Many people, especially those just starting out on their Eye ē City journey, had always asked us to explain in simple terms what exactly is Eye ē City? We often reply with the words “preservation of culture”, “collective memories”, “to record what that may be disappearing”, “to care for our society through images”, “a socio-cultural movement”, etc. Do these words give a complete picture of Eye ē City? What is Eye ē City?
I like to talk to participants returning to submit their images. Some will happily share that they had taken photos whilst having a wonderful time with their family and friends. I listened, nodded my head and collected the images. Some will excitedly relate about how they had never known that such a person, event or thing existed in their neighbourhood or workplace. I listened, nodded my head and collected the images. Some tell about how after a year’s preparation, they finally captured their desired image or express their disappointment in not being able to. Again, I listened, nodded my head and collected the images. Some will secretly reveal that they had gone to places unfamiliar to them to take photos. Still, I listened, nodded my head and collected the images. Some dishearteningly tell us that this year they were not able to capture any good images as they could not find any good topic. I listened, nodded my head and collected the images.
I like the movie, “To Live” which was directed by Zhang Yimou and adapted from a novel. I have a friend who commented that he did not understand what the movie is about and that it has no head or tail. I told him this is how it is “to live”. As long as you are not dead, you just have to keep walking. As long as you keep walking, there will be a road. However, everyone has their own fortunes which lead them down different paths. Despite this, it is a path chosen by oneself. I think after returning from the journeys you have since embarked, you will have some thoughts on what Eye ē City is about.
I have always felt that Eye ē City is a movement that sows seeds. What we need to do is to sow the seeds of our beliefs in everyone’s hearts. When will it blossom? When will we taste the fruit? What kind of flower? What kind of fruit? Will it even blossom or bear fruit at all is anyone’s guess. It is the responsibility of every participant to let the seeds grow. We only sow the seeds.
Eye ē City had sustained a total of nine years since it began in 2002. We took over the reins of organizing the event from 2004 to 2010. It has been an arduous road through the years. Many a times, we had wanted to give up. But somehow, manage to pull through. When we announced in early November 2011 that Eye ē City will be discontinued, many expressed their sadness. If by discontinuing the event has made everyone hold it dearer, it may be a gain after all. Sometimes, stopping to smell the flowers may give us the time and space to develop a more profound cultural and spiritual thinking.
When Mr Martin Liew and Mr Aaron Teo officially offered to take over the organizing of Eye ē City in December 2011, we were elated. Both of them had been participants and volunteers and had new ideas for Eye ē City which we do not object.
New organizers, new procedures, new content, it will certainly be a different Eye ē City. It may take getting used to. However, we hope that you will continue to support Eye ē City events. In any case, we hope that you will in your own way, continue walking.
Do walk on and not stop.
Ang Chong Leong
Eye ē City
2004 – 2010
(Translated by Tan Siang Bee)