People born on Aug 9 tell their stories in SG50 photo project
Photographer plans to feature 50 S'poreans born on Aug 9, from the years 1965 to 2014
Were you born on Aug 9?
For more than a year, photographer Tay Kay Chin, 49, has been searching for people born on National Day for his project, August 9 Babies.
He wants to profile 50 Singaporeans born on Aug 9 - one born each year since Singapore gained independence in 1965 - and has been hunting for his subjects via social media and word of mouth.
It started in 2003 when Mr Tay decided to photograph 40 people born on Aug 9 for Singapore's 40th birthday.
"I was also born in 1965, and at that mid-life stage I was trying to figure out what it meant to be a Singaporean, to live in Singapore," he said.
Back then, he publicised his project through appearances on TV, radio and print media to find his subjects.
After two years, he completed the 40 portraits in 2005, and was able to print 4,000 copies of the portraits, which were displayed as posters around the country.
Last year, Mr Tay was commissioned by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to create 50 new portraits of people born on National Day, as part of LTA's Art in Transit programme. The portraits will become a permanent display at Marina Bay MRT station and will be installed by late July.
Doing the project a second time, however, has not necessarily made it easier.
Mr Tay found it difficult to find profiles of those born in the past 10 years because there were few parents of young children in his usual network of contacts.
About fifteen of the 50 profiles will come from his previous project in 2003, and they will be photographed again. Mr Tay had wanted to feature more of them again but he had lost some of their contacts.
He also had to turn away some people with similar profiles, because he felt it was important to feature a diverse group of Singaporeans that represented local demographics.
But there are still some missing years in his project (See report on right.).
For Mr Tay, it was most rewarding to visit people he had photographed a decade ago and see how they have changed.
One example is Faris, then eight, who told Mr Tay that he wanted to be a footballer. Now 18, Faris is an ITE student studying lighting and sound design, and an aspiring photographer.
Mr Tay said: "The feeling of walking into a place I was in 10 years ago and having them treat me like a long-lost friend is priceless. It makes me want to repeat this project every 10 years."
Are you an August 9 baby?
Project August 9 Babies is still looking for Singaporeans born on Aug 9 in the following years: 1970, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1984, 1986, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2009 and 2011.
If you are an Aug 9 baby born in one of those years or know someone who is, send proof of Photo ID with date of birth to project producer Bernice Wong at 9769 8301, or e-mail her at email@example.com
PHOTOS: TAY KAY CHIN
Lee Seng Hang
Senior engineering officer at Land Transport Authority
He was born on the same day as Singapore. His mother had told him that many roads were closed on that day.
As a result, an ambulance took the newborn and his mother home from the hospital.
The road he grew up on, Holloway Lane, no longer exists. In its place is the National Library.
"Every year, I will cut a cake and, of course, there are the free fireworks," he said.
IN THIS YEAR Singapore became independent from Malaysia, announced a tearful Mr Lee Kuan Yew in a televised press conference.
Prashant Ryan Joseph
Senior IT consultant and musician
"Beer-loving guitar player in a death metal band working in IT" is how Mr Joseph describes himself on Twitter.
His interest in music began after he listened to a cassette by heavy metal band Iron Maiden, which had been discarded by his brother.
Now, he is an IT consultant by day and a musician by night.
IN THIS YEAR Two major floods were recorded in the months of November and December, causing seven deaths, including that of a 10-year-old who fell into a drain.
She has been to every National Day Parade or the preview every year, as far as she can remember.
Ms Tan was inspired to study law as an undergraduate because of the US legal drama Matlock. She said: "I get to argue and be paid for it."
Although she lived overseas with her family in London and Boston for several years as a child, she felt that Singapore was a more familiar place to her.
She returned to Singapore after her law studies in the UK and is working in the civil service.
IN THIS YEAR Mr Wee Kim Wee, who started his career as a journalist, became the fourth President of Singapore.
Administrator in a logistic company
Coming from a family of National Day babies, Ms Lee has a younger brother and an aunt born on Aug 9 as well.
She is a foodie whose life mission is to discover all the cafes in Singapore and the world.
Ms Lee wanted to be photographed at the new building at National University of Singapore because she liked that "it is new".
IN THIS YEAR Singapore Airlines Flight 117 was hijacked, but all hostages survived after the four hijackers were killed by Singapore Armed Forces commandos who stormed the plane at Changi Airport.
2003 & 2004
Karanpaul Singh & Natasha Kaur
Primary 6 and Primary 5 pupils, respectively, at Changkat Changi Primary School
The siblings were born exactly a year apart.
Karanpaul, who was born in 2003, had his birth induced, while Natasha, born in 2004, was delivered naturally.
Despite having the same birthday, they have different interests. She loves to play basketball while he likes football.
But they both do not really get along with their older sister, a first-year student at Republic Polytechnic.
Their mother, Madam Narinder Kaur, who works in an insurance company, said: "Their sister is still upset that she wasn't born on August 9.
"She notices that most of their family holidays are during her siblings' birthday."
IN THIS YEAR In 2003, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) outbreak caused 33 deaths.