Since 2009, Bob Lee has been documenting HDB homes in Singapore. These public housing units, sometimes derisively referred to as shoeboxes or pigeonholes, provide accommodation for close to 80% of Singapore’s population. The household portraits, strictly including only the inhabitants of each unit, provide a window of insight into the idiosyncrasies of the archetypal Singaporean home. Strategically taken at dusk, the photographs capture the moment when all members of the household would be reunited for dinner at the end of the day; with the lights on, television blaring, and living rooms coming to life. In inspecting the self-constructed environment that is the home, one may also arrive at a deeper insight of its inhabitants.
Constituting a body of images spanning over a decade now, Memory Blocks progressively takes the form of a time-capsule that encapsulates not just the evolution of changing tastes and preferences of the Singaporean common-man, but moments of communal solidarity as well.
Bob Lee (b. 1976, Malaysia) worked as a photojournalist with Lianhe Zaobao, Singapore’s national Chinese language daily for 10 years, before leaving the newsroom and starting his own photography and videography service – The Fat Farmer. Well regarded for his portraits of iconic figures such as Lee Kuan Yew, Aaron Kwok, and Jackie Chan, he also actively uses his skills to bring social issues to light. Lee lives and works in Singapore.