S'pore-based photographer shoots Tiong Bahru & gives it cinematic Wong Kar-wai feel

As if Tony Leung & Meggie Cheung might appear at any moment.

Belmont Lay | November 22, 2020, 05:03 AM

A photographer based in Singapore has given the highly gentrified neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru the cinematic Wong Kar-wai feel: Saturated, pensive, and pregnant with ambiguity.

Nikko Pascua: "The lovely walk up apartments of Tiong Bahru at night."

Nikko Pascua: "The staff of Plain Vanilla are putting up decorations for Christmas already. ✨"

Nikko Pascua: "Ah Chiang is our go-to porridge place whenever my girlfriend would visit me. It was my first time seeing it at night, and it looked like a set off of a Wong Kar-wai film."

Nikko Pascua: "Some kitchen staff who are finally having their meal, after cooking up so much food during their dinner service."

Nikko Pascua: "Man, I wish I can be this level of chill again."

Nikko Pascua: "Ending this set with this uncle probably on his way home. How many of us won’t be finding our way home for the holidays cos of COVID? 🙋🏻‍♂️"

Same photographer who shot Tiong Bahru earlier in 2020

The photographer, Nikko Pascua, 28, hails from the Philippines.

He has been based in Singapore for a few years now.

Pascua previously told Mothership that he wanted to capture the things that he felt "give life to Singapore but are often overlooked".

In a previous set of photos on Singapore, he wrote: "Often, Singapore is labelled as boring, with nothing much to do after you’ve been to the Marina Bay area and Sentosa. But if you know where to look, this city will always have something more to offer."

Pascua, who does food photography by day, said he had wanted to portray Singapore through the lens of someone who had lived here for over two years.

He previously also shot Tiong Bahru and put up those photos in February 2020.

People in photos

And there is also a reason why he composes his shots to always contain a human element by having people inside.

With people becoming one of the subjects of the photos, the audience immediately feels like there is a deeper narrative and have someone to relate to.

Lifelong passion for photography

Pascua has been dabbling in photography since he was a kid.

He started out with film cameras and has since progressed to sophisticated DSLRs.

"I love pictures and how they serve as documentations of moments," he explained.

All photos via Nikko Pascua