Photographers capture S’pore culture spots for Chinese New Year

Shot on the iPhone 13 Pro Max



Some of Singapore’s finest photographers whip out their iPhone 13 Pro Max to capture the country’s nostalgic spaces and traditions.

Like with any tradition, they are at risk of fading with time. But as Chinese New Year approaches, these photographers visit these places to capture and immortalize them digitally. Hopefully, this does not only help you look at Singapore culture fondly, but also encourage you to keep making memories and capture them beautifully.

Jason Lim — @jsnjnr

Taking a nostalgic walks through Haw Par Villa, photographer Jason Lim shares how a Buddha greets visitors halfway though the journey and notes “I remembered looking at my parents inquisitively when I was much younger, wonder how the Buddha managed to land on top of the pagoda”. Jason shot the image with the Wide Angle lens, using the surrounding leaves to frame and create a focus on the main subject, the Buddha. Found in the 10 Courts of Hell exhibit of the Hell’s Museum.

Jason share’s his “mom once told me that spirits would cross this bridge in the afterlife and their memories in earth would be erased, coming back again, I loved how Portrait mode captured the details of it”.

A familiar face found within the garden in Haw Par Villa is the Goddess of Mercy aka Guan Yin Ma.

“I made use of both the Wide Angle lens and macro function to capture it,” he said.

Jason shares it has been more than 30 years since he last visited Haw Par Villa’s Hell’s Museum exhibit. He says, “my parents would often remind me as a kid that if I misbehaved, I would land here and be punished by the Gods. It’s amazing coming back how detailed the exhibit is, especially when using Night mode”.

Taking a photo of The Pagoda, Jason notes using the Wide Angle lens while having an object nearer than the subject can create a great contrast or “bokeh” effect.

The macro photography on iPhone 13 Pro Max really captures all the details of the embroidery found on an altar.

Lauryn Ishak — @laurynishak

Commercial and editorial photographer Lauryn focused on places that brought personal nostalgia such as Beauty World Plaza at dusk, shot on Ultra Wide Angle. She shares “Beauty World is an iconic place in Singapore — most know it as a place that houses tuition centers and helper’s agencies. It’s not a place frequented by most Singaporeans unless looking for a specific store although the area is currently and slowly going through a little bit of a renaissance”


Snacks from our childhood seen at Nelly’s Retro Snacks – the assorment seen here is something I haven’t seen in many many years. It brought me back to my childhood when I used to buy some of these and I am surprised to still find then decades later.


Taking a walk through nature, an empty black and white bungalow on Malta Crescent in Sembawang shot using 3x Optical Zoom captures another era as “these iconic black and whites in this estate are currently empty.”

A close up of flora near Yishun and shot on Macro captures the ever changing greenery in Singapore.

Darren Soh — @darrensohphoto

Thomson Nature Park was formerly a Hainan Village vacated in the 1980s and then overgrown by secondary forest, so in a way, Singapore did forget about its existence until recently when it was turned into a Nature Park. Many Singaporeans are still unaware of its location or even its existence, so there is much to (re)discover there. Treks through the park early in the mornings will yield morning mist and dew which I have photographed with the iPhone 13 Pro Max”.

On the other hand, visitors to the Night Safari are almost always there for the animals, but since its opening, Darren shares the Night Safari has had an area right next to Upper Seletar Reservoir where the landscape is amazingly beautiful. “I have made three images in this area – here’s a tip, go right when the Night Safari opens at 6.30pm because you will need to trek by foot to the spot I’ve photographed near the Indian Rhino enclosure where you’d be greeted by the last light of day”. 

CR Tan — @xlbcr


Having moved to the Katong/Joo Chiat area a year ago, Food Photographer and Stylist CR has found the neighbourhood is filled with heritage, art and culture hence retaining it’s charm among this ever changing city. He shares “there aren’t many high rise buildings around, mostly shophouses with interesting histories like the Peranakan Shop Houses which I am currently staying in.”
Some of the shots include wall murals done recently on shop houses around the hood which CR feels “give a pretty good refresh to the hood, adding more colours and charm to it. He used the Ultra Wide Angle to capture the murals in different perspectives.
CR shares he also happened to take a shot at nigh at Blair road after attending a ART x Wine Exhibition housed in one of the shophouses around the area.
The shot was taken at the back street of the shophouse around 10pm using Night mode, with the street light shining directly on to the subjects with an art piece leaned against the wall. The unique door design further accentuates the story in this photo.

Nicole Quek — @nicolequek

Photographer Nicole also focuses on Katong, a place that has had “significant meaning to me since I was child. This place brings back memories especially during the New Year when my grandmother was still around. It still amuses me until this day that this was a kampong where I used to run around barefooted”. Nicole share she “remembes vividly accompanying my late grandmother for walks along the shops. I wasn’t fluent in Malay as that was the only language she spoke. So I spoke gibberish hoping that she would understand me but all I remember was that warm smile on her face. It’s a happy memory for me whenever I walk around this area and coincidently I hanced upon this cute husky sitting across Roxy Square and her name is Roxy too! Portrait mode really helped capture her expression and the details of her fur”.
“When I was young, this door was like a portal of emotions and seeing it is really nostalgic for me. I remember running out to the door from the kitchen while playing catch around the alley and sometimes even getting punished here for being a naughty child.
But my most fond memory was folding paper boats with my family and watching it stream down the drain in this alley.
Nicole points out the Wide and Ultra Wide Angle is perfect for capturing the details of Katong’s intriguing alleyways or even the Unfinished beads on the Manik Kasut.
Nicole also shares an overview of the street she is very fond of using Night mode and adds “I shot this by using the bridge railing as a tripod. However with the advanced night mode, I still can shoot amazing and sharp pictures at night without worrying if it’ll turn out underexposed or blurry. I wanted to try creating some light streaks which I’ve never done before. This was shot by adjusting my shutter speed to 1 second”.

Ivan Kuek — @phonenomenon

While many have heard of the Green Corridor, photographer Ivan notes “what many don’t know is that it has a lesser-known sibling, the Jurong Railway Line. Leading westwards from the Bukit Timah Railway Station, the Jurong Railway Line was a 19KM-long railroad that connected Malaysia, then known as Malaya, to the Jurong industrial area’s docks, and National Iron and Steel Mills. Owned by the KTM Railway, the line, which opened way back in early 1966, was projected to generate a revenue of S$3-4 million annually. But with Singapore’s independence, its use was limited and it eventually closed down in the 1990s”.
Ivan focuses on the old Bukit Timah Railway Station and Clementi Forest taken through Macro photography and Ultra Wide Angle. 


Netflix confirms One Piece adaptation coming this year

Plus a new poster



Netflix continues its huge gamble on anime adaptations. Over the past several years, the platform produced a couple of live-action versions of classic anime shows. To the company’s dismay, neither of the adaptations were received well. Still, the gamble continues to truck on. Netflix has confirmed that the upcoming One Piece adaptation is coming this year.

The live-action adaptation isn’t exactly new. Netflix first announced the title back in 2020 but offered only a few developments concerning the show’s production. Now, we have a release window and a poster.

To be fair, the new poster doesn’t show much except for Luffy’s back. A wider shot shows a bit more including the rears of all the Straw Hat Pirates and a shot of the Thousand Sunny in the distance.

Likewise, Netflix has not shared what the synopsis of the One Piece adaptation will be. Historically, the platform’s live-action adaptations start from the very beginning, taking viewers on a compressed tour through the original anime show’s plot.

That said, the company has a long uphill climb to legitimize its live-action anime adaptations. Despite featuring Willem Dafoe as Ryuk, Netflix’s previous Death Note adaptation quickly receded into a forgettable title. Additionally, Cowboy Bebop was canceled after only one season.

SEE ALSO: Netflix Southeast Asia movies to watch

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Finally! Grab users may now pay directly using GCash

Much-awaited partnership



GCash Grab

Grab Philippines and GCash have finally struck a partnership deal that will make payments on the superapp even easier and more convenient.

Starting February, users will be able to add GCash as a direct payment method on the Grab app, making cashless transactions on food and grocery deliveries, car transport, and other services cashless.

Prior to the collaboration, GCash users could only send money from their account to their GrabPay wallet, and vice-versa, causing a bit of hassle switching in between apps on one’s phone screen.

The partnership also means there will be no more transaction fees unlike before when Grab users have to cash in using their credit or debit cards or linked bank accounts.

Grab customers may also avail of GCash exclusive deals, and even get treats when they pay using the e-wallet.

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Disney+: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever streams February 1

Relive the MCU Phase 4 ender



Wakanda Forever

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Marvel Studio’s MCU Phase 4-ending film, will be available to stream on Disney+ starting on February 1.

Receiving generally good ratings, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever captivated fans with the introduction of underwater kingdom Talokan in the Atlantic Ocean and its ruler, Namor.

The movie opened with the death of King T’Challa. It then focused on the events in Wakanda after, including how Shuri assumed the mantle of Black Panther.

The MCU’s 30th installment which sets up Phase 5 also highlighted the dynamic between the Wakandans and Talokanil. Both people were simply after protecting their respective nations from dangers as the film’s plot progressed.

A key art and a new TV spot are now available to download and share as well.

Coinciding with the movie’s availability on the streaming platform is the release of the Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast.

Episodes may be accessed via starting on January 18.

SEE ALSO: Now Playing: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

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