Royston Tan showcases 50 first kisses by Singaporeans in latest flick

Where did you have your first kiss? In local film-maker Royston Tan's latest work, 50 pairs of Singaporeans recount their momentous pecks at places such as the Padang, Chinese Garden and Jurong Bird Park.

His short film, simply titled 50 First Kisses, takes people back to the place where they shared that special moment.

Tan, 38, shares: "I could see them getting emotional. They had this unspoken connection to the place."

"They remember that special moment of a first kiss either between boyfriend and girlfriend, or grandmother and grandson."

He is still looking for more pairs to feature in his film 50 First Kisses. The short flim is part of a series of projects inspired by the SG Heart Map, in which Singaporeans share their most memorable moments associated with a particular spot in Singapore - be it under their HDB block, or along Orchard Road, or at their favourite hawker haunt.

Eight creative types, including Tan, will create seven artworks inspired by stories told on the SG Heart Map.

The other seven are Kenny Leck, co-founder of independent bookstore BooksActually; Gwen Lee, founder and director of photography gallery 2902 Gallery; visual artist Michael Ng; multidisciplinary designer and artist William Chan; leading members of street artists Urban Sketchers Singapore Tia Boon Sim and Zaihan Kariyani; and sound artist Zulkifle Mahmod.

These people work in a variety of disciplines and media. Zulkifle, for instance, will collect 100 audio recordings on the theme of special occasions for an interactive sound installation, while Lee will work with five local photographers such as Ang Song Nian and Bob Lee to create an exhibition titled HomeScapes, based on the theme "home".

A sneak preview of Tan's film will be shown this afternoon at SG Heart Map @ Park, held in conjunction with NParks' SG50 Concert Series in the Park at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

Texts curated by Leck will also be showcased on giant inflatables at the park.

He had led 10 writers, including Alvin Pang, Joshua Ip and Cyril Wong, to write poems and stories based on the SG Heart Map contributions on the theme of childhood.

Writer O Thiam Chin was inspired by the recollection of how polytechnic lecturer Quek Wei Ching, 54, used to catch small fish and frogs near a stream next to his school, Keok Ming Primary, now renamed Keming Primary School.

Mr Quek says: "Nowadays, kids don't have this kind of experience, so I shared this happy memory so they will learn how we older folks used to play in a time when there weren't computers and smartphones." O then wrote a short story inspired by the memory.

The other art works will be unveiled progressively from now till November.

Launched in November, the SG Heart Map has since amassed more than 43,000 entries. The public can still contribute memories till next month. They can either submit their entries online at www.heartmap.sg, via the SG Heart Map roving vans, or at contribution booths set up islandwide at places such as shopping malls or community centres.

Eventually, all the contributions will be curated into a giant composite SG Heart Map. Details on the manner of presentation and exhibition venue are yet to be finalised.

For Leck, this project sheds light on the hidden nooks and crannies of the nation."It shouldn't just be about the big moments for the nation's 50th birthday celebrations, but the small ones too. These small moments matter just as much to one or more Singaporeans," he says.

gurveenk@sph.com.sg

For more information on SG Heart Map and to share your story, go to www.heartmap.sg