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Night at Pagoda Street during circuit breaker period

"Took the train for the first time in 2 months to pick up my glasses in the central area. As I happened to chance upon an empty chinatown street, I decided that I just had to capture this rare scene. I got on my knees and I started shooting immediately. I was so engrossed in it that little did I know that a grandpa was watching me from behind. He probably has been observing me for quite a while, but he did not bothered me with what I was doing. I came to noticed him only when I was done with my shoot. As I turned around, he looked at me and said sheepishly, “I saw you were taking photos, so I didn’t want to walk into your frame and destroy it”. I thanked him for his kind gesture. I then noticed his bright red umbrella. As I felt that my photos were missing something - It’s flat and lacklustre, I figured that his red umbrella could help to make the photos pop. I continued the conversation by saying “Ah gong, it’s ok. You can just walk onto the street. No worries.” With a concerned look, he asked, “Are you sure? What if it ruins your picture?”, and I replied with smile, “Don’t worry, you’ll in fact help to make it a whole lot better.” And he went onto the street and continued on with his journey. It has been a cold and rainy day today, and the prolonged pandemic situation has dampened spirits, but this grandpa’s kind gesture made my heart a lot more warmer during these uncertain and unprecedented times." Photo taken at Pagoda Street, 22 May 2020 around 7.30pm--Contributed by Cassandra Keh, as part of the "Documenting COVID-19 in Singapore" collection community call. This photograph shows Pagoda Street during the circuit breaker period. It is empty except for an elderly man passing through carrying a red umbrella. Additional description by Library staff. Title devised by Library staff.

Credit Line

All rights reserved. Cassandra Keh, 2020


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