Friday, January 21, 2011

Coffee Table Photographs

A quote I heard today, "I love the mystrey of old photographs, it's like you'll never know."
That is precisely why I need to do something about this huge album of 200 photographs I have sitting here... I will take each one and I will talk to my grandparents, scrutinize what I had taken for granted for so long and jolt their memories.
I will make a coffee table book. Now where do I begin?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas 2010

It has been a few months, I have just been collecting and replaying the audio interviews of my grandparents and trying to rush out the first draft.
More updates soon, Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, August 27, 2010


So I have been interviewing my grandparents all of last week. Finally got a microphone, a good one, the type that kinda looks like the microphones traders and brokers use, got a video recording software and recorded them on my webcam.

No photo update for today but I have a question: How were buses like during the 1940s?
If anyone knows please email me or drop me a comment!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A postcard from TTK Circus

This is Grandma performing one of her signature acts, riding a unicycle on a tight rope. 

That umbrella was apparently one of her signatures as well, I remember playing with it when I was younger, it insanely heavy (or perhaps I was just really small) and it would always annoy her when I mess around with that umbrella. 

This postcard used to be on sale outside the circus as part of the memorabilia people could buy after watching a show. There should be many more out there. A cousin of my dad apparently used to collect many of these postcards... I should go ask for her number... 

The Tai Thean Kew Circus

The Great Tai Thean Kew Circus entertained the masses in post WWII Malaya for decades.

My grandparents spent 40 years of their lives devoted to performing, and my great-grandfather, Sze Bing Shen, built this circus post-war alongside others, to let the art live on. I grew up with their memories, but it was only in University, doing a social memories course in Sociology, that I realized this was a family story I needed to write about.

While this type of traditional Chinese Circus is no longer in existance in Singapore or Malaysia today, I hope to more than preserve, but to proliferate the memory of this part of Malayan history. Basing my book mainly on my grandparents oral histories, (and the process is hilarious as my grandfather and my grandmother contradict each other's memories, for example, how their romance started...) I am also hoping to gather the memories of others as well.

Please feel free to send this blog out to friends and relatives, and feel free to contact me if there are any stories to share about the Tai Thean Kew circus, or questions to ask.
Check back for updates as I proceed to write this daily!

Thank You,