Spotted! Saifuddin Jalil

Singapore’s Malay community captured in the city’s Gelang Serai area in a lovely project by Saifuddin Jalil. How’s that for a Sunday morning treat!

Digging a little deeper I found that the engaging pictures depict Saifuddin’s struggle to grab the bits and pieces of what defines Geylang Serai, how the changing landscape slowly degrades his memories of the area, and how he will remember it.

Here is the backstory behind his project: “Geylang Serai was an area with its own rustic character and laid back charm in the olden days. I spent my early years of growing up there, at my late grandparent’s place. I can still remember the complex smell of the wet market, the laid back uncles along the streets and even the ecstatic experience of buying goodies from the Indian convenience shop. Most of my early childhood memories pretty much revolved around the area. After my grandmother’s passing in 1998, I never visited Geylang Serai like I used to. The government then decided to demolish the old flats in 2003. It did occur to me that a landmark with deep significance to my life was being torn down. Nevertheless, I knew it was inevitable. In the coming years, the landscape of Geylang Serai evolved further with the new market and deconstruction of the Malay Village. Thus, I am documenting what makes most of the Malay community remember the place as it is – the people.”

Saifuddin is a freelance photographer creating lifestyle portraitures for clients. “While not on assignment, I explore photography with both digital and analogue formats. I seek structured chaos from my surroundings as I interpret them in my personal visual presentation. My visual drive comes from the co-existence of people and their environment which constantly whisper to each other – a special relationship to acknowledge their presence in the society.”

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