The first time I went to the MacRitchie Forest was when I was fifteen; it was during my secondary school cross-country activity.
On February 2016, about nine years later, I went back the second time. Technically, each visit always felt like the first as the forest is gradually changing day by day.
My first experience in the forest was better than I had imagined and anticipated. I would not be the first and the last person saying this, but the forest is impressive. I was absolutely in awe.
I was too amazed by the large community we have on social media platforms for photographers and enthusiast to share their photographs and findings in the forest. It helps to keep track and at the same time, to discover. I was too in awe from the photographs I’ve seen and had asked myself the typical question, ‘is that animal indeed found in our local forest?’
Many times, we don’t look. Hence, we don’t see.
The first animal I spotted was the Common Sun Skink (Eutropis multifasciata). It was scurrying back into the forest litter as I walked past it. Spotted might seem like an overstatement as I felt the skink had spotted me instead.
The second animal I saw was the Gold-ringed Cat Snake (Boiga dendrophila). This particular encounter was a little comical. I was about to walk through a naturally built arch along Venus loop when I heard a seemingly loud and sudden rustling noise. Looking up, the cat snake on the arch had slipped its tail and was dangling mid-air.
And many many more animals that I discovered during my subsequent visits.
From then, I started documenting my journey in my forest and captured my findings, hoping to share and articulate my experience through a series of photographs. In each photograph, I hope to recreate my experience of what I saw as closely as possible, which means that the readers will have to search for the ‘hidden’ animal in the scenic view of the forest.
Although finding the animals in the forest wasn’t as easy, but it was satisfying and all worth it.
I am, too, excited to be able to share a total of 86 photographs taken by 25 different photographers paired together with the book.
An exhibition will be held at Plain Vanilla Bakery (1D Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168641) from 20th May 2017 to September 2017. On 21st May 2017, there will be an official book launch from 4pm to 5pm.
The books are retailed at the following stores:
9 Yong Siak Street,
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
2 Conservatory Dr,
Plain Vanilla Bakery
1D Yong Siak Street,
Plain Vanilla Home
Tan Boon Liat Building
315 Outram Road 08-06,
All proceeds from the book will go to the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.