Latest news

Posted on: 23 May, 2010 | No Comments | Tagged as:

When we started this project a year and a half ago, we weren’t thinking even about using the web until our supervisor suggested we try that option. On retrospect, it was a good choice because it has extended the longevity of the project through this blog and one new story we’ve added in since.

Publishing online has also allowed a local project to reach a global audience. We were recently selected to be featured in the British Council’s Show Us Your City project and a Open Spaces online exhibition by the International Communication Association.

It’s also great to see the next batch of students publish their work online too. These are a few encouraging efforts that help put Singapore stories in a world that Singaporeans are so well connected with:

Food Waste Republic
These students go through rubbish and even go undercover to uncover the problem of food wastage in Singapore, the food lover’s paradise.

Kababayan: Faces of Filipinas in Singapore
A photojournalism project jam packed with stories about the Filipinas community in Singapore

自闭•不封闭 | autism: enclose worlds, open minds
A very thoughtful piece of journalism in Chinese on the problem of autism in Singapore.

Posted on: 24 December, 2009 | No Comments | Tagged as: ,

It’s been over a year since we embarked on this website as part of our final-year project and we’re still at it! We recently added a new story about maids reclaiming a public walkway in the heart of Orchard Road for their picnics and there will be more in the months to come.

In the past months, we’ve also gotten a bit of attention from around the web. Our story about Barber Lee got featured on and The Online Citizen. Unfortunately, the latter reframed our story and the beauty of Barber Lee’s creativity in reclaiming his own space got lost in a discussion about the rich-poor divide instead. Elsewhere, Youth.SG  also interviewed us for their Do Good Interview section too.

On another note, we’ve learnt that the skateboarders at Margaret Drive will have to move out by July because Block 6C will be demolished for redevelopment. Do visit them before it goes!

Finally, we’re always open to new stories, so if you’ve got a tip-off or an idea about people reclaiming land in Singapore, do contact me at justin[at]

Posted on: 10 October, 2009 | No Comments | Tagged as:


It was a simple question she asked at the end of an interview with us, but what Professor Ooi Giok Ling got us to consider became the starting point of Reclaim Land.

We first learnt about her through her book The Future of Space. It guided us in the course of pursing the stories on this website and showed us another side of Singapore we had failed to see. When we finally met her for an interview, her warmth and hospitality touched us. From the vigour and delight she took in answering our questions, we failed to see that she was already battling an illness then.

So it took us by surprise when we learnt that she departed this week on 5 October 2009. We only knew her through her writing and that one encounter, but we think she has left those living in this city that changes so quickly and easily an important question to ponder, “Whose city is it anyway?”.

Posted on: 07 September, 2009 | No Comments | Tagged as:


Thanks to the support of the National Arts Council and the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, we made the trip to see Multipli-City on exhibition in the Ormeau Baths Gallery at Belfast!

Posted on: 30 July, 2009 | No Comments | Tagged as:


The A2-size prints that are on their way to Belfast

Multipli-City, one of our photo galleries, will exhibiting for the very first time and all the way in Ireland as part of this year’s International Symposium of Electronic Art (ISEA). It was selected as part of the juried exhibition that will be on from 8 to 29 August at the Ormeau Baths Gallery in Belfast.

While we won’t be there for the opening, Kang Li (the photographer) and myself (Justin) will be attending ISEA from 23 August till 1 September so we will post some pictures of the exhibition from there!

Thanks goes out to the ISEA 2009 committee, especially Cherie Driver, for extending the opportunity and helping to make this possible!

Posted on: 15 May, 2009 | No Comments | Tagged as:

Thanks to Simin for translating our responses to Chinese so that she could feature us on But for those who cannot read Chinese, it basically features our responses to  two questions:

How did this project come about?

JUSTIN: Essentially we are looking at how ordinary Singaporeans create their own spaces in a city that is often know to be so small that it is just a little red dot. What happens then is that the state will use our small size as a reason to regulate every inch of it and we as citizens often use it as an excuse as to why we don’t like living here.

For me, this idea came about from a course I took in school that taught me how to “read” the city critically. Doing so, you realise there is a lot more possibilities to this city, everything may seem determined and fixed by the government but we can challenge and change the way things are in very small ordinary ways. 

Why did you do it in multimedia form?

KANG LI: Journalism has to go beyond text and incorporate audio and visual elements in order to attract readers today.

Posted on: 09 May, 2009 | No Comments | Tagged as:

fcaBarber in the Alley, our story about the fight for economic space, was picked as the winner of the inaugural Foreign Correspondents Association of Singapore’s Multimedia Journalism Prize for 2009.

You can download the write-up we submitted here.

/UPDATE/ See the photo gallery of the gala dinner where FCA gave out the prize. There is one photo of Justin shaking hands with Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy to receive the prize.


Posted on: 29 April, 2009 | 4 Comments | Tagged as:


Our videos just screened at Filament 2009: A Site for Home tonight and we would like to thank all those who turned up to watch it. If you missed the event, you can still see the videos we showcased here.

On a similar note, we would also like to thank Culturepush and Fivefootway for recently featuring us on their websites too!

Posted on: 22 April, 2009 | No Comments | Tagged as:




Get your copy of Singapore Architect #249, out in newsstands today.

Posted on: 17 April, 2009 | No Comments | Tagged as: ,

Our videos on Reclaim Land will be screening as part of Filament 2009: A Site For Home at the Singapore Art Museum. We will be screening on the 28th April at this annual showcase of final-year projects from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information.

This year’s theme, which came about in retrospect, is the idea of home as many of the documentaries and dramas touched on the family and Singapore.

So do come down and show your support and join us for two nights at home!

Posted on: 24 March, 2009 | No Comments | Tagged as:

Welcome to the official site of Reclaim Land: The fight for space in Singapore. After months of working on the ground to produce these stories, photos and multimedia, we’re glad to finally submit this as our final-year project today.

This website would not have come to fruit if not for the help of the following people and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them:

+ Our supervisor, Asst Prof Cherian George
+ Darren, Johnson and Guangzheng for their technical assistance in the multimedia production
+ The academics who gave us their time and insights
+ Interviewees who agreed to share their stories
+ friends and family who spent the time going through the earlier version and offering their advice and critique

Over the next course of days, we have some good news to announce, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, feel free to leave your comments and start a discussion about how to reclaim land!