August, 2013 Monthly archive


Interested to find out how decisions were made for publishing TWENTYFIFTEEN? Which pictures make the cut, and which end up in trash? Platform and IPA will be hosting a introductory photobook-making workshop very soon, and you can sign up for a slot online. If you have “Liked” us on Facebook already, we’ll be announcing more details there in time to come.

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Lim Weixiang’s Our Coastline, the second book in the series, will be launched on September 3, 2013. We will be giving away five autographed copies.

Sandcastle Day

Here’s how you can win a copy:

Tell us how Darren Soh’s book, For My Son, has inspired you,

with a FB status update,
a blog,
a poem,
a picture,
a song,
a dance,
a rant,
or whatever lah.

share your link,
and allow us to gush.

Deadline for this is 12noon (Singapore Time lah), Sept 3, 2013

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Awed by Darren Soh‘s book, For My Son, the first in our series, journalist Christine Chan penned this poem.

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dover_playground_001_LR Introduction Video + For My Son by Darren Soh

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Sandcastle Day


Edition of three, plus one artist’s proof
S$1200 per print*

* By purchasing a print, you are making a direct and important contribution to the publications of twentyfifteen books. Without your generous support, the financial burden of self-publishing them will be significantly higher for us.

About the print:
– Paper size: 17″ x 22″
– Image size: 15″ x 15″
– Each print is carefully made with the Epson Stylus Pro 4800 Printer, using original Epson inks.
– The paper for this edition is Museo Silver Rag, 300gsm.
– You can find out more about the paper specifications for Museo Silver Rag paper here.
– Signed with title, edition number and year, in ink, recto

Singapore shipping:
– Free hand delivery for any Singapore addresses.
– Each print is delivered in top grade Mylar or equivalent.

Overseas shipping:
- we will work with individual buyer on the best shipping option.
– Additional charges to be borne by buyer.
- Each print is delivered in top grade Mylar or equivalent, with additional protection for shipping

More info about digital printing in general:
- Wilhelm Imaging Research is the world authority on stability and preservation of traditional and digital photographs.

How to make an order:
Place your order by emailing me at or online by clicking here.

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For My Son, Christian.

By the time you are able to fully understand this letter, most of the buildings in this book would have disappeared for good.

Since Daddy is a photographer, I thought it would be more meaningful to share my childhood memories with you through photographs rather than just describe to you what things were like ‘back then’.

You may or may not be interested in old places, but I thought I would photograph some of these old buildings and and put them in a book for you because they were special to me.

There’s Block 82 Commonwealth Close, where I lived till the age of five. I remember playing masak masak along the long common corridors with my neighbours, and also Grandpa and Grandma buying roasted chestnuts on weekends from the hawker who came on a motorbike.

Or that strange bungalow in Punggol called Matilda House, which should be a condominium clubhouse by the time you read this. Grandma’s family used to live in that part of Singapore and they were chicken and vegetable farmers. Some of their neighbours reared pigs too. All these were long gone by the time you were born, but they were still around when Daddy was a little kid.

And then there was the old Methodist Girls’ School at the top of Mount Sophia, better known as Old School in its final days. Mummy used to go to school there when she was a little girl and she has so many warm memories of the place. But sadly the school buildings there did not qualify for conservation, and the government sold the site to a property developer. I guess there will be yet another expensive condominium in its place.

Unfortunately, many places I would love to take you are disappearing for one reason or another, and I do wish that the people involved would think more carefully before they tear down every old building.

In a perfect world, I would show you all these places, where Mummy and Daddy spent many hours when we were younger.

Let’s see if ideas about redevelopment in Singapore change by the time you read this. If not, perhaps my memories and this book will be all that I have for you from these places.

Your Daddy,

Darren Soh

July 2013


20 Geylang Lorong 3 by Day | Demolition in progress, 2013


20 Geylang Lorong 3 by Night | Demolition in progress, 2013

29_havelock_road_001_LR29 Havelock Road | Demolition in progress, 2013


63-66 Yung Kuang Road


82 Commonwealth Close


96 Henderson Road | Demolition in progress, 2013


408 Clementi Avenue 1 | Residents relocated, pending demolition, 2013


Big Splash, East Coast Park | Slides demolished 2007


Pelican Playground, Dover Road Estate | Demolished 2012


Matilda House, Punggol | Conversion to condominium clubhouse 2013


Methodist Girls’ School / old School | Demolition to start 2013


Queenstown Cinema, Exterior | Demolished 2013


Queenstown Cinema, Interior | Demolished 2013


Tanjong Pagar Railway Station | Ceased operation 2011


Adventure Playground, Spooner Road, Old KTM Quarters | Demolished 2013

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Darren Soh is one of the co-founders of PLATFORM, which originated and drives the initiative. Armed with a degree in sociology, he intended to become an academic, but began working as a photographer in 2001 and then started using photography as a way to understand the world. His personal works are extensions of his curiosity about how we live.

In 2009, Darren was named as one of PDN Magazine’s 30 Emerging Photographers to watch. His works are collected by public institutions such as the National Museum of Singapore, as well as by numerous private collectors. He is also a founding member of the National Youth Achievement Award Young Photographers Network (NYAA YPN).

For work, Darren mostly photographs new pieces of architecture, but he leads a double life documenting places and spaces that are in danger of disappearing. He has a particular obsession with vernacular architecture that is deemed too banal or insignificant to be conserved.

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