Parting Glances: Singapore’s Evolving Spaces takes readers on an evocative visual journey through six iconic neighbourhoods within this dynamic island nation that are poised on the brink of change. Whether it is due to redevelopment to pave the way for future industry and housing, or due to shifting demographics, these spaces will be forever altered within the coming decade. With an aim to capture and preserve history as it is unfolding, this book includes photo essays and reflective interviews of longtime residents who collectively impart a lifetime of memories. Parting Glances is a useful primer for ﬁrst-time visitors while offering nostalgic, poignant images that will allow residents to recall a Singapore from bygone years.
It was announced not too long ago that Singapore’s population may reach as high as 6.9 million by 2030. With such a large human footprint on a small city-state, the need to immortalise its humanity and heritage through words and photography became paramount for the writer to tell a story of how a country has evolved so dramatically before his eyes. Every generation has experienced profound physical and social changes that would be unimaginable to their grandparents’ generation. Harnessing the power of a single image rather than the moving image, the writer seeks to tell this story using photography and interviews with longtime residents whose lives are defined by where they live and work.
Communities are often transient—ever-changing and evolving. This can be in terms of their physical or outward appearance, such as buildings, structures and roads, or in terms of their inhabitants (shifting ethnic, age, and economic demographics, for example). Yet under the surface, another aspect that sets some communities apart from others is something more indiscernible, and that is the distinct spirit or character that permeates a particular space. The fact that communities are fragile, living entities is nowhere more evident than in Singapore, where development and redevelopment have been forces in action for much of the past century.
The question remains as to what is gained and what is lost in this push for development, and Parting Glances is designed to shine a spotlight on some unique districts—familiar to most Singaporeans—whose particular charm has long captivated not only their residents but anyone who has had the opportunity to pay a visit.
About the author of Parting Glances
Craig McTurk is an American filmmaker and educator who has resided in Singapore since 2001. He teaches ﬁlm and television production at Ngee Ann Polytechnic and has served as a past consultant for the Singapore Film Commission. McTurk contributed two chapters to the 2011 book, Singapore Independent Film: Asian Hot Shots (published by Schüren Verlag) and has written articles for various American magazines. His documentary film, Street Songs, received a Student Academy Award in 1994. He holds a BA in History from Oberlin College and an MFA in Film/Video from California Institute of the Arts.