Tag: Khor Ean Ghee

The Heartlands: Blk 230G, Hougang, Playgrounds

I’ve recently got myself involved in a series of work that revolved around the heartlands of Singapore.

At Our Doorsteps Cover

AT OUR DOORSTEPS is a community project photographer Sam Kang Li started to get to know his neighbours better. He knocked on the doors of all the 44 units of  the block he stayed in and photographed portraits of his neighbours at their doorstep. These portraits were exhibited in May at the void deck of his block and compiled to a block album I helped Kang Li put together.

On the left is the album cover, which took reference from the elements found in the block, including the distinct coloured tiles and the lift buttons.

Find out about At Our Doorsteps through this video he made in the midst of doing it, and another after the exhibition was held.



MEET THE PEOPLE is a collection of videos that Samuel He put together over a few days in the run-up to the recent by-elections in Hougang. He wanted to reflect the voices of the people in the constituency by “eavesdropping” into their everyday conversations about the elections. During the hustings, he walked the constituency of Hougang, approaching residents to get them to talk about the elections, often putting his camera in front of them and letting it run till they forgot it was there.

Check out the videos here.


Mosaic Memories

MOSAIC MEMORIES: Remembering the playgrounds Singapore grew up in is an e-book I authored that contains stories of four Singaporeans, including the designer Mr Khor Ean Ghee, and their memories of old playgrounds in Singapore. Inside, you will also find portraits of the interviewees by Zakaria Zainal and an illustrated map by Wee Ho Gai of where the remaining old playgrounds are still standing today. This was a publication commissioned by the Singapore Memory Project as part of their “Drawn from Memory” series.

This e-book is the third time I’ve produced a piece related to my fascination with these old playgrounds that were designed and produced in Singapore. It began with an article I wrote for Singapore Architect in 2009, which was updated with even more details and reference in my most recent piece for FIVEFOOTWAY. Mosaic Memories comes from a very different angle, featuring the playground users instead of the designs.

You can download the e-book and read an interview I did with irememberSG!

Danger and Dragons

The playgrounds a generation of Singaporeans played and grew up in were slain in the name of safety.

Dragon Playground

“Adults of tomorrow will recall dragons of Bedok” [1]— declared a 1987 headline in The Straits Times newspaper. Three and a half decades later, this prediction seems prophetic given how fondly a generation of Singaporeans now remember the dragon-shaped playgrounds they grew up playing in. Like its inspiration, the dragon, this playground design has become the symbol of a myth, of a now almost non-existent space and way of play for a generation of Singaporeans.

The dragon playground was first unveiled to the public in 1979, one of five ‘adventurelands’[2] that became a part of Singapore’s public housing esates. Other designs included a pair of doves, a metal cage, another with man-made slopes and one made for climbing. These new playgrounds, each costing around S$20,000 to construct, were the Housing & Development Board’s (HDB) plan to “move away from the preponderance of static animal sculptures” found in its existing playgrounds to “miniature adventurelands for the young and active” instead[3].

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