French photographer in his 80s donates 182 of his old photos of 1970s S’pore street life

Much has changed but there are vestiges of the past.

Tanya Ong | November 30, 2018 @ 03:48 pm

Old photos of Singapore have surfaced plenty of times.

Take for instance this set of photos taken by an Australian photographer between 1979 to 1981:

These photos from the 1980s show how much S’pore has changed

Or these photos from 1966:

British photographer who took photos of S’pore in 1966 came back in 2016

Recently, another set of photos have surfaced. This time, taken by French photographer Paul Piollet, who is in his 80s now.

Paul Piollet in Singapore

Piollet was in Singapore in the 1970s and captured many photos of street-life here.

This included street food vendors, street opera, and even funerals.

Recently, Piollet donated 182 photos of Singapore to the National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

All the photos can be viewed online.

Here are some of them:

Eu Tong Sen Street/New Bridge Road hawker centre. Photo via NAS.
Chinese funeral procession along North Bridge Road. Photo via NAS.
South Bridge Road/Cross Street junction. Photo via NAS.
Shophouses at Veerasamy Road. Photo via NAS.
Children at Club Street/Genmill Lane. Photo via NAS.
Rochor River, Crawford Street. Photo via NAS.
Hawkers around Smith Street and Chinatown. Photo via NAS.
View of Boat Quay. Photo via NAS.

Not all photographs are labelled

Most of the photographs in NAS come with a description of the place where the photo was taken.

However, some photographs have not been labelled.

The exact locations might have already been built over today. But those who might recognise these places can provide more information to contextualise these images.

Hawker stalls:

Photo via NAS.

Backalley barber:

Photo via NAS.

Corner coffee shop:

Photo via NAS.


Photo via NAS.
Photo via NAS.

Anyone who knows where these photos were taken may submit information via the individual links for each photo.

Top photo composite image. Photos by Paul Piollet, via NAS

About Tanya Ong

Tanya hopes to own a roller skate disco one day.

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