This week, we have decided to share another of Singapore’s lesser-known gems and heritage, using one of our favourite mediums; the 35mm film! Although this week has been dedicated to #HolgaWeek, we do not own any Holga cameras. Hence, our camera of choice for this trip to the middle of Singapore is the White Superheadz Ultra Wide and Slim. This camera is commonly known as the toy wide angle point and shoot film camera (special thanks to Sandra’s sister for letting us use it)!
Markets are commonplace to the Singaporean living in the heartlands. In every estate, it is easy to find a supermarket, or the wet market, selling produce, poultry and so on. But the Sungei Road Thieves Market isn’t that kind of a market… rather, the flea market sells all sorts of trinkets, antiques, second-hand items and merchandise!
The Sungei Road Thieves Market is one of the oldest flea market; its inception can be traced to the 1930s, as a lively marketplace. Its name is distinctly derived from the fact that most of the ‘second-hand’ products were actually stolen. Peddlers and hawkers are the transactors, who are just trying to cut a good deal. Clearly, this is the place for you to hone your bargaining skills!
Unlike many modern flea markets in Singapore, the setup for the Sungei Road Thieves Market is rather interesting. Here, sellers lay out their goods on the floor, or on colourful raffia mats. Huge beach umbrellas sheltered the sellers from the weather conditions.
The Sungei Road Thieves Market reminds us of the olden days in Singapore, where the bustling, lively kampung spirit is best captured in flea markets like this. Venturing through this flea market, we felt almost foreign, discovering another aspect of modern Singapore we have not seen before. We were pleased with how our 35mm film was processed and scanned! Shooting this venue using film gives off the authentic olden-day vibes.
Sadly, we did not buy anything from the flea market. Rather, we were admittedly intimidated by the intense stares and heckling going on around us. It is unfortunate that our infrastructure development will force the Sungei Road Thieves Market to close down next year. We can only hope that its heritage and culture will live on in our ever-modernising society.
Till next time,