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First Homes

photo / writing / community arts

First Homes is a gathering of stories to celebrate personal histories bound by the idea of home. These stories, collected through interviews and photography, aim to inspire others to appreciate our beginnings as Singapore celebrates its 50th year of independence.

Memories of first experiences most readily influence the way we see ourselves, say psychologists. A house is merely bricks and mortar until a family makes it a home. Through its occupants, a space’s destiny is shaped as a canvas for joy, struggles, triumph and grief. Whether it is the smell of fresh laundry or the sound of creaking floorboards, memories of our first homes remind us how far we’ve come. To take this project beyond the digital space, we worked with our partners from In Merry Motion to flesh out five stories in the form of an art installation from 3 – 30 April at the National Library Building Plaza, extending it to an intergenerational collaboration with five interviewees aged 50 years old and above to create a sense of their first homes.

The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home, as Confucius once said. Today’s Singapore is the shared legacy of immigrants old and new over the last 50 years. Where do we go from here? How do we get there?

First Homes is supported by the irememberSG Fund as part of the Singapore Memory Project and SG50 Celebrations.