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Concepts of Belonging in Urban Development

In this modern day age where everything changes quickly, people no more connect themselves to just one single willpower, but are cross-disciplinary. In the process of move, the exchange of culture as well as information, the experience that you have and the knowledge that one benefits is almost an instantaneous experience. Often these instant experience and knowledge that one absorbs are imperfect because of the cutting short of information and over-emphasizing on the main point which consequently result in a losing gap in between the original information from what we received. One might feel a sense of lost with time, history, thoughts and the lost in a way of attachment, steadiness, thus question our that belong; where is our home? Just how do we define owed then? Can our belonging be fixed?

In chapter 1 of the newspaper, I'll discuss home as a metaphor of that belong; an anchor point. However, in this contemporary era, to mention a place as the house that people belong can be superficial as the place that people belong tend to be not fixed. What give us the sense of belonging then? To discuss about owed, unavoidably we affiliate it to a space. This

Dissertation paper discusses two kinds of space - the tangible space and the intangible space. Often, Space as an abstract notion seems boundless; we think of space as just air between one object and the other. [1] Space talks more than just air substances. Space with limitations can be seen as a form or a thing. Space as an idea can be regarding specific perceptions which may be both conceptual and physical. These specific perceptions can be seen as the collective ram through one's experience. Just how do spots give us a feeling of belonging if our sense of space are often relate to the sense of place which are generally unfixed. Despite of the doubt of our own sense of place, what might give us a feeling of continuity is just about the memory that were collected in the area which thus give us a feeling of belonging. Memory exists before, present and future which thus creating a sense of continuity in a individual life timeline.

Moving on from specific home to a nation, Section 2 addresses the lost of memory in city because of the metropolitan development in Singapore. It'll look into a brief history of Singapore Urban casing and city development, the significant of building as a time-marker that provide us the sense of owed and how the constant construction and destruction of creating and places led to the lost of preset identity. May be the lost of memory space - a lost of the belonging and id or has it build a unique belonging and id for Singaporean?

As often been said, our belonging and identity tend to be been cultivate through arts and culture. In that sense, our local museum thus keeps an important role in cultivating, protecting and moving on histories and social values to the people. Around we perceive the knowledge and record in the museum as a fact passing through from technology to generation, can the museum display and exhibition not be politics made? Hence, even though Singapore administration tried to protect our "local personality" if we have ever or belonging through the form of arts and culture, the belonging that we perceive continues to be a constructed individuality. Hence, a paradox and it seems like our identity is always in a confusion. Where do we belong?

Chapter 1:- Belonging; Memory

Belonging has been expounded as a ownership, an associate of a group such as a family, a college and a country, ultimately belonging is about the connection of individual. Through the relationship with people's group, areas and structure, human being thus creates their own individuality. The sense of belonging and id will also suggest a sense of security and stability. Hence, this sense of belonging becomes vital in human life. Often, the sense of that belong has its relationship associated with 'rooted-ness' - a feeling of attachment towards an area; an attachment to our home.

'For our house is our corner of the world. As has often been said, it is our first world, a genuine cosmos in every sense of the world. . . '[2]

Author Gaston Bachelard discussed in his publication - The Poetics of Space that the idea of home is a space where one exists and lives forever. Home has often been idealized as an utopia space where there is a sense of continuity, security and excellence. Permanence is an important element in the thought of home as it suggests rooted-ness and a feeling of immortality. In Space and Place - the perspective of experience, Yi-Fu Tuan argued that home is the centre of the world; home is the center point of a cosmic structure[3]. Both creator described home as the centre of one's world and it seems sensible to say that our belonging is very much indeed about our connection to our root base; our home. The term 'centre' will means 'origins' which holds the meaning of start which is exactly what Bachelard pointed out as the first world; the centre of one's world. When and how do one has a sense of home then? Usually the idea of home is blurred with the idea of house.

'Here space is everything, for time ceases to quicken storage area. . . Memory are motionless, and the greater securely they can be fixed in space, the sounder they may be. '[4]

Home as an abstract notion can be boundless. Within the estimates above, Bachelard described that what is being 'housed' in the area (home) is the memories that has been created in the area. Home is a space where we underlying ourselves at and the main element that provides us that sense of rooted-ness or attachment to a home is 'memory'. Ram would also signify knowledge, background and memories; memory is an attempt to remember, recall or even to record events, things or even feeling. It really is through these collective recollections of a space that provide us that sense of attachment and a kind of certainty toward oneself. As such, I would bring a restrictions that home can be an emotional-mental condition of belonging. Ram exists in the past, present and future which create a feeling of continuity or immortality. Memory thus offers us a sense of security and certainty.

As what Yi-Fu Tuan possessed brought up in his writing, the value of a place is the experience that certain created in that space. It really is through the romantic human relationship and the familiarity of an area that you created a feeling of connection towards an area. Belonging, like remembrances should be fixed in order to attain a sense of stability. Recollection can be an abstract notion that will require to be objectified to become seen or understand and house takes on the role in objectifying these abstract remembrances, it is a location that helps offering the meaning and value to home. House on the other hand, is a shelter that you goes to when ill, where personal activities happen; a location or location that helps us to connect our past background and event. House in cases like this is a physical express of owed.

In a lot of ways, objects can be seen as spaces with boundaries and is also malleable. [5] Items in a residence are like footages that give a trace and history of the inhabitant that once existence. The next images are a series of photograph by Singapore photographer, Ho Hui May. This series of artwork entitled Domestic Dystopia, 2007 presents a purview interior associated with an drop house.


Domestic Dystopia

Ho Hui May

Photography series, 2007

In this group of photograph, Ho provided abandon objects of the domestic space after the inhabitants had go forward. Those abandon objects suggests the approach to life or characteristic of the inhabitants, almost just like a 3-dimentional narrative of days gone by. Including the forest wall newspaper at the bottom right side presents 2 layers of mother nature. One part of the wall structure paper can be seen as an all natural ongoing procedure for ageing and decaying due to elements such as natural light, water, oxygen and other natural substances which is peeling, fading and tearing faraway from the wall structure. Another covering of the wall membrane paper presents a graphic of the forest which can also be read as the owner's desire to truly have a piece of aspect while moving into a city. Hence, objects including the wall paper offers clues of the life of the inhabitants. Objects inhabit space, so when attention is directed to an thing, it is also directed to the space it occupies. [7] The function of the home thus is also a place to keep and collect thing. These functions is seen as the collection and re-collection of stories. Objects inside our life thus give us a sense of home and owed.

However, things are originally neutral and meaningless. It is through the experience and relationship of objects and people for the reason that space, we place our emotion and interpretation to it and therefore creating sentimental worth to the object. Therefore, the question now could be to what extend are those things valuable when this is from it are constructed? Our house is also an object that is literally designed and can be politically designed as well. For the reason that sense, how can we have a genuine sense of home and belonging if the memory and experience that we perceive are produced?

In Ho's group of photograph; objects in the image are discarded. House in this case is also an subject that is discarded. In case the things in life are significant in provoking or recording recollections, why do people still give up objects? Choosing things to be forgotten and things to be helped bring along are crucial in the cities.

Chapter 2: Urban development: abandon and constructive memory

The city is a location of large negotiation; a community of houses and structures. Walking from one end to the other end, we can easily acknowledge the features in the places. There is a sense of familiarity in metropolis that we resided in. Familiarity is to identify, to remember or even to recall things. It is during that sense of familiarity; the personal recollections and the cultural history that we collected in metropolis that provides us a sense of belonging. The town that we resided in and return to eventually thus is our 'hometown'; the centre of our world. Our hometown is a place where we rooted ourselves in.

Unlike home which is made upon the average person experience and personal remembrances, the city herself has an image to portray, the city that we lived in is being condition politically and economically to be able to achieve economic progress and progression especially that of metropolitan cities. On this chapter, I will prefer to take Singapore metropolitan development as a case study and local artist's responses to the issue of metropolitan development and property to discuss about the lost of remembrances and so the lost of a set belonging to the Singaporean.

Tracing back from the early times of Singapore Independency till today, she possessed boosted rapidly into a developed country. In the first days, the fundamental objective of Singapore enclosure development is to provide a shelter for each citizen. With the condition of housing scarcity in the beginning of Singapore Independency, the Casing and Development Panel (HDB) was founded to supply the citizen with adequate quality lifestyle, the neighborhood architect also hit for freedom to market culture to the mass through nationwide building. [8]

With the increase of standard of living and income of the resident, they no longer just desire for basic amenities but desire for a higher quality lifestyle which bring about a constant engineering and devastation of structures in Singapore. Shifting and relocating thus become common.

In a lot of ways, our sense of place or location provides us the sense of identity, belonging and pride to the location that we lived in. Building of different time thus stands an important role in marking history of a city; these are almost like artefacts that connect us to your former; a reminder of historical event that once occurred, the political and personal experience that once present. Two of the amazing complexes in Singapore is the town Hall and Old Supreme court docket. over time, Singaporean had witnessed many political occurrences like the japanese surrender, the national day and so many more and the building together with the old Supreme court is currently preserved as a Singapore traditions building. Though building is being preserved but the function is not there ever again. (explain)It becomes a brand of record, an appeal for holiday but no longer function as how it ought to be. What is the point of protecting when the function is no more there?

Singapore is a country that has been lost and found, found and lost again. (Quoted from Ho Tzu yen film) Many of our local designers have responded to the rapid urban transition with the art. One of our local film/ documentaries manufacturer - Tan Pin Pin has responded these issues in her documentaries such as the Invisible City and Moving House. Moving house speaks about the lost of custom amid Singapore land development. The documentary focuses on the Chew's family who went to visit their parent at their tomb. That visit to the tomb was the previous as they might have to seek out the body as the government had made a decision to develop that parcel.

"We should have a everlasting cemetery so the tradition can continued. . . tradition had die off. " quoted from Mr Chew up.

As of any tradition, it is necessary for dead physiques to be buried underground as a respect for the loss of life. Every year during special occasion including the 'Qing Ming' festival, the Chew family will visit their parent's tomb, almost such as a 'picnic' as Mr Chew up mentioned. The bone fragments of their parent or guardian were then cremate. What's lost is not merely the lost of tradition but also the joy of gathering that they used to have.

Singapore land development can be countless. Reason being that more public housing must cover populace needs. There is no limit to your desire to have space. After development is re-development, moving is re-moving whether or not it is voluntary, is no longer important. Moving house got highlighted our never-ending desire to have space and better standard of living and in the mean time, highlighting our yearns for the past to be continue, a contradicting feeling amid progressing into a world class population. Hence, the transforming of cityscape possessed also cause a lost of history. It in some way prompts us the question that in order to advance, do we have to discard days gone by? Are we ready to do that? Must you forego/ disregards our former to follow a 'better' future? Just how much can we quit actually?

Over the years, we slowly identify the issue of urban development through the local artwork. Many lost memories were displayed again as a form of art. Devoid of a fixed memory space and belonging experienced affected artist in many way. Many possessed approach it in a sentimental manner, sometime in quite a negative way. Many of them thought we would have our local HDB flats or structure sites as their subject matter. Interesting, the following photographer that I am going to introduce does not took the usual gigantic bins as his subject material instead, 'rubbish' that he collected as his subject matter.

Chua Chye Teck's wonderland, 2007 is some photograph of junk, unwanted, abandon objects that he gathered, up to now this series involves 500 pieces of images. Through these images, there are two main opponents that people have to take down notes on; the thought of collecting and the idea of abandon in relation to the city. The idea of collecting plays an important part in this work as a way of indicating our public stature, professional affiliation, value system and personal flavour. Another thing to consider is the items being abandon; the ownership of physical subject that hints our loftiest longings and deepest anxieties. With each purchase, we put something away; by existing, we chuck; because we go forward, we throw. Also to notice is the fact that Chua will not keep any of this subject as well. With each that he previously collect and picture, he abandoned it as well. Lastly, we consider the techniques of showing it - first, things are placed independently on the clean turquoise history, almost like raising the worthiness of the rubbish, giving it a fresh life. Every thing or set of items, here was believe it or not exquisitely looked after and to read the image as objects existing in the camera framework - almost as conserved memories.

As much even as we are reluctant to give up on what's valuable to us, we still must do so to be able to advance. . . is this words of the citizen or the speech of government? Chua's work is interesting as it demonstrates about how much we had abandon along the way of urbanization also to collect it again is to remember memory, thus ram being lost and found. When compared with Pin Pin's film, it reflects how one has to give up in the the process of urbanization despite of one's resistant to change. In the process of change, one long for a feeling of permanency, a set belonging.

What image is Singapore aiming to portray at the end of the day when its limited background are slowly faded out over the years? If Singapore has a abundant record and culture aren't important as compared to economic growth. This prompt the question of whether the development and development into a better yet ever-changing immediate changes in lifestyle our view of what is to be casted off and what is to be accumulated in the process? Has Singapore come to understand the lost of recollection in the town??

To question about what has been lost, what do we dispose of along the way of progression, everything we yearn and what we desire to sustain goes down to the question of preference and it was clear that we had chosen for monetary growth than having the history that provide us a set belonging. These alternatives may not be make by the resident but the administration.

The federal government has probably understand the crucial needs to cultivate our national identity; our belonging. Approximately our short record have been constantly being buried underneath with the swift urban development, Singapore in the mean time is trying to construct individuality. Normally been said, where we belong tend to be cultivate through the arts and culture that we participate in. Thus, one essential ways to input these lost of background or storage is through local art. What's the role of arts and culture in cultivating our national identification then?

Chapter 3: The paradox

What is singapore culture?

Multi- culture. Combination of east and western world. Rojak. Everything becomes our culture.

The Renaissance city plan[9] is a proposal that the government come out every five season and the recent plan will be to go all out to developed the image of the global art work city. With this proposal, lots of money were put into art spaces, universities and establishment such as LaSalle college of the Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts(NAFA), the Singapore Arts Museum(SAM), Asian Civilian Museum(ACM), the National record museum as well as the National art gallery that is opening this season. The aims of the proposal is nevertheless to be an global fine art city, however what is contradicting is the fact approximately Singapore is designed to go global, it still want to retain the sense of local through event such as Singapore artwork show. Just what exactly is Singapore aiming at the end of the day? She wants a graphic of everything and anything. She actually is trying to provide encouragement for fine art yet maintaining tight restrictions on arts and culture.

Through inclusion of artwork in public areas and the incorporation of tasteful design and landscaping design in the neighbourhood, we can broaden people's exposure to and appreciation of arts and its own relevance in everyday routine.

(esplanade for ethnical activities, government financing for art institution BUT still keeping tight restrictions on artwork and ethnical work)

(attempting to go global and in the mean time wanting to stay local. . . what's local?)

However, can we really perceive the memory that we gathered in the museum as our belonging when the exhibition can be politically made or frame? For the reason that sense, what we understand as our that belong; our home is constructed. Hence, how metropolis is shaped in some way shape that people are as a person being.

  1. Lynn C. Robertson, Space, things, thoughts, and brains (NY, N. Y. : Mindset Press, 2004), 1.
  2. Gaston Bachelard, The poetics of space, trans. Maria Jolas (Boston, Mass. : Beacon Press, 1994), 4.
  3. Yi fu tuan 149
  4. Ibid, 9.
  5. Robertson, 3.
  6. Domestic Dystopia provides an perception into six interiors of dilapidated properties in Singapore. Each photograph discloses the traces of footsteps and impressions left behind by prior occupants, encapsulating these moments in their personal histories in a snapshot of your time. Many of these properties have been forgotten and are remaining in circumstances of disrepair. By learning to be a translator, Ho takes on the duty of translating the deep sense of loss and nostalgia she feels when she actually is inside these properties onto some photographs.

Picture credit: Curating laboratory: 100 remix workshop organised by the National University or college of Singapore museum relationship with National Fine art Council of Singapore

  1. Robertson,
  2. From building aspiration- tan pin pin
  3. explain
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