by Philipp Aldrup
Mr Chia Yeng Keng (age 85) was born on Pulau Ubin in the 1920s. Since more than 40 years ago, he and his wife Mdm Chow New Phang (age 80) have been living in that house, in which they ran a small provision shop in times when the granite quarries were still active. Up to 6000 people lived on the island back then.
Today there are around 100 residents left; it’s getting lonesome in the remote areas, so the Chias commute between the island and Singapore City, where they spend some time in their son’s HDB flat in the Serangoon district. There, they get to meet friends and family and use the amenities of a modern apartment.
Every 10 days, the Chias travel through time – retracing Singapore’s changes of the last decades in just a couple of hours, from the old village lifestyle to modern life in an urban built environment.
Philipp is a German who has been based in Singapore since 2005. With his camera he creates images of places that possess a disquieting beauty filled with an ethereal sense of timelessness.