First Homes is a gathering of stories to celebrate personal histories bound by the idea of home. These stories, collected through interviews and photography, aim to inspire others to appreciate our beginnings as Singapore celebrates its 50th year of independence.
Memories of first experiences most readily influence the way we see ourselves, say psychologists. A house is merely bricks and mortar until a family makes it a home. Through its occupants, a space's destiny is shaped as a canvas for joy, struggles, triumph and grief. Whether it is the smell of fresh laundry or the sound of creaking floorboards, memories of our first homes remind us how far we've come.
While gathering stories, we've met many interviewees who've opened their doors and hearts, sharing fascinating and fond moments. We are heartened by their enthusiasm and efforts in searching for old photographs and are privileged to have discovered their stories.
To take this project beyond the digital space, we've fleshed out five stories in the form of an art installation that takes place from 3 – 30 April 2015 at the National Library Building Plaza. We worked closely in an intergenerational collaboration with five interviewees aged 50 years old and above to create a sense of their first homes and invite you over to learn more. First Homes would not have been possible without the support of the irememberSG Fund and Singapore Memory Project team, especially Yeong Cheong and Ka Leng, whom we are grateful for. Over time, we hope to add to this tapestry of stories. Drop us a note if you're interested in speaking to us.
The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home, as Confucius once said. Today's Singapore is the shared legacy of immigrants old and new over the last 50 years. Where do we go from here? How do we get there?
Perhaps the way starts from home.
Jean Qingwen Loo
1 April 2015
LOGUE is a content creation studio run by Jean Qingwen Loo and Huiwen Yang. We create social dialogue through building strong narratives across the mediums of documentary film, photography and the written word. We derive our energy from creating purposeful work, powered by an artistic vision rooted in advocating values that shape the world. Rooted in the principles of journalism, Logue helps ideas take flight through emotive and credible storytelling and pushes the boundaries of a story beyond a screen. We work with organizations that share the same ideals as joint advocates for a social cause and directly with participants through our art.
IN MERRY MOTION is Joyce Li and Chen Weiyan. Based in Singapore, we are a celebration and experience design studio and love to design, craft, and curate. We strongly believe in the power of space and the importance of a personal experience during every social occasion and specialise in designing and handcrafting thoughtful experiences, transforming spaces, creating memories and setting the tone and mood for a thorough engagement. This is our third collaboration with Logue.
WE/WEAR/GLASSES is a user experience (UX) design and consultancy studio founded by creative and UX specialist, Valerie Loh and technological expert and interactive artist, Shang Liang. Our design philosophy is firmly rooted in user-centric design principles guided with bloodhound intuition and rigorous user testing. We speak code and revel in expertly converting lines of intimidating code into beautiful and functional interactive solutions.
THE MERRY MEN WORKS is a tribe of carpenters, builders and designers based in sunny Singapore. Founded by a group of like-minded individuals with diverse backgrounds in events and production, The Works is built on the pillars of Skill, Design and Quality. With more than 20 years of experience, our lead carpenter lives by the mantra "if you can dream it, we can build it."
MARVIN TANG is a visual artist who uses photography as a tool for investigation. He is interested in the parallels between space and human interaction, crafting images he hopes will create new narratives in everyday spaces. His work has been featured at the Pingyao Photo Festival (2013), Bundang Photo Festival (2013) and Noise Apprenticeship Showcase (2014).
LIU YING is interested in the human condition. Photography is her approach to contemplate the sights and stories around her. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) in Photography and Digital Imaging at School of Art, Design and Media in Nanyang Technological University. Her works have been exhibited at Noise Singapore The Apprenticeship Programme (2013) and Pingyao Photo Festival (2014).
JONATHAN LIM values simplicity and candour. His passions include graphic design, storytelling and music. Mentored by Yong of Somewhere Else (2013) under the NOISE apprenticeship programme and PHUNK Studio (2014) under the Transmission programme, he tries to live by Steve Job's words — hungrily and foolishly.