Ester Low (刘宝诊)

教育工作者,生于上个世纪五十年代。自从参加《光影纪实:牛车水旧事新说》工作坊才发现我与牛车水的情意结从未断过。在这里每一个人的背后都有着一个故事等待我们去发掘。让有心人一丝一缕去驳接成一张大网,从网中重新再认识不一样的牛车水。 An educator born in the 1950s. Only on participating in Picturing Chinatown did I discover that my emotional bond with Chinatown has never been broken. Here, everyone has a story waiting to be discovered. Let those who care about these stories weave them, strand by strand, into a vast web, and through this web, get to know another side of Chinatown.

May 3, 2015

迷思 Lost in Thought

  • 鸟瞰牛车水
  • 原貌馆
  • 原貌馆
  • 过去与现在

图1: 鸟瞰牛车水
Picture (1): A bird’s eye view of Chinatown

This is the first time I am toting a camera up the high-rise building by myself to photograph a bird’s eye view of the city. I had never thought that at this very moment, this historic city would be under my feet. The old pre-war houses are still arranged in orderly rows, the clean roads criss-crossing each other. New and old, high-rise and low-rise, cutting-edge and backward – these stark contrasts enter my vision, feeling both familiar and foreign. What allows me to stand here surveying this scene is the sweep of history. The sweep of history is also why I cannot find anything from the past to anchor me.

图2: 原貌馆
Picture (2): Chinatown Heritage Centre
As I descend, it isn’t hard to detect the Chinatown Heritage Centre, which appears so vibrant in primary school textbooks. Within just a handful of years, it has gone downhill so badly. Its broken walls and crumbling tiles clash terribly with the rest of this neighbourhood, but I think even renovation will not erase its power to evoke nostalgia.

图3: 原貌馆
Picture (3): Chinatown Heritage Centre

图4: 过去与现在
Picture (4): The past and the present
Outside the centre stands the statue of a samsui woman who has no idea why we think she is heroic. Right now, that sorrowful helpless expression happens to look upon the innocent frolics of a little Korean girl.Perhaps that girl will never learn what story this figure is hiding. If this statue was brought to life, what would she have to say?

Translation: Teng Qian Xi

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