Finding Softness in a Place: a Portrait of Jalan Hang Jebat

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The back view of one of the thirty-odd black-and-white houses nestled in Jalan Hang Jebat. Entrances to second-floor apartments are through a staircase at the back, while first-floor apartment doors are found at the front.
“I can’t imagine this kind of space anywhere else.”
“The ones who are drawn to this area, they have to have a certain aspect of their character or demeanour that feels like this place draws them in.”

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Sharon and Indi, next-door neighbours, with their dogs Poppy and Kona.
“Economic growth? It’s time to not think about economic growth. Think about wellness first—is it always a good idea to keep pushing for more density, to maximize density—until what point?”
“Singapore should be an example. Don’t follow what Manila does, or Bangkok. Singapore can be a good example of optimising space.”
Indi and Koma playing at an open field in front of Jalan Hang Jebat.

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Sharon’s spacious living room, furnished with high-pitched ceilings and tremendous care to detail.
Seen from Sharon’s window: a black Mercedes parked by a large rain tree.
KK, the soft-spoken IT engineer, by his small garden backyard.

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When it rains it is loud, and you have to bring the clothes in.

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The pale light of the morning sun washes over these rudimentary buildings.
A giant bird’s nest fern and a heritage rain tree.

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“This place used to be connected to the train station. We used to have trains going by and that was even more enchanting in a way… The feel of it was a bit like you’re always on the move; a bit intrepid.”
“There needs to be something that comes from the top down that values soul more than material.”

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