Parallel Paths is a photography exhibition that is perhaps a little less ordinary, featuring works that explore civic life in Singapore, as seen through the cultural lenses of our guest workers as well as Singaporeans. The exhibition is the result of a collaborative photo trail conducted earlier this year, where Singaporeans and guest workers came together for a weekend of interaction and cross-cultural exchange.
The Parallel Paths project was inspired by the works of Wajihah Hamid, who had previously collaborated with migrant workers to document their lives in Singapore as part of her Master’s thesis research. With the help of Wajihah and her sister Aishah, The Ordinary Man rallied Singaporean participants to join 18 guest workers from TWC2’s The Cuff Road Project on a weekend photo trail across Chinatown, Little India and East Coast Park.
The Parallel Paths project aims to capture scenes of Singaporean life through the lenses of both Singaporeans and our guest workers. Some of these scenes may seem entirely ordinary to Singaporeans, but intrigue and inspire our friends from other parts of the world. The resulting photographs and exhibition then serve as a vehicle for understanding our cultural differences, and also our similarities.
“Singapore has come to rely greatly on guest workers, who come from far away to help us build the Singapore we desire. Despite this, they seem to live separate, parallel lives,” said Aishah Hamid. “We often hear that guest workers and even new migrants should better integrate with our Singaporean cultural norms, but there needs to be common ground from which to work. Through the medium of photography, we hope to create understanding and meeting points along our parallel paths.”
Parallel Paths will feature photographs curated across three broad themes: relationships and people, colours and buildings, and what I love about Singapore. The exhibition will also include photo stories of some of the participants, and a video that documents the project.
The Parallel Paths project is made possible by the kindness of our supporters. 33 disposable cameras were donated by individual supporters for the excursion, in response to an appeal on social media. The Singapore Kindness Movement, Transient Workers Count too (TWC2) and Artspace222 also supported the project in kind.
Parallel Paths will be exhibited at Artspace222 at 222 Queens Street from 1st to 11th April 2014. Admission is free. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/