A documentary of "At Our Doorsteps", a photography project that attempts to make portraits of all the residents of Block 230G, Tampines Street 21, Singapore. The portraits are used in a void deck exhibition which aims to create a one-time encounter where all the neighbours can meet one another in a large setting for the first time.

Special thanks to National Arts Council Singapore and Tampines East CCC for funding the project, Justin Zhuang (In Plain Words) for designing the catalogue and Little Red Ants Creative Studio for documenting the process.

Making-of Video here: vimeo.com/25195431

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我当摄影师最重要的理念就是摄影一定要出自于我们的生活和周围。 一定要“接近内心”。我本身也非常相信,摄影必须越过相片。目的不能停留在图片而已。摄影必须要有目的。那目的必须超越一种视觉享受。

《门前》就是一个这样的计画。 尝试使用照片来拉近我居住环境中人于人之间的距离。 看见这些简单的相片能够引起邻于邻之间开始交谈,开始认识,就是我对这计画最期盼的终点。我很期待,也很欣慰这些相片能够产生这种活力。

《门前》是一个进行了两年的计画。不能及。就跟培养关系一样,是一个需要时间才能凝固的一种现象。 它不是一个数目游戏,不是说最多相片或是最快时间完成就一定是最好。

我也希望这些照片能起抛砖引玉的作用,激发其他拥有同样理念的人发起更有意义的艺术计划,让我们的社会更温馨、更充满人情味。

这当然不是一项一个人就能完成的计画,而是230G所有居民共同努力的结果。凭著这个项目,我们打开了家门。接下来,我希望我们打开的是我们的心门,让彼此走进去。说到底,能建立社区精神的,始终是人,不是相片。

Photography for me is a matter of making sense of our lives and immediate environment. It must come from the heart. I also believe that photography goes beyond the photographs. It must have a purpose. It is important for me that photography goes beyond aesthetic enjoyment.

“At our doorsteps” is such a project. It involves using photography to bridge the gaps between the people who live around me.

The idea is to use photographs as a catalyst for neighbours to start recognizing and then talking to each other. I was hoping that these photographs could ignite an enthusiasm to build new friendships.

“At our doorsteps” is a project that has lasted for two years. I guess it cannot be rushed. Just like forming relationships, it has to evolve slowly so that the foundation is strong. It is also not a numbers game. Getting as many pictures as I could or doing it as fast as I could doesn’t necessarily make the project better.

I also hope that this project can inspire others to also create art projects that are meaningful for themselves. It is possible for art, however simple it is, to make a more heartwarming and selfless society.

Of course, I did not complete this project alone. It is a collective effort by all the residents of Block 230G. With this project, we have opened our doors to one another. Following this, I hope we will open our hearts. At the end of the day, it is not photographs that build community spirit, but people.

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