Through The Lens 2022

The Straits Times Photo Exhibition

The Straits Times exhibition explores Singapore’s journey towards recovery as the Covid-19 pandemic eases and showcases how different facets of society are bouncing back

Singapore supporters cheering at the FAS Tri-Nations Series friendly tournament match between Singapore and the Philippines at the National Stadium on March 29, 2022. ST Photo: Jason Quah
After a two-year hiatus, Spectra, the iconic light and water show at Marina Bay Sands’ Waterfront Promenade, makes its comeback on April 28, 2022. ST Photo: Gavin Foo
As social distancing restrictions ease, people return to the popular weekend picnic spot at Marina Barrage on July 2, 2022. ST Photo: Jason Quah
Devotees and their pets seek blessings from monks as the Thekchen Choling Tibetan Buddhist temple resumes in-person Vesak Day celebrations on May 14, 2022. ST Photo: Chong Jun Liang
Patrons belting out songs at the Cash Studio karaoke outlet in Clarke Quay on April 19, 2022. Family-style karaoke outlets are seeing brisk business as they reopen after going dark for over two years because of the pandemic. ST Photo: Feline Lim
SafeEntry checkpoints at Causeway Point mall being removed on April 25, 2022. ST Photo: Jason Quah
As land borders between Singapore and Malaysia reopen, people walk across the Causeway to Johor Baru in the early hours on April 1, 2022. ST Photo: Jason Quah
Visitors walking through a garden display by local designer B Gurumurthy for the Singapore Garden Festival’s show garden competition at Ngee Ann City on July 30, 2022. ST Photo: Feline Lim
Park users practising qigong at Pasir Ris Park on March 29, 2022, as rules on mask wearing outdoors lift. ST Photo: Kevin Lim
Spectators taking photographs and waving flags at the National Day Parade at the Marina Bay floating platform on Aug 9, 2022. ST Photo: Mark Cheong
Parachutist 2WO Shirley Ng descending at the National Day Parade at the Marina Bay floating platform on Aug 9, 2022. ST Photo: Kevin Lim

Covid-19 emerged in early 2020 and has become one of the biggest global challenges of this decade. Singapore acted swiftly to contain the virus but its spread was inevitable.

Selfless front-liners - from medical staff to foreign workers, from cleaners to taxi drivers - stepped up to the plate, even as their work placed them at risk of infection.

As circuit breaker measures kicked into place here, phrases such as flatten the curve, social distancing, home-based learning and work from home entered the pandemic lexicon.

Gradually, the situation improved as the more infectious Omicron variant overtook the deadly Delta variant in dominance and Singapore became the world's most-vaccinated country following a well-planned vaccination programme.

It was a turning point. 

After more than two years, familiar pre-pandemic scenes of daily life and celebrations are gradually returning.

Gone are the days of mask wearing outdoors, gatherings limited to groups of two or five, and tapping TraceTogether tokens at SafeEntry gantries.

With two teams of seven parachutists who performed in Bishan and Ghim Moh, as well as 10 parachutists performing at the parade, it was the largest deployment of the Red Lions for National Day, and the first to feature three women parachutists. Parachutist 2WO Shirley Ng descending at the National Day Parade at the Marina Bay floating platform on Aug 9, 2022. ST Photo: Kevin Lim
A human sea of red and white sitting elbow to elbow at the first ticketed National Day Parade in three years. Spectators taking photographs and waving flags as they watched the Red Lion parachutists descending from the sky at the National Day Parade at the Marina Bay floating platform on Aug 9, 2022. ST Photo: Mark Cheong
A group of 22 park users practising qigong at Pasir Ris Park on March 29, 2022, as Singapore lifts its rules on mask wearing outdoors. Most of them had their masks off and kept a distance of 1m apart. ST Photo: Kevin Lim
Visitors walking through a garden display titled The time: In the far, far away future by local designer B Gurumurthy, which was awarded Bronze in the Singapore Garden Festival’s show garden competition, at Ngee Ann City on July 30, 2022. Set in a post-apocalyptic world with sculptures crafted from recycled materials, it is one of six show gardens designed by award-winning landscapers as the festival returns after a four-year hiatus. ST Photo: Feline Lim
People walking across the Causeway to Johor Baru in the early hours on April 1, 2022. About 33,700 travellers have crossed the land borders between Singapore and Malaysia as at 5pm on April 1, 2022 since the borders fully reopened at midnight. Of the 27,600 people who left Singapore via the Causeway and Second Link, 9,400 went on foot or by bus. ST Photo: Jason Quah
SafeEntry checkpoints at Causeway Point mall being removed on April 25, 2022. With the announcement on April 22 that vaccination-differentiated safe management measures would be lifted in most settings, malls prepared for a return to business as usual - as it was pre-pandemic. ST Photo: Jason Quah
Patrons belting out songs at the Cash Studio karaoke outlet in Clarke Quay on April 19, 2022. Business roars back to life for family-style karaoke outlets as they reopen after going dark for over two years because of the pandemic. ST Photo: Feline Lim
As social distancing restrictions become a thing of the past, families, friends and couples return to the popular weekend picnic spot at Marina Barrage on July 2, 2022. ST Photo: Jason Quah
After a two-year hiatus, Spectra, the light and water show at Marina Bay Sands’ Waterfront Promenade, makes its comeback on April 28, 2022. Launched in 2017, the 15-minute state-of-the-art production uses fountain jets, colourful visual projections and advanced lasers to explore Singapore’s journey to becoming a cosmopolitan city. ST Photo: Gavin Foo
Devotees and their pets seek blessings from monks at the Thekchen Choling Tibetan Buddhist temple for Vesak Day celebrations on May 14, 2022. After going online for the past two years, the temple ended celebrations with its first light projection show, which transformed the venue into a palace of deities, with various religious motifs projected overhead. ST Photo: Chong Jun Liang
Singapore supporters cheered the Lions on to a 2-0 victory against Philippines at the FAS Tri-Nations Series friendly tournament match at the National Stadium on March 29, 2022. ST Photo: Jason Quah
Nurses having a picture taken with SingHealth deputy group CEO Ng Wai Hoe (in white shirt) and Changi General Hospital’s medical board chairman Siau Chuin (in blue shirt) at the Nurses’ Day celebration on July 25, 2022. Since the coronavirus arrived in January 2020, nurses have been on the frontlines in the battle against the virus, working tirelessly to care for the infected. ST Photo: Kua Chee Siong
The lunchtime crowd, made up mostly of office workers, at Market Street Hawker Centre on April 26, 2022. With the cap on workers allowed to return to the workplace lifted following a major relaxation of Covid-19 rules, the Central Business District regained a semblance of normalcy. ST Photo: Feline Lim
More than 200 people were already in the queue when The Straits Times arrived at Woodlands Checkpoint at 8am on April 15, 2022, the first public holiday since land borders between Singapore and Malaysia reopened fully on April 1. The queue snaked more than 100m past the bus stop near the checkpoint, and even the rain, which started at around 9am, did not deter people from lining up. ST Photo: Kelvin Chng
After two topsy-turvy years, the National School Games were back in full swing with all 29 sports being contested for the first time since the pandemic.

Defending champions Victoria School celebrate after sealing the victory against first-time finalists Geylang Methodist Secondary in the East Zone C Division boys’ volleyball final on July 22, 2022.
ST Photo: Kevin Lim
People queueing outside the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) building on June 13, 2022 when the new rule kicked in, allowing only passport applicants with appointments to enter.

ICA staff (with red lanyards) were deployed to manage the crowds and show them how to use the online portal to check on their application status.
ST Photo: Gavin Foo
Visitors queueing for their turn to take photographs with the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter on the first day of the Army Open House 2022 held at the F1 Pit Building on May 28, 2022.

All 90,000 tickets for the event, held after a five-year break, were snatched up and there were long queues for visitors to try out activities such as an obstacle course and take photographs with military vehicles.
ST Photo: Alphonsus Chern
For the first time since the start of the pandemic, visitors were able to enter the Istana’s main building during an open house to mark the Labour Day and Hari Raya Aidilfitri public holidays.

Visitors queueing up to take a photo with President Halimah Yacob and her husband Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee at the Istana on May 7, 2022.
ST Photo: Alphonsus Chern
Clubbers getting into the swing of action on the dance floor at Marquee, Singapore’s largest nightclub, on July 1, 2022.

The club reopened its doors, after closing in March 2020, to snaking queues that spilt over two floors at Marina Bay Sands' The Shoppes.
ST Photo: Ariffin Jamar
Mr Cai Jun Jie (wearing orange tie) taking a wefie with his wedding party at Changi Beach Park on March 29, 2022.

The 32-year-old nurse was glad the loosening of restrictions fell on the day he was having his pre-wedding photoshoot, which was planned a while back, and he said he felt “liberated”.
ST Photo: Kevin Lim
Motorcyclists waiting in line to enter the ICA at Tuas Second Link just before midnight on March 31, 2022.

Land borders between Singapore and Malaysia reopened for fully vaccinated travellers from March 31, 2022 at 11.59pm after two years of Covid-19 restrictions.
ST Photo: Desmond Foo
Foreign migrant workers in Little India, Singapore on June 26, 2022.

Covid-19 cases among workers living in dormitories here had surged in the early months of the pandemic. By the end of last year, over 175,000 out of 323,000 residents had caught the virus. As a result, they were largely confined to their quarters and work sites in the first 17 months of the pandemic.

Now, they can apply for one of 80,000 passes to visit Little India, Jurong East, Chinatown and Geylang Serai on Sundays and public holidays. Passes are not required for these popular places or anywhere else on other days.
ST Photo: Feline Lim
Office workers with takeout lunch boxes in Raffles Place on April 26, 2022. ST Photo: Feline Lim
Ms Siti Sumainah (far left), 44, and her friend, Ms Resmiatun, 33, both foreign domestic workers from Indonesia, taking a wefie with the Hari Raya light-up in the background, from an overhead bridge in Geylang Road on April 3, 2022, the first day of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Crowds descended on Geylang Serai to soak in the festive atmosphere as the annual Ramadan bazaar returned – albeit on a much smaller scale – after not being held for two years amid Covid-19.
ST Photo: Lim Yaohui
For two years, Singaporeans had to wear masks inside and out or face fines and jail time.

However, even after these restrictions were lifted from March 29, 2022, most kept their masks firmly on.


ST Photo: Kua Chee Siong
Diners helping themselves to the food at buffet eatery The Landmark Restaurant at Village Hotel Bugis on April 30, 2022, when self-service buffets were allowed to resume in Singapore.

The move has been long awaited by many since this popular dining option was canned on April 7, amid the pandemic.
ST Photo: Gavin Foo
The word “Majulah” being formed on the field by attendees holding up pink placards and white umbrellas during the annual Pink Dot SG rally at Speakers’ Corner on June 18, 2022.

Shades of pink covered grass patches and footpaths at Hong Lim Park as Pink Dot returned after two years of virtual rallies, with capacity limits for all events removed on April 26.
ST Photo: Gavin Foo
Workers removing tape to indicate the entrance to Tampines 1 as vaccination-differentiated safe management measures in most settings were lifted on April 26, 2022.

Most venues no longer require the public to check in using the TraceTogether application or token, except where vaccination status checks are still required such as larger events, food and beverage (F&B) outlets, and nightlife establishments with dancing.
ST Photo: Lim Yaohui
For the first Vesak Day in three years, devotees celebrate with physical rituals in large groups to make offerings, meditate and perform traditional rituals such as the “three-step, one-bow” ceremony.

Devotees meditatively circle the perimeter of Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, bowing once every three steps, while chanting mantras or the name of the Buddha on May 14, 2022, the eve of Buddha's birth, enlightenment and attainment of nirvana.
ST Photo: Desmond Wee
As international travel resumes, airports worldwide struggle with soaring demand and staff shortfalls.

As travellers return to Singapore, an increasing number are reporting lost or damaged luggage as a result of issues at their airport of departure, said Changi Airport's main ground handler Sats.

Travellers looking for their luggage at Changi Airport Terminal 3 on June 24, 2022.
ST Photo: Desmond Wee

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