by ZOU Tong
This project is concerned with those who are out-casted by society and struggle with establishing an identity - a topic I am deeply interested in and can identify with through personal experience.
I started my research by looking into the media of director Wong Kar-wai’s films which frequently depict transient cultures of people who experience a sense of alienation and disjuncture while trying to establish some kind of familiarity within their communities. His films then act as the thematic background in an examination of the increasing social mobility and migration issues within Singapore’s urban context.
Using the same media of film, the thesis proceeds to examine People’s Park Complex in Chinatown; a place filled with activities of a chaotic and cacophonic nature. The filming process helped identify two alienated groups in particular – the new Chinese immigrants and the older generation, paving the way for studying their behaviour and movement patterns.
Finally, the thesis design is a reaction to the marginalized statues of these two groups by creating a series of programs to help them survive and better adapt to the society. At the same time, the project is located on prime land in Chinatown, calling for a need to negotiate the boundaries between the ordered commercial district with the chaotic quarters for the out casted, reminiscent of the tension between the marginalized and main stream culture of Singapore.