Posing at the Lim Bo Seng Memorial (Part 2 of 7)

28 Jan

Families in the 1950s would spend time at public parks, having picnics and simply enjoying nature. Nowadays, we hang out indoors at air conditioned malls.

Lim Bo Seng Memorial at Esplanade Park

Lim Bo Seng Memorial at Esplanade Park

I took this shot around the same time as the previous one taken at the Tan Kim Seng Fountain, which mirrors the original photograph in the sense that it was also an outing on the same day. It was a day out with family and friends – Singaporean Chinese writer/playwright Liu Renxin (刘仁心) and his three children.

Playwright Liu Renxin was also a teacher along with my grandfather Yeh Chi Wei (叶之威) over at Chung Cheng High School. The school was a breeding ground for artistic talent. And many “big names” in the local arts scene have roots in the school. I don’t remember what Mr Liu looked like but I remembered that Mr Liu had autographed a book of his works for me.. and gifted it to me years ago when I was still studying Theatre Studies in Victoria Junior College. Good memories there too!

Tan Kim Seng Fountain

Tan Kim Seng Fountain

In the shot above, my grandmother (third from left) looked so very young. And you know what? She was! At the time the photo was taken, she was only in her late 20s and already a mother of 6, including the youngest (at that time) – my dad (the cheeky one third from right). That’s way younger than me, i.e. mid 30s and mother of none.

Lim Bo Seng Memorial Up Close

Lim Bo Seng Memorial Up Close

I like this “stylo” pose. My dad having a ball of a time “riding” the stone lion, with one uncle looking suave (at the left) and the other uncle, meek (centre). The present day Esplanade Park doesn’t look very much different, which is a good thing. A constant in the constantly evolving Singapore landscape.

I like the colonial district, for it’s grand ol’ dame feel, not so much the “white men supremacy” connotations. I don’t reject our colonial history, for it makes us who we are as a people, and in a way, part of our Singaporean identity.

Anyway, I can only imagine how times were back then in the 1950s… living in colonial times. A bygone era I don’t feel anything for. A time where cars and cameras were few. There was no ERP surcharges or MRT train breakdowns to complain about. No mobile phones, no internet, no social media. People were poor but rich with memories.

Old pictures like this makes me feel somewhat connected to that distant history. And it seems a little more real.

Collage of pictures from family day out

Collage of pictures from family day out

I feel lucky and privileged to be able to share in these memories. Lucky that my grandfather was a camera buff and made all these images to be passed down to my generation. Privileged that my dad kept these memories for me to inherit and now to share.

Strangely though, neither my grandfather nor Mr Liu were in the pictures taken that day. Hmm… maybe there’s something about being an artist and preferring to create rather than be subjects in a creative (i.e. photography) process.

Coming up next: A Date at MacRitchie Reservoir… perfect for a V-day read!

Remember to leave me a comment!

♥  ♥  ♥

yuehann’s notes: Today’s post is the second of a series of posts on a project which was first born in reaction to Looking into the Past. Read the very first blog post here. And also a related article I wrote for online e-zine Draft (pg 68).

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5 Responses to “Posing at the Lim Bo Seng Memorial (Part 2 of 7)”

  1. MBev January 28, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    Luv this entry, especially your first pic of the Lim Bo Seng Memorial then and now! Many Singaporeans are feeling increasingly nostalgic, and I do wish I had more photos of old Singapore from my childhood days. Glad you are sharing your family pics!

    • yuehann February 13, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

      Thanks MBev. Happy to share and yes, I have to agree about the nostalgia I also share for “old” Singapore.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Present(ing) the Past: A Date at MacRitchie Reservoir (Part 3 of 7) | Still.Life. - February 14, 2014

    […] in reaction to Looking into the Past. Read the very first blog post here & also Part 1, Part 2 of the series. And also a related article I wrote for online e-zine Draft (pg […]

  2. Presenting the Past: The Pelican of Ang Mo Kio (Part 4 of 7) | Still.Life. - May 20, 2014

    […] in reaction to Looking into the Past. Read the very first blog post here & also Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 of the series. And also a related article I wrote for online e-zine Draft (pg […]

  3. Presenting the Past: Chinese Gardens Playtime (Part 5 of 7) | Still.Life. - June 30, 2015

    […] born in reaction to Looking into the Past. Read the very first blog post here & also Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of the series. And also a related article I wrote for online e-zine Draft (pg […]

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