Skip to main content

Advertisement

A Frame In Time

48:03 Min

In Ong Kim Seng’s ’s Night Calligrapher’, we see a man seated and presumably at work in a long alleyway. A lone female customer waits patiently by his side. Letter writers played the important role of helping Singapore’s migrant forefathers write letters to their loved ones in their city of birth. They also doubled as calligraphers for Chinese New Year couplets and ancestral altars.

From this artwork, the story launches into the trade of letter writing. It brings us back to a time when the simple act of communicating to friends and family back in their home countries was no easy task. The narrative spurs an exploration into the past world of letters and airmails. What have we traded contemplative old-fashioned letter-writing for? Progress, convenience, or instant gratification?

A Frame In Time

A Frame In Time - S2E1: Night Calligrapher

31 Dec 2021 10:00pm

In Ong Kim Seng’s ’s Night Calligrapher’, we see a man seated and presumably at work in a long alleyway. A lone female customer waits patiently by his side. Letter writers played the important role of helping Singapore’s migrant forefathers write letters to their loved ones in their city of birth. They also doubled as calligraphers for Chinese New Year couplets and ancestral altars.

From this artwork, the story launches into the trade of letter writing. It brings us back to a time when the simple act of communicating to friends and family back in their home countries was no easy task. The narrative spurs an exploration into the past world of letters and airmails. What have we traded contemplative old-fashioned letter-writing for? Progress, convenience, or instant gratification?

A Frame In Time

About the show:

In Season 2 of A Frame In Time, we continue to tell stories of Singapore’s past, pausing at poignant moments in the 1970s and 80s.

Film auteur, Kelvin Tong helms the series again, interweaving fiction and non-fiction for a unique approach to documentary story-telling.

In Ong Kim Seng’s ‘Night Calligrapher’, we see a man seated and presumably at work in a long alleyway. The narrative spurs an exploration into the past world of letter-writing.

Widely regarded as one of Singapore’s most important artists, Liu Kang’s painting of a ‘Young Girl with Discus’ is infused with a playful energy. This portraiture initiates our conversation about women in sports, featuring Patricia Chan, Glory Barnabas, K Jayamani, among other sporting icons.

The last episode features a mixed media abstract collage, ‘Hunting Elephants in the Batik Forest’ by artist Tumadi B. Patri. We trace the origins of wayang kulit puppetry in Singapore and explore its eventual demise to the likes of radio, cinema, and television.

Latest Episodes

Advertisement

You May Also Like

Advertisement