12 April 2015

Memories of our shores

An awesome exhibition of Juria Toramae's magical memories of our shores! I finally got to see and learn about her work at Points of Departure.
Also, glimpsed at what our shores looked like in the past from the Maps exhibition. All at the National Library. Go have a look before they end!


Juria gave a great presentation yesterday about the marvelous memories of our shores. Some of her thoughts that resonated with me included her idea that the sea is a constant for us, even as our shorelines change. Juria placing photos of memories past on our shores today, it makes me realise that people are a constant too on our shores. How they use our shores, how they remember our shores.
It was exciting for me to finally see her work in real life. Juria superimposed past memories of Pasir Ris, on today's shoreline, with the blue security barrier and floating fish farms and Pulau Ubin on the horizon. AND dead fishes from the mass fish death incident here last month! Sean Yap pointing out the ridiculously large pufferfishes he photographed during the mass fish deaths.
A closer look at the photo. Makes me wonder what Pasir Ris was like before plankton blooms became an issue. And what it might be like if we can better manage the water quality.
In the vast photo of present-day Tuas Merawang Beacon, Singapore's last natural western reef. There are a group of ladies from the past. But dotted on the horizon, really tiny, is me. Three times! (As pointed  out by the others). As well as some of the rest of the regular surveyors. Makes me think of the many many times we visit our shores, to learn and share about them. And hopefully save them when the time comes!
How wonderful to learn that in the past, there were maritime traditions, such as the Jong Cup Regatta at Pulau Jong.
Glimpses too of Chek Jawa past, with my last memory of Priscilla the Pig! (and the airplane that every kid on a Chek Jawa boardwalk tour will comment upon).
A wedding held in the past on this Ubin shore, superimposed on the shore today. Our shores were a part of many people's lives! I hope they can continue to be so.
Thank you Juria for these wonderful memories, old and new, and magically new again for being combined in this whimsical manner. Read also the review of Juria's exhibition on Today Online (also on wildsingapore news).
Juria first joined our trips in May 2014, to Kusu Island. And became a regular on our adventures.
In Jan 2015, Juria rushed over from her work meeting to join us. Thus she now holds the title of the "Worst Dressed for a Field Trip".
Juria will be continuing with her wonderful art and continue to join our trips. Hurray! A book about her work will also be coming out soon! Can't wait!

A few of us also made a quick stop at the Map Exhibition next door to have a look at some of the rare old maps showing the Singapore shorelines before they were changed by reclamation.
The wonderful reefs and shores of Tuas before they were reclaimed.
All these reefs have been lost with the massive Tuas reclamation.
The only sliver of this natural shore left is at Tuas Merawang Beacon, the last natural western reef of Singapore. More in our most recent visit there last month (Mar 2015).
These islands in the South were buried to create Jurong Island.
Jurong Island is now the location of major petrochemical industries.
What Sentosa looked like before its name was changed from Pulau Blakang Mati.  Above it, what Pulau Brani (location of our naval base) looked like before it was reclaimed.
Sentosa Cove (on eastern Sentosa) was created by burying a reef.
The old Changi and Tanah Merah shoreline before they were reclaimed.
Changi and Changi East, and Tanah Merah shoreline today.
This is what the Sisters Islands looked like before they were reclaimed. Ringed by reefs and reef flats, with only tiny natural hillocks in the middle.
Seawalls were built on the reefs to create more land for people to picnic and camp, and encircle swimming lagoons. The lighter green areas in the Google Earth screenshot coincides with the original natural vegetation.
I have long wondered how awesome it might be if we get rid of the seawalls on the Sisters Islands and allow the natural reefs and reef flats to return!

Be inspired too. Go visit these exciting exhibitions at the National Library!

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