This project required us to find out more about a part or aspect of Singapore and present it in a visual narrative.

Here are some of the approaches we could take:

  1. Have a conversation with someone to find out about their way of life in Singapore.
  2. Visit a place or an area in Singapore that you are less familiar with, have not been for quite a while or have never been before. Go on a wander, what did you see, smell or hear?
  3. Visit a place at a different time of the day (e.g. a market at night)
  4. Have a conversation with your family member, are there life stories, tradition or experiences about Singapore that you might find?

I didn’t end up following any of the approaches directly. But I wanted to focus on the MRT as it was a place where people of all walks of life came together and was contained in a small cabin. I wanted to investigate the relationship between these people and the transportation as well as the interaction between the people in this space. I started observing the people and realised that no one was interacting with each other, only with their phones.

That got me thinking of how I could get them to interact. It also reminded me of a project my friend did, where she had a set of questions and placed it in HDB lifts, to get a conversation started between the people in the elevator.

So my initial idea was to create a set of questions and pass it around to people on the MRT, to get a conversation started. But realising that Singaporeans are relatively shy people, a set of questions was not going to get them to start talking. It would require a lot more work to solve that issue and due to time constraints, it would have been quite impossible to do so.

Hence, I scraped that idea and chose to focus on another perspective, the problems and inconveniences on the MRT, that is known for its ease of use and convenience, such as MRT breakdowns. But ultimately, I chose to focus on the elderly and the problems they face when taking the MRT.

This old man was squatting down in a corner of the train travelling down East-West line. Many people surrounded him but did not approach him and asked if someone could offer their seat to him. Instead, they ignored him. I also took many videos but am unable to post them as they are too big 🙁

To see my final work, click here.