Energy : portraits of production and consumption in Singapore.
Chern, Alphonsus Xianjun.
Date of Issue2008
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
It would be safe to say that there is not one person in Singapore who does not consume energy in one form or another, because every process in living out his daily life requires it – from cooking to commuting. Some forty years ago, many villages, or kampungs, were still in existence, but not all had wired electricity or piped gas. According to personal accounts, residents cooked over charcoal fires and read by candlelight after dark. Today, offshore dwellings that do not receive electricity from the national grid must use tanked gas for cooking and diesel generators for power. But for most Singaporeans, an advanced domestic infrastructure ensures that our energy needs are taken care of in “backroom processes”, freeing us from having to harness it from the elements. Many Singaporeans are not aware of, or do not know, where their energy that powers the television set comes from. Even if they did, the thought would hardly cross their minds as the process of generating electricity is so far removed from their daily lives that it is almost insignificant, unless they happened to be working in a power plant. Two simple tasks – turning on a light switch to see and turning on the gas to cook – exemplify the concept of instantaneous gratification, when our needs are immediately satisfied, and with very little physical effort on our part. Yet the very task of power generation has spawned an entire industry in Singapore, linking other trades such as fossil-fuel suppliers, heavy equipment manufacturers, realestate suppliers, shipping companies, transmission and power sales agencies. This project aims to show the public – through pictures – the nature and architecture of these power sources in places remote enough that they will either never chance to travel there, or have no reason to. Each facility is an icon in itself, one that the public should recognise and appreciate for all the good – and harm – that it does in powering our nation and our lives.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University