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Project Heartland to capture memories, experiences of HDB residents

The memories and experiences of those living in HDB towns are set to be captured in a new initiative called Project Heartland.

SINGAPORE: The memories and experiences of those living in HDB towns are set to be captured in a new initiative called Project Heartland.

HDB has called a tender for organisations to come up with a master concept, as well as consultancy and project management services.

The project is targeted to run throughout 2015, which is also when Singapore celebrates 50 years of independence.

From neighbourly ties to favourite food haunts and other nostalgic spots -- with more than 80 per cent of Singapore's resident population living in public housing, naturally, many have memories they cherish about living in the heartlands.

Evon Siew, who has been living in an HDB flat for 30 to 40 years, said: "The different culture, the different races holding their weddings at the void deck."

Elwyn Loh, 24, said: "My neighbours when we were young, we liked to play block catching together. So I think it's a very good way of making friends."

And Suzila Kesevan said: "When I was young I had my neighbours always bringing in food during Chinese New Year, or not even any festive period, they just pop into the house with a bowl of laksa, or whatever."

So whether it is changes that have taken place over the years or future aspirations, these are set to be captured in Project Heartland.

According to tender documents, the project aims to reflect the shared memories of residents, creating a sense of national pride while celebrating what it means to be Singaporean, as well as getting the community involved in creating content for the project.

Descriptions in tender documents said extensive community engagement of residents in HDB towns is also expected.

Input could be sought in different towns through a series of events over a number of months.

HDB added all input should preferably also culminate finally as one composite or linked storyline.

HDB said it hopes all these objectives will eventually be expressed through a visual medium of a sufficient scale, so that residents will be able to identify with the project. Visual art forms could include photography, mural arts or even lighting projections.

Assistant Professor Joan Kelly from the School of Art, Design & Media at Nanyang Technological University, said: "Everyone that's going to contribute and participate, they have this shared experience, the new relationships that are formed, different people communicating that wouldn't interact together normally."

The organisation that wins the bid must ensure that visual art forms are displayed or integrated in the HDB heartlands.

The budget for the project is S$300,000. The tender closes on March 10.

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