Viewing heartland life through a new lens

Mr Soh Eng Kien took this photo of the Sengkang Sculpture Park near Sengkang MRT station using a drone. He says: "My actual intention was to capture the intertwining LRT tracks from directly above them and I didn't notice the park below or the HDB bl
Mr Soh Eng Kien took this photo of the Sengkang Sculpture Park near Sengkang MRT station using a drone. He says: "My actual intention was to capture the intertwining LRT tracks from directly above them and I didn't notice the park below or the HDB blocks in the background until I flew the drone back to me. I saw from my screen how the colours of the park and blocks would liven up my photo if they're in it." PHOTO: SOH ENG KIEN
Mr Soh Eng Kien took this photo of the Sengkang Sculpture Park near Sengkang MRT station using a drone. He says: "My actual intention was to capture the intertwining LRT tracks from directly above them and I didn't notice the park below or the HDB bl
(Above) Mr Daniel Tan's photo of a woman working out alone at an exercise corner. Mr Tan says the moment spoke of how personal space can be carved out of crowded places. PHOTO: DANIEL TAN

A rubbish chute might not be the most photogenic object, but secondary school maths teacher Keith Wee saw a golden opportunity when he found his six-year-old daughter Kei dancing next to the chute outside his flat one afternoon.

Mr Wee, 38, who captured the moment on his digital camera, said: "She takes dance lessons and used her shadow on the floor to check her movements while practising... I realised that even common spaces like a corridor can be places where they can work on their dreams."

The image is among more than 1,000 contributions so far to the Shapes Of Home contest - a collaboration between the Housing Board and Singapore Press Holdings' Photonico platform, to celebrate the HDB's 60th anniversary. These entries were submitted on the Photonico website and on Instagram.

Mr Wee has also submitted four other images depicting the architecture and heartland life near his five-room Build-To-Order (BTO) flat in Punggol and his parents' home in Tampines.

Mr Wee, whose wife Amy, 39, is a client service manager, picked up photography to document his children's growing-up years.

Meanwhile, Mr Daniel Tan, 37, finds inspiration on his daily walks to get breakfast at a nearby coffee shop before he starts his work day at home. Mr Tan, who carries a digital camera wherever he goes, noticed a woman working out alone at an exercise corner on Sept 14.

The moment spoke of how personal space can be carved out of crowded places, he said. It was an added bonus that her pink shirt matched the colours of the blocks of HDB flats in the background. He uploaded the photo on Instagram.

"How often do you see pockets of space in a playground or park? The interesting thing is that she had flats behind her, and it's often crowded in the heartland, yet she had all the space to herself," said Mr Tan, who works in corporate communications and lives with his wife in a three-room BTO flat in Tampines.

Mr Soh Eng Kien, 34, used his new drone to capture a bird's-eye view of the Sengkang Sculpture Park near Sengkang MRT station.

He lives in Rivervale Drive and has passed the park many times in the past 20 years while taking the LRT. But the drone gave the technical officer in the construction industry a new perspective.

Members of the public are invited to share what home means to them in either of two categories: green and distinctive HDB designs, and heartland moments. Submissions close on Oct 16.

 "My actual intention was to capture the intertwining LRT tracks from directly above them and I didn't notice the park below or the HDB bl
(Above) Mr Keith Wee's daughter Kei using her shadow to check her dance steps while practising outside her home. PHOTO: KEITH WEE

 

The Straits Times photo editor Stephanie Yeow, who is on the panel of judges, said the contest has drawn a good number of entries, mostly architectural.

"While shape and form can be beautiful, we hope to see more images with the human element, ones that capture the spirit of living in a community within public housing, interactions and activities that make HDB living unique."

She added that the judges are looking for pictures that have an extra special component that will catch their eye and stand out.


Win prizes

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the Housing Board has partnered Singapore Press Holdings' Photonico platform to trace Singapore's public housing journey through photos.

Shapes Of Home invites members of the public to share what home means to them in either of two categories:

• Green and distinctive HDB designs and architecture

• Heartland moments, which include vibrant heartland life, or moments in and around homes

HOW TO JOIN

• Submit your photos on the Photonico website

• Post them publicly on Instagram with the hashtag #ShapesOfHome

PRIZES FOR 'SHAPES OF HOME' CONTEST

• 1st prize: Canon EOS 90D with 18-135mm kit lens (worth $2,379)

• 2nd prize: Sony RX100 VII (worth $1,649)

• 3rd prize: GoPro Hero 8 with accessories (worth $750)

• 10 merit awards: $400 cash each

PRIZES FOR #SHAPESOFHOME INSTAGRAM CONTEST

• 1st prize: Samsung S20+ (worth $1,498)

• 10 Instagram merit awards: $200 cash each

CLOSING DATE

•  Submissions close on Oct 16

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2020, with the headline 'Viewing heartland life through a new lens'. Print Edition | Subscribe