Is Economic Development Worth It?

The theme for this year's Singapore International Festival of Arts is Post Empires and they encourage audience ownership of issues and themes through O.P.E.N. which is short for 'Open, Participate, Engage, Negotiate'.

First off was the photography exhibition by Lu Gang titles 'The Price of Neglect'. It was held at the Deck and sought to ask what remains after an empire is established.

Holding the photography exhibition at the Deck was pretty cool because we had no idea that a place like this existed.

This is but one of the many photographs taken by Lu Gang and I won't spoil it for you by showing you others. Go experience it yourself. He has a series of photographs that depict the issues faced in China as they pursue economic growth. There are kids who grow up as orphans, having even to bury their own parents who die to HIV as a result of selling blood. Oil spills in the seas that pose dangers to militant personnel. Crops that get poisoned by polluted waters. 

As I walk along the Deck looking through Lu Gang's photographs, I can't help but think, how can people just glance at them and treat them as mere art pieces? The reality that is captured by these photographs tells me the seriousness of the situation and all I can feel is unfairness. Why are they facing this? Why should anyone have to go through this? Why is economic growth that important? Having been through several exchanges in other countries, I seem to have come to the conclusion that   as a person, as long as I can live happily (have a job, a place I call home, one that is safe), that is sufficient. I know that simplifies a lot and life is often more complicated but when you look at how these people suffer just to survive, you will think twice about many things. I left the exhibition with a very heavy heart. China, is known as a superpower, so? At what cost? 

Now on to something more light hearted, 15 stations. 

Held at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, it presents an augmented reality. Created as a downloadable app that can be played on your smartphones, it's quite the experience. Plug in your earphones and as you explore the railway station through the various routes, you get to see the past, present and future of this place.

If you see people raising up their smartphones, nah, they aren't taking photographs. They are scanning various materials located in the station that will show them certain animation. 

All these and more at your favourite Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, one of the places you should check out at least once.

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