Memories Are Made Of These


This is a favorite title which many bloggers, singers, writers would choose.

It is a simple catchphrase for everyone to be attracted and easy to remember.

On this blog, “Memories are made of these” is excerpted from an article by Audrey Tan published in The Business Times on 9 March, 1993.

Audrey was on a three-week-long event designed to rediscover what we’ve forgotten.

20140922_131443_smA memory search in progress at Pulau Ubin:  performers try to get in touch with nature, and hence, themselves.

The following are memorable photos taken at Pulau Ubin over 20 years ago when my daughter and son were still young.  Same place, different times.

may and wei at pulau ubin_sm


According to Singaporean playwright Kuo Pao Kun:  “There is a need to search, to rediscover things from the past, and to record them in documents or artistic works”.  Memory, he says, is what defines our identity and Memories – The Search For An Understanding in a three-week stay in Pulau Ubin to understand our past, to search for our identity in works of art.


Kuo Pao Kun ( 郭宝崑 1939 – 10 September 2002) was a playwright, theatre director, and arts activist in Singapore who wrote and directed both Mandarin and English plays.

He founded three arts and drama centres in Singapore, conducted and organised a number of drama seminars and workshops, and mentored Singaporean and foreign directors and artists. Kuo is acknowledged by both locals and foreigners as the pioneer of Singapore theatre, and was awarded the Cultural Medallion in 1990 for his contributions to Singapore theatre.

His plays are characterised for their dramatic and social commentary, use of simple metaphors and multiculturalism themes, and have been staged locally and internationally.

Its organizers at the Substation believe that memories is an essential program for all who ask that fundamental question:  Who, and what, am I?

“How can we ever answer that if we do not look at our history and our memories?” asks Kuo.

Relevance is important, since he believes that memories are both collective and personal – understanding is for the individual to define.  The search may be for a personal identity or a community identity.  Shared memories may be those of the family, the community or the nation.

But it’s also humanity:  the diverse but common memories, which explains the presence Sally Morgan.

The relevance of their art to Singapore lies in the common strands of memories we share as part of the human race.  “if we are sensitive, the memories of other people’s art will also be inspirational.  Why else do we read books and watch films?

Kuo sees artists as more “intuitive” but “writers are crucial to understanding.  They are more analytical, and we need this layer to get deeper into interpreting our memories”.

“We do not have a single collective memory.  Instead, what we have are strands which combine together to form an alloy, how are we going to understand the alloy?”

According to dictionary definition,  “memory is the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information;  something remembered from the past”.

Ms Angeline Koh, the founder of TYROS, said:  “I had the honour of being commissioned to create a digital story for Mr Lee Kuan Yew in 2012. The video was presented to him at the launch of Havelock View Estate.

I crafted the story around the theme of Promises because Mr Lee made a promise to provide homes for the victims of the Bukit Ho Swee Fire in 1961. May the generations that follow honour our commitment to build our nation, to care for our people and Singapore our home. Thank you Mr Lee Kuan Yew”.

Thanks James for the sharing your story. Please help me honour Mr Lee Kuan Yew by sharing the digital story. Thank you.

TYROS presented the Promise – Bukit Ho Swee story.

PM Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally speech — English on 14 August, 2011.  At the rally,  PM said:

Recently, I attended the launch of Singapore HeritageFest and I made a speech about these human stories and emphasised how important they were.

It prompted a response in the TODAY newspaper by a lady, Angeline Koh, who is working on digital storytelling and I think I should read a little bit of what she said because it resonated with her.

She said, “What are memories and shared experiences but stories. And storytelling is what Singapore as a nation needs. There are unsung heroes in our midst, there are people we meet each day in our homes and in our schools, at work and in play. Our children need to realise they are heroes in the making. They have the power to become heroes by the brave and sacrificial choices they make to live well and for the good of others”.

Prime Minister mooted the launch of the Singapore Memory Project.  The Singapore Memory Project (SMP) is a whole-of-nation movement that aims to capture and document precious moments and memories related to Singapore; recollections not merely from individual Singaporeans, but also organisations, associations, companies and groups.

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