Two recent graduates of NTU's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) explore Singapore history through old love stories. We check in with Kaiyan and Xue Qiang on what they've been up to since graduating!
Tell us about yourself. How did you meet and come together as a group?
Kaiyan has training in photojournalism and enjoys making films. Xue Qiang is a writer, with a background in journalism. We met in school, and worked together for an overseas reporting module which took us to Iran. A story we did was also featured on The Straits Times. View our past photojournalism work on Iran here and here!
You both graduated this year from WKWSCI. How have your experiences there influenced your approach towards this project, or creative projects in general?
I'd say our education at WKWSCI has trained us to be good storytellers. Be it written or visual, it boils down to how you shape your stories. And you are forced to be really resourceful. Somehow we are always looking for things — finding interesting profiles, finding people to collaborate with, finding locations for film shoots... I guess we have great people skills too and that's very useful when trying to get strangers to open up to us, especially in journalistic work.
As our modules were mostly project-based work, we also have experience in project management and working with multiple parties - which is important as Meantime is a collaborative project involving many writers, photographers, artists and profiles. Our four years in WKWSCI have also equipped us with practical skills in publishing, photography and design.
So what have you been up to since graduation?
Travelling the world! We both also started working full-time, because we need to pay bills and put food on the table. Meantime is our passion project. Our work is pretty similar to what we do for Meantime - essentially we meet people and tell their stories.
"Happy World, which was located near the old Kallang Airport, was a popular hangout for Japanese soldiers, who would patronise the cafes, cabarets and nightclubs there."
Why were you interested to apply for The Future of Our Pasts?
We have always wanted to publish an independent magazine together, and were looking for sources of funding.
Your project title is ‘Meantime’, tell us about that.
The title recalls the phrase ‘in the meantime’, which is the intervening time before something happens that urges us to pause and reflect. It also suggests that the effects of passing time can be ‘mean’ — time as a malignant or unkind force.
Any interesting discoveries so far in your research?
Happy World, which was located near the old Kallang Airport, was a popular hangout for Japanese soldiers, who would patronise the cafes, cabarets and nightclubs there.
"We hope Meantime will spark conversations between the young and old through a timeless topic - love."
What can we look forward to from your project come 2019?
A published magazine, as well as an interactive exhibition, inspired by love stories set in the past. Singapore has amazing stories and we hope to share them with everyone.
What would you like audiences to take away from your project about love, memory or history?
We hope Meantime will spark conversations between the young and old through a timeless topic - love. Perhaps also to encourage others to discover the stories of their own parents and grandparents, and in turn learn about a slice of life in the past.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Look out for our Facebook page launching soon. Let us know if you have any stories to share - we’re happy to listen!
All images courtesy of the team