Singaporean artist Darren Soh has spent more than ten years photographing buildings from Singapore’s early independence years for his photobook “Before it All Goes.”
The architecture Soh focused on is threatened with disappearance as Singapore re-develops and re-shuffles. None of the older buildings built after Singapore gained independence in 1965 is conserved or under protection. Developers acquiring these buildings often demolish and rebuilt in order to maximize the land on which they sit.
Soh’s work not only preserves – at least in photographic record – some of the threatened buildings but also questions the role architecture plays in defining and constructing identity, and how old and new should be balanced in a city of limited space.
Mixing exterior, interior and detail photographs, Soh features the following buildings in his book: Pearl Bank Apartments, People’s Park Complex, Golden Mile Complex, Golden Mile Tower, Bedok and Buona Vista Swimming Complexes, Queenstown Cinema, Tanglin Halt Estate, and Rochor Centre.
Essays by Yeo Kang Shua, Yu-mei Balasingamchow, and Darren Soh himself conclude this beautiful documentation of Singapore’s disappearing modernist architecture.