Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A house that will be gone physically yet will remain in people's memories

Thanks to fellow blogger, Jerome Lim, I learnt about a sound and photography installation titled Villa Alicia that was held from 6 - 11 Aug 2011 in a beautiful old house located along Binjai Park. The house has housed many memories for Dr Nalla Tan, a prominent physician and feminist, and her family since 1970s. This house will be demolished in Aug 2011.

A project about homes and memories, Villa Alicia was put together by Alecia Neo and Clarence Chung. In Villa Alicia, Alecia Neo restaged old photographs from the Tan's family photo album. Clarence, as best as I gathered, did the sound installation.

The main door. It had somehow captivated my attention.

My visit to this house and the installation Villa Alicia triggered me to ponder over what would happen to my personal memories that are associated with a specific place when that place no longer exist. Already, many places where I have personal memories with are no longer in existence. The school buildings that I had my lessons in during my Primary and Secondary school days are no longer around. Thankfully, the memories remain, albeit vague at times.

Perhaps similarly, the members of the Tan's family who had lived in 43 Binjai Park will fondly preserve the memories of their experiences living in the house in their mind. Even when poor health could have robbed one of the gift to remember, the memories would have been etched in the passing of time. With the willingness to let go, the courage to say good-bye and the gratitude for everything that had once happened in this beautiful house, it finally came the time for this house at 43 Binjai Park to become a part of history.

This is one of my favourite parts of the house.
The music room somehow reminded me how therapeutic it is to have a instrument in one's home
and to be blessed to learn to play it.

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