“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”
– Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
Whether you’re growing up and growing old in New York, Dubai, Shanghai or Singapore, you’ll find that space is one thing big cities don’t have. The biggest and most vibrant cities are always growing, always moving and perennially bursting at the seams, and because of this cities need endless amounts of space – for the next high rise skyscraper, the next noisy expressway or the newest subway line.
If there is no adjoining space on the borders of the city to devour, the city begins to cannibalize itself. In cities like Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore, old neighbourhoods and buildings are constantly being demolished to make way for new ones. But oftentimes it is not simply buildings which are razed to the ground but voices, histories, ideas and thoughts. Sometimes, these perspectives are best broken down and demolished as the city sheds old layers of concrete for newer and sturdier ones. At other times, invaluable ideas and personalities are consumed by the city as it evolves, never to be rediscovered, in the constant struggle for (intellectual and physical) space that is the city.
Perhaps the two paragraphs above seem a little melodramatic and pretentious (having written them, I think so too). Nonetheless, I thought I should do my best to justify giving a blog a name like ‘littleblankspaces’. And therefore this post, in lieu of an ‘about’ page.
I am a citizen of Singapore – no, not a province of China, but a city at the tip of the Asian landmass located right above the equator on the world map. It looks a little like a little red dot. At the time this post is being written, I’m currently serving my full-time National Service – the mandatory period of military service for all Singaporean men that lasts two years and takes place before the start of university education (for most of us).
An aside on ground rules. I welcome comments, but I ask all readers to keep discussions civil and meaningful; I will moderate comments in the interest of excluding those which are clearly irrelevant, hateful or spam. Aside from these, all comments are welcome! I may not be able to reply to all comments because I have other things to do – if this offends anyone, I apologize.
Space allows growth. It’s for this reason I decided to create this blog – as a small space for ideas, musings, recollections and thoughts (I feel) are worthwhile to take root and grow, and hopefully make a difference to someone, somewhere.