Feature: StreetPeek Singapore

Fashion blogs can be undeniably dull on many occasions, it’s been a few years now that fashion blogging and street photography have taken the internet by storm. Due to the sheer amount of all this similar content, it can be easy to lose interest in this type of work.

Street fashion photography highlights the everyday person from around the globe’s influence to trends and what retailers want to sell us. A good photographer can produce fascinating exhibitions of numerous people’s ways of self-expression.

My good friend turned Instagram celebrity John Tan doesn’t have the word mediocre in his vocabulary. He is talented enough to produce instantly iconic photographs of impeccably stylish people he encounters on the streets of Singapore. His work has been featured in various exhibitions and websites including internet giant Buzzfeed.

His blog ‘Streetpeek’ hasn’t been updated in a while partially due to Asian study problems but his Instgram feed is alive and kicking. His work is definitely a cut above the rest and I would really recommend checking it out. While the world may know him as a savvy lens genius, I have a collection of beautiful but perhaps, slightly less glamorous memories with him. *Distressed animal noise*

Photographs not by me, all photographs in this post taken by John Tan 

Advertisements

C: Days Not Forgotten

It’s strange how quickly it’s possible to settle back into familiar surroundings. All those memories which are relatively fresh feel like they’re being masked and covered very easily just by settling into a routine of mundane tasks. Below are a selection of photographs taken during my last few moments in SG, Apart from the selfies all photographs were taken by John And Ai Jia, thankfully I think between us we’ve taken enough photographs to rest easy about the concern of forgetting. Still miss these guys!


E: Indonesian Retreat

72As it’s still fairly early on in our term here in Singapore, a few weekend trips to the coast are acceptable if you make up for the work during the week. Bintan is one of the Riau Islands, a lesser known Indonesian gem just underneath Singapore. Word has it that the government has big plans to transform it into the next Bali. The island already receives some form of tourist income, mainly from Singaporean locals searching for a decent beach. When boarding the ferry there were endless advertisements promoting the relatively new resort situated to the north of the island. Being students with a limited budget we headed further south into the part of the island actually inhabited by the locals.

We stayed in the modest but beautiful Mutiara Beach Guest-house which I can only recommend especially for a big group. They gave us a very good deal by renting out their largest room and allowing us extra mattresses. If we were still in the UK the cost of the mosquito nets and coils we were provided with would have cost more than the room for the duration we stayed. Breakfast was surprisingly included in the price. I thoroughly enjoyed waking up to complimentary Coconut and Lime pancakes by the beach.

Undoubtedly the best part of the trip was renting out some scooters and taking our time to pass through coconut plantations and untouched Indonesian countryside. We made various stops including a little seafood restaurant and had the most delicious marinated fresh fish (for £2 per person!) and by a little stretch of coast with a coral islet opposite. It was possible to walk across the sea from the beach and made for some great photo opportunities. Back at our guest house the beach was very beautiful by the time we arrived back, we had to share it with the presence of some local fishing villagers, whose floating houses became climbing frames and diving boards for our enjoyment. (No damage caused!) The following evening was spent drinking ridiculously cheap beer and relaxing on our porch to some tunes until the portable speakers ran out of battery. Simply a brilliant weekend!

L: Review: Laneway Festival Singapore

l8

As I boarded my flight to Singapore nearly 6 months ago from, I really didn’t consider the possibility I’d end up sitting at an indie music festival next to one of the world’s most futuristic looking hotels and a collection of solar powered man made ‘super trees’. A sensational lineup, ultramodern setting and Singapore’s warm breezy weather resulted in a very chilled yet vibrant break from the stresses of city life here.

This is the 4th year St Jerome’s Laneway Festival has returned to Singapore with acts from previous years including big names such as Bat for Lashes, Kings of Convenience, Gotye, Alt-J and many more. Aside from the usual UK, Aussie and American acts, this year took an interesting turn with the addition of some local talents. Vandetta, the Observatory and Gema undoubtedly brought a welcome twist to the lineup.

The Jezabels,  a four piece band from Sydney unknown to me before, were one of the earlier acts which set the tone for the day ahead. Hayley Mary’s distinct rich vocals demanded attention from throughout the meadow and became a crowd favourite almost instantly. XXYYXX’s explosive set did not disappoint, preventing the daylight hindering the atmosphere by the cloud tent.  Unfortunately UK act Mount Kimbie’s performance later in the day felt lacking in consistency and proved a little too experimental for me at times.

Due to an unfortunate injury Gabrial Winterfield of Jagwar Ma was unable to perform at the event, yet Jono Ma fulfilled the task of keeping the crowd entertained with his impressive DJ skills. As the night fell Haim’s stage presence was simply electrifying, especially during their rendition of their hit single ‘The Wire’. Having read so many positive reviews of Jamie xx live, I was worried I may had raised my expectations too high, thankfully my expectations were not only met but in fact exceeded. Jamie xx proved to be a true master of sound, opening with Motown inspired beats with the rest of the set continuing to be varied and infectious.

As the evening came to a close, the Mercury prize 2013 winner James Blake was the final act left to perform. Blake’s haunting vocals pierced through the crowd, readily complemented by a stirring selection of electric rhythms making for a memorable performance . Any doubts I had that songs such as ‘I Never Learnt To Share’ would not translate well onto stage were completely eradicated with all songs sounding as good, if not better on stage.

Although many continue to slate live music as being far from the quality of the recorded sounds we listen to everyday, the acts at laneway festival are another example of how the stage can bring another definition to their music. After being disheartened by various nights out in Singapore with questionable club music and uninspiring live events, the  Laneway festival has restored my faith that good music can be appreciated anywhere, even to audiences as far as those in Southeast Asia.

L1

l4L3l6

l2

C: Tropical Studying

IMG_0095Amidst the hell of exams earlier in December me and Ula decided we’d had enough of freezing in the study room air con and decided to live a little of the ‘exotic study life’ we’d been promised. We’d actually debated going to the beach for weeks on end, but every weekend one assignment or another got in our way. We saw reading week as an excuse because seriously who can study a whole week straight?

We only actually went for two hours then got back to studying but it was a really cracking two hours. Posing for the shot below was actually a lot scarier than you’d think, there was a very active wasps in the bush behind and I’d only realised half way down the trunk! Definitely made the week a little more bearable, Ula’s back in Poland now and we’ve said our goodbye’s but I’m pretty certain they won’t be final.IMG_0270IMG_0168IMG_0275IMG_0241IMG_0192 IMG_0254

E: Just got back from HK!

IMG_2342

Saying the last few weeks have consisted of regular ups and downs wouldn’t quite cover it. The last few weeks have been a heavy, energy depleting and demanding test of who I think I am a person and more spiritual bullshit continued…  within this recent time period I have undergone the hardest examination weeks of my life, (thanks again to Singapore’s education system for the joy that was), witnessed some of the most beautiful landscapes I will ever have the privilege of seeing and shamelessly devoured platefuls of dirt cheap, heavenly, world class foods.

Does the stress I endured during university time equal the enjoyment from travelling afterwards? I think I can just fold that page corner and add it to my binder of all of life’s complications that I cannot, will not and will never be able to solve. Hopefully however in the near future, just like what my hopeless memory has retained of my first year of studying in York, my mind will be vacant of everything but the pictures left behind and the simply the best memories. The only problem being as time stands is, I’m doubtful as to whether I can handle another semester in this strange bubble of a campus.

IMG_2168

What to say now about Hong Kong? The alpha+ city which first introduced the world to the concept of east meets west? The city is a loud, vertical, Cantonese speaking mess stuck in the 80’s, that makes it a rather fun mess too. The old housing blocks have aged beautifully into these captivating towers of unevenly shaded decaying paint jobs.

The contrast between the clean business towers and the slums, homes of everyday ‘rats’ caught in this city race cannot be see in any more clarity in the places I’ve been than in Hong Kong. The bustling night markets live up to everything they appear to be in photos and videos I witnessed as a child and the skyline with its gorgeous mountainous backdrop deserves every number 1 position it continues to earn in numerous rankings within prestigious publications.

IMG_2293

For a Londoner who now lives in Singapore unfortunately there isn’t much new to experience as Hong Kong. To me HK feels like a mashup of  Paris, London, New York and Singapore. Every corner I turned I couldn’t escape the Chanel, Marks and Sparks, Louis Vuitton, Pret a Manger, Apple Store, McDonalds, Starbucks and I could go on. So although not an en-lighting new place for me a pleasant weekend of interesting remotely familiar sights instead. If you’ve never been to the cities listed above Hong Kong is a great place to explore, for me, for now however the weekend was enough. Met up with some friends while I was there and really enjoyed some company and good food, Hong Kong has left me with little questions about the space unfortunately. If I ever visit again I’ll try to look at the place with a fresh pair of eyes.

Keep your eyes peeled on this space, I have a ridiculous amount of posting to catch up on. I’ll schedule the posts  for the next few weeks, sorry I haven’t been posting directly which would probably have been the best thing to do but as you can probably imagine I’ve been a bit caught up in living it haha! New posts soon!
IMG_2241Towers

IMG_2438Weather was miserable the whole time I was there!
IMG_2310

IMG_2331Rooftops

IMG_2413The Nunnery and gardens, my favourite place in HK

IMG_2398The view from the front door of my hostel building

IMG_2443Kasper, Gustav, Sharon, Joacim and Me. I will never forget the street karaoke in the rain!

IMG_2175

E: Tiramisu Hero – Singapore

IMG_0061

Tiramisu Hero is a small place a little out of the way near the Farrer Road and Little India area. Had a good night out with friends and plenty of good food, the only thing missing was a couple of £1 Jaeger bombs here and there but I think I can tolerate that. Passers by should definitely try out the lava cake and get a photograph with the giant cat head (Just go). Walls are illustrated with quirky cats and the toilet mirror even has a moustache on it ready for whole load of instagram pictures.
IMG_0079 IMG_0083 IMG_0062 IMG_0066 IMG_0086

No more posts.