The Letter





Song translation:

Please don’t leave me, oh my darling, oh sweetheart. 

I am missing you, my the most sweet, the most beautiful




Song translation:

You are the only star I worship 

The place of love, and hope for the future
















Conversation Translation:

Woman 1: I heard that keeping chickens were banned!

Woman 2 : That day, I tried the lift, and it shook so much!

Woman 3: I’ve stayed here for 30 years, there’s just too many memories here!










Idea behind work

For this assignment, I wanted to tell an often untold story about Singapore. Based on a true story, my work was inspired by my Uncle’s experience with the gentrification of Kampong Glam when he was a little boy.


Who’s memory?

For this, I wanted to share the emotions and feelings that the people of kampong glam must have felt when they received the letter that they had to move out of their homes to make way for conservation and tourism. In this work, this showcases a memory of a young woman who had lived in Kampong Glam all her life. Through this, I wanted to show how gentrification affected the people who had lived in the area originally by juxtaposing a character to bring people through the experience.


Process of creating

Firstly, I tried to focus on building the story. However, I felt that this wasn’t good for me because I was limiting myself with what pictures I could take, and it was dangerous because stories could diverge into other stories as well.

Secondly, I tried to focus on using sound, but I what I ended up coming up with was a horror film. After feedback from friends, I didn’t really like the idea of a horror theme because I felt that my work would be too cliche.

Lastly, I decided to shift my focus to taking pictures. With this, I started to think about the nice spots in Singapore. When I came to the decision to go to Kampong Glam, I was only equipped with the theme of gentrification in my head. With this, I went around kampong glam to take a lot of interesting photos and sounds associated with the place.

As for the audio, I was largely inspired by the radio dramas that my grandmother would listen to, so I opted to go for that style. Also, because I liked drama. As such, whilst I did some narrating, I also did some acting and made “fake” sounds, such as applying audio filters and hitting a suitcase to simulate hitting a radio.

For this assignment, I also had to randomly keep taking pictures and record audio because I was still thinking about how I wanted to present the theme of gentrification when I went to Kampong Glam. I was taking a risk by not having a specific plan, and letting the story and creativity go wherever it wanted to go.



As I did not have a story in mind, or any specific sounds to record, I had to go all out to document everything and anything in Kampong Glam. For me, this gave me autonomy to look back and piece a story together with the pictures and sounds that I had. However, with this much freedom, my stories often diverged into many other stories, and I would have to rearrange or rerecord my voice over. However, through the feedback of friends and family, I managed to overcome this challenge and came up with a simple story that I feel still speaks about the theme of gentrification. 

Recording audio was also difficult for me because I had no mic, so i had to stay close to the object I wanted to record or make the sounds myself after.


What do I enjoy about my work?

  • I enjoyed taking pictures and trying to use some principles of photography and cropping to make my pictures look nice even though I had little experience in photography.
  • I also enjoyed listening to a lot of P. Ramlee songs which I used as background music in some of my audio. It was fun because I could really feel the connection of the songs and the place that was largely associated with the Malay community in Singapore.
  • It was fun to play around with iMovie to mix the audio together


Further improvement & takeaways

  •  I wish I had a better plan that I could use as a guideline to help me execute my work, instead of trying to rely on my guts to come up with the end product.
  • When it comes to voice acting, I think that I can enunciate my words clearly, so that it won’t fade into the background
  • When mixing the audio, I could have better control of the loudness of the main narration and the supplementary background so that it won’t seem like two audios are fighting for attention.




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