Just 10 minutes from urbanised Singapore’s northeast shore is a small island that for many years seemed out of the reach of development’s concrete hand. On this island, Pulau Ubin, picturesque emerald quarry lakes blend with lush tropical forests, stretches of old rubber plantations, fruit orchards and fish farms.
Laid-back kampung scenes coexist with weather-beaten boats and grumbling taxis, evoking memories of an earlier, less hectic era of Singapore’s History.
Most of all, the island teems with flora and fauna, a miniature paradise of biological diversity. It is a place where sea eagles still soar over the coast, where will pigs and junglefowl still rule the forests, giving way once in a while to big mammals like the tapir, the elephant and possibly a tiger.
A tireless photographer and writer, Chua Ee Kim has put memories, oral histories and many of his own wonderful photographs into a loving tribute to an island that is ours to treasure.