Unlock, an online photography exhibition by amanacliq Singapore photographers on reconnecting our most fundamental relationships that were locked unexpectedly.
As Singapore enters Phase 1 of the new normal and families reunite, we want to unlock together with the nation and celebrate with a series of photography stories by Alvelyn Alko, Anton Tang, Mindy Tan, Nicky Loh, Rebecca Toh and Stefan Khoo.
Unlock: Nicky Loh
He’s My Dad, And That’s Ok
My view of my father will always be in fragments. A figure that is incomprehensible yet so closely related to me by blood is difficult to reconcile sometimes.
Coming into fatherhood myself at the age where he also became a father, I realised that we as humans all make mistakes and are flawed inherently. I know I should try to reconnect and I am trying.
This photography project is a start and aims to provide a form of cathartic reconnection between me and my father as I explore my impressions of him.
Unlock: Mindy Tan
My parents never expected their first grandchild to come in the shape and form of an animal but that's the way it is. Kikko knows his way around my parents' hearts and has given them so much joy. He's also unearthed an outpouring of love from this ethnic Chinese family - something we show restraint towards.
Our family never had a dog growing up, my parents opposed the idea of having pets due to maintenance work. But when I adopted Kikko, never mind that he was a full coat of black and considered taboo. Attitudes changed, our family interactions changed.
We got through difficult times together when Kikko was biting my parents, even till Dad's calf bled. Today, 'Grandpapa' is the dog's favourite person he would jump the gates and wag his tail for until his whole body gyrates.
We've all been looking forward to seeing one another again.
Unlock: Rebecca Tan
I have a funny and complicated relationship with my mum. We haven't lived together since 2015 - I moved out of the house, along with my two siblings, after a family drama that broke the camel's back. Last year, she finally divorced my dad after 36 years of marriage and moved into a three-storey house, where she now lives alone. If you visit her, you will notice that every wall, table-top, staircase railing, sofa, cabinet, coffee table in her house is painted in white. White, to her, means hope. And it also points to a kind of rebirth -- a new life. She's determined to move on from her past, especially with the help of Buddha, Guan Yin Ma and Bai Yi Niang Niang.
Unlock: Anton Tang
Calendar - How long the post-circuit breaker phases will last is still uncertain. But nothing beats being able to visit our Ah Kong and Ah Ma after 56 days, and knowing we overcame this together, by staying apart.
Chair - Mobile technology can never replace the physical feeling of being together. Nothing beats being able to visit our Ah Kong and Ah Ma after 56 days, and knowing we overcame this together, by staying apart.
Circuit Break - Sometimes we take for granted what we have in life until something snaps. But knowing that we have a part to play in overcoming this puts power in our hands. Let's brave through this together, for there will always be light at the end of the tunnel.
Unlock: Stefan Khoo
I heard he was a rebel, a smooth talker, and a charmer.
In the late 70s, he took her out bowling, took her dancing, and went for drives in his father’s red Mazda.
She said she was the belle of her school, though we only saw her as our mother.
Part memory, part stories, part imagination—myth or truth, does it really matter? They were in love.
What I know for certain is that they stuck together, and for more than half of their lives.
Through ups and downs, through good times and bad times.
They are not perfect, as life is not perfect.
But life goes on and on we will go.
What matters is that we continue to create new memories together.
Unlock: Alvelyn Alko
Here are my in laws. They both adore all their grandchildren. I know they secretly wish they were younger to have the strength and energy to care full swing for little ones. My in laws are pretty awesome. They have been really supportive in many ways. It's true when they say it takes a village to raise a child. When I gave birth to Alfie, my in laws were the first ones there by our side at the hospital. My ma in law have always been there for me when I needed her help. When I was puking and shaking badly from the side effects of being drugged at the hospital, my ma in law was the one to care for me. During my yoga teacher training, she helped to watch Alfie. When I broke my ankle and had to go through a surgery, she stayed over to help around. Whenever I have shoots or classes to teach, she would also help to watch Alfie if my mom was not able to make it. So grateful for our moms!
Over the circuit breaker, they video called Alfie every day. Only that their grandson created a challenge by not wanting to speak with them! And over Hari Raya, a family video call was it. It wasn't such big of a deal but some emotional adjustments had to be made. Finally over the weekend when we went over to visit, I could tell how excited and delighted they were to see Alfie! On the other hand, the first thing Alfie asked them was - "Got buy....???"
Just demonstrated in the images by my teething moody niece- My parents in law always go: “With kids around, you just can't plan too much. If they cry, they cry. They laugh, they laugh. They are in their own world like old people!” Wise words.
A big thank you to everyone who has been following our “Unlock” project, inspired by the relaxation of the Circuit Breaker in Singapore. It has been a deeply personal piece and an opportune trigger for us to reevaluate our personal relationships. We hope you were sparked in some small way to do the same.