On 23 March 2015 the founding father of Singapore, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, died after a long illness. This instantly resonated with me as the subject that I would follow for my personal project for Digital Photographic Practice. His name is synonymous with the success of Singapore and ironically his death comes in the midst of Singapore celebrating it’s 50th year of independence as a city state. This made his passing even more auspicious.
As the news hit, I became aware that I would need to get my brief together quickly in order not to miss out on what was happening on the streets. As I watched the social media feeds that first day it became clear that the main hub of interest was Singapore General Hospital where Lee Kuan Yew had been treated and also where he died. There was already an area set up where people could wish Lee Kuan Yew well and leave cards and flowers. This now turned in to the first memorial and seemed an ideal place to start. I decided that this needed to be my destination and the start of the process. Soon it transpired that there would be a week of mourning and that his body would be held in state from the Wednesday of that week with his funeral on the Sunday. This pretty much set out my timeline. The only downside would be that I wouldn’t be able to cover the funeral due to other commitments.
My personal brief then, was to cover the tributes and other associated areas surrounding the passing of this man. I also wanted to try and capture the feelings of a nation and see what emotion would be on display in a country not generally given over to public displays of sentiment. I wanted to show a truthful representation of what I found on the streets that week. Of course it would come with my own narrative built in but, ultimately, would tell the story from the perspective of proceedings rather than a forced narrative from me. I would spend any available time I had over the next five days following the events in Singapore.