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Melancholic J wrote this on his flickr (from which I stole the above series of photos) - "living in an old district means that you will witness periodic rampant deaths throughout the year". Rampant deaths (sic)! Let me assure you that no such catastrophic thing happens even on the PAP-side of Toa Payoh, though us amps have been noticing the number of wakes held at our block of flats the past year. Almost every other week, someone passes away. Yet every evening when I get home, there would be a group of old ladies chatting loudly by the tables/seats at the void deck - their numbers never falling - where a generous breeze would visit.
J: I tell you something amazing.
J: It's amazing, their uniforms!
Y: Er, whose?
J: All these funeral musicians. I've been watching them for weeks now. Today - the group - they had these bright green pants with light pink tops. Wow. The colours were amazing. Really quite stylo.
I remember a video I saw at this year's Venice biennale by Chinese artist Yang Zhenzhong titled "I Will Die".
Projected on several large screens are close-ups of people simply saying "I will die" in their own language. Each screen features the inhabitants of one city. There was Tokyo, Shanghai, Brussels, New York. The camera rests on each of their faces, silent for a second or two. Male, female, young and old. Then the face breaks into a smile - awkward - or a giggle or completely deadpan, delivers this statement: "I will die". Then the camera pulls away slowly. The evidence of our collective denial/admittance of and flirtation/curiosity with death.
link here to youtube upload by designboom, and another edited version here.