A son carries the portrait of his late father as he enters the viewing gallery at Mandai Crematorium. The late morning sunlight starkly illumines the portrait, yet throws the rest of the gallery into shadow, emphasising the quiet hall as a result of safe distancing measures which limit the number of attending mourners. Makeshift tape markings can be seen on the handrails, which further dictate where mourners may stand. During the height of the Circuit Breaker, only a maximum of 10 persons were allowed during these rites. While recent Phase 3 relaxations now allow 30 persons, it still begs the questions, “Can I be present during the passing of a loved one?”
Melvin HJ TAN is a photographer by passion, and an architect by profession. He is the founding partner of the awardwinning firm, LAUD Architects, yet consciously sets aside time to tell stories through his pictures. He trains his lenses on a myriad of subjects, including architecture, street life, culture and family. His photography work has been featured in several publications, including Architectural Review, Singapore Architect, Cubes, D+A, amongst others. His work was also selected for “Thank you, Mr Lee” (2015), a book tribute to late LKY and is featured on photography initiative platform singlish.org.