Make a wish, write it upon a scarlet ribbon, tie both ends to pebbles, toss it high up unto this tree and hope it catches your wish. I witnessed the mesmerising scarlet threads dancing in the breeze on this wishing tree. The hanging threads revealed to me that to wish is a good thing. My belief is that if I act upon my wish, it’s more likely to come true.
Month: October 2016
Amidst the plethora of things traditional in Malacca, it’ll be injustice not to mention this amazing craft I came across. I stood with dropped jaw witnessing what this gentleman demonstrated within the confines of his little shop. He walked with a limp but his pose upon striking a spinning top was nothing short of a pugilistic master. The traditional craft of spinning a top is pure skill as there’re no complicated mechanism to do the job. It’s a delicate art of tying, handling and throwing. I was so amazed that I bought plentiful tops from him and left almost addressing him as “Shifu”.
My fascination with Malacca lies in many of these classic houses which are fond reminiscence of the 70s to me. This old time appeal is what defines this amazing place. Imagine my shock when I heard from our tour guide that Malacca seeks to delist herself from the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Reason? So that she can modernise. The houses in this photo were in ruins at the point I captured them because the owners have moved on, leaving these buildings to become only a shell of what they used to be. The local grass-cutter walking past them is a symbol that he’s heading to where the grass is greener to cut.
This street vendor cooks and sells wanton noodles, a humble but magical dish that often inflicts me with the notion that one bowl is never enough. Stall like this is part of the amazing identity known as Malacca Town. Every trip here is one that goes down memory lane as my growing up years in Singapore were fed by many of such stalls. Although I can’t complain about the air-conditioned food courts that replaced these stalls back home, I do really miss those authentic flavours they brought. As for wanton noodles, you can have them in soup or dry. My take will always be: “Dry. No chilli. Lots of ketchup, please.”
I’m back! Malacca Town! It may be a school trip this round but my unquenchable thirst for capturing life on her streets remains constant. What’s amazing in this trip is the body of shutterbugs with me. All 74 of them, who hit the streets with a fervour – observing, composing and trying hard to see from different perspectives. They don’t have a choice cause their photos are tied to a school assignment. The street photographer isn’t alone for once. I’ve the energy of my students to draw from. The only difference is, they are hitting their shutters pretty hard on the architectural marvels of this UNESCO heritage sight. Me? I’m always about the people. This was my favourite shot on the first day. Good to be back.
I’m always fascinated with the concept of selling ice cream from a motorcycle. They are two things that intrigue me: ice cream and motorcycle. I observed the business has progressed with electric ice box now. I remembered the good old days when they use dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) to contain the popcicles. It’s not easy finding a mobile ice cream seller nowadays in Singapore. If you do crave the experience, I still see them hanging out at Bugis Junction and Scott’s Road.
The place that kickstarted my Street Photography journey. Haji Lane. It was good to be back, though briefly. My wife and I grabbed dinner nearby and I happened to holster my camera that evening. Told my misses to drink her soup slowly as I made a quick 10-minute round this familiar estate. Thought I heard some buildings greeted “long time no see, my windows are still intact and I can still pose”. My reply was, “sorry fellas, I’m here for the people.”
I just framed the ice cream seller but she needn’t go to jail. The joy of walking the streets and looking for someone to frame. Tell me if she’s not your focal point in this photo. That’s what framing does. If you see me hanging around with my camera, please let me set you up and frame you.