singapore-based photographer jonathan tan has unveiled a photo series that highlights the beauty of the 1960s communal dinning areas in singapore’s social housing. shot from above, the aerial photographs showcase shapes and colors that witness their times in a series titled lepak downstairs or relax downstairs.
shot on an iPhone XR with the help of a 3-meter selfie stick, the lepak downstairs photo series by jonathan tan display the old-school stools and tables found on the ground floors of singapore’s social housing units. these spaces were designed to encourage residents to meet and socialize. the public furniture pieces have been captured in such a way that they look like sculptures. by adding byzantine mosaics in different colors, their appearance becomes striking in the balance and purity of the lines.
‘I’ve always found the older designs of these public furniture to be quaint and charming,’ said jonathan tan. ‘unfortunately, these are starting to disappear as HDB estates are refurbished and upgraded with new and more modern designs replacing the old. hence I’ve started this series to capture some of these old-school designs that I can find around singapore, in an angle that I find unique for something so iconic for singapore public housing. in a place where singaporeans could meet to ‘lepak downstairs’, or ‘relax downstairs’ for those not familiar with the singaporean slang.’
name: lepak downstairs (relax downstairs)
artist: jonathan tan
juliana neira I designboom
may 13, 2021