok

Ms. Song Monk Geok

For two years, from 2009 to 2011, we lived in a rented flat in the historic enclave of Tiong Bahru in Singapore, during a period that saw intense gentrification and change. As expats, we were both a symptom and a catalyst of that change, and we tried to document the experience in portraiture. We photographed 67 people in 24 homes in 2011 and 2012. 

We've submitted an artist's statement about this project to the collection: Contemporary Arts as Political Practice in Singapore, edited by our dear friends, Tiong Bahru neighbors, and NTU colleagues Wernmei Yong Ade and Lim ChingLee.  I want to share this project, as it somewhat succintly summarizes our ideas about lived experience, politics, and portraiture. You can download a copy here.

James and co-wrote the conclusion, the only truly dual-authored piece of prose we have published. I've excepted the last two pages under the 'Stories' tab, because of the resonances I hear in it between our voices.  

 Mr. Charles Wee Hian Guan

Mr. Charles Wee Hian Guan