“Common Wealth” by Nicky Loh

Lin Feng Ai, 76
Kian Seng incense shop, since 1968
“After spending such a long time here in Zhup Lao, friends and neighbours become closer to you than blood relatives.”

Yeo Hian Seng, 78 and Cai Ya Li, 73
Universal Orchids flower shop. since 1973
“We were in our 20s when we met each other. I was working for her family business manning the flower gardens. My first flowers for her were 步步高升 and 剑兰 [gladiola], not roses. You get what you get back then.”

Goh Song Guan, 65 and Zheng Yi Zi, 59
Xin Guang dry provisions shop, since 1972
“The rent for this store used to be one dollar a day.”

(L-R) Sim Ang Chew, 54, Yiap Ah Sioh, 80, Ong Guan San, 53 and Nancy Teo, 51
Tofu shop owners since 1962
“My family has been here the longest.”

As part of TwentyFifteen‘s photography initiative to launch twenty photo books to commemorate Singapore’s 50th birthday, we’d like to offer you a browse through the 18th book in the series, “Common Wealth” by Nicky Loh. The book will be launched tomorrow at Objectifs and pays tribute to of one of the oldest surviving HDB estates in Singapore, Zhup Lao.

Nicky: “The book features portraits of old shops and their owners in Commonwealth Drive “Zhup Lao” which will soon be redeveloped under the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS). With the demolition of these blocks, all these old and long-lasting ties will be uprooted and lost forever. I love how this neighbourhood oozes old-world charm with its provision shops, barbers and traditional medicine halls so I’m trying to document as much as I can before it all vanishes.”

Nicky’s work can be found on instagram and Facebook. The book is available online from the TwentyFifteen shop.



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