Suddenly The Grass Became Greener
Plant and soil experts came to Singapore in 1978 to study our soil conditions. Our harsh equatorial sun and heavy Southeast Asian rains were not favourable to growing healthy green gramineae. The rains would wash away our topsoil and leach all nutrients.
The experts recommended constant layering of heavy compost fertiliser and lime to our porous soil. The gardener at Istana tested this on his lawns. Suddenly the grass became greener.
“Lee Kuan Yew, adamant about turning Singapore into a Garden City, kickstarted tree-planting in Singapore in June 1963 with a Mempat Tree at Farrer Circus. Through the years, he’d continue to display his love for fauna, in his characteristically unparalleled way. If he loved something, it would flourish. The opposite also rang true.” Excerpt from accompanying essay Towards Arcadia, by Charmaine Poh.
“When she died, it was as if the universe had been snatched from him. He never truly recovered. That death—inevitable, unsparing death—could cripple Mr Lee showed that in the final reckoning, maybe raw human emotions do have the capacity to overwhelm hard-nosed pragmatism.” Excerpt from accompanying essay Obituary, by Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh.
Suddenly The Grass Became Greener by Kevin WY Lee is a book of photographs made in Singapore during her 50th year as a nation, and the coincidental death of her gardener.
― Statement from publisher