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Made in White City

Small Dust Spaces

Whilst playgrounds may figure large in childhood memories, in the scheme of a city landscape they make up only a fraction. The Play Project is photographing Singapore’s play spaces from above.

PHOTOS – Stefen Chow and Lin Huiyi
24.07.2017

A bird’s eye view of a city can reveal its hidden treasures. It is from this vantage point that, edging out from under the high-rise canopy of the modern city, we glimpse one such jewel: a brightly coloured playground.

Stefen Chow and Lin Huiyi’s Play Project documents the playgrounds of Singapore. In a series of 100 aerial photographs, these small but vital spaces are revealed. From an aerial perspective, the skyscrapers that otherwise dwarf playgrounds now fan outwards, allowing the colourfully-patterned spaces to assert themselves as a key part of the city.

Whilst playgrounds may figure large in childhood memories, in the scheme of a city landscape they make up only a fraction. But the impact of play far outweighs its means: it’s creative thinking unbound by expectations or logic, and that in itself makes it an expansive form of development. As perspective here opens up our view on the city, we observe some telling contrasts. In one photograph we can trace play’s trajectory from the small playground to the larger sports pitches next to it; in another, we see one of Singapore’s traditional dust playgrounds, the pale dirt here the same colour as in the building site next to it. 

A city is built not just through infrastructure, but with people too. Whilst the city will be developed through towers of glass and steel, it is in these small dust spaces that children will build their dreams.

singapore playgrounds stefen show

singapore playgrounds stefen show

singapore playgrounds stefen chow

singapore playgrounds stefen chow

singapore playgrounds stefen chow

singapore playgrounds stefen chow

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