About the Project

Everyone has a story to tell, and everyone has a movie in them too! In these three AKAN DATANG short films, our senior-participants share with us on screen their stories about their hopes and fears of what’s coming soon. Using documentary footage of themselves as a starting point and weaving in the images of a lifetime that were excavated from old photo albums, each film tells us how each senior-participant has been differently dealing with the delicate issues of death and dying that are present in their daily lives.

Closer - Akan Datang - Jasmine Ng

Grandma and Grandson Go Shopping (in Mandarin and English)
by Tan Choon Hui & grandson Ken Chiu

For Choon Hui, her husband’s passing evoked an unexpected response from her grandson. An awkward tip-toeing around a difficult topic becomes a more confident dance shared between Grandma and Grandson, in the way they grieve for a loved one. And a shopping trip together to buy Ah Gong’s favourite things becomes a special way of remembrance.

Ruku’s Photo Album (in English)
by Rukumani d/o Rajoo Naidu

Looking through Ruku’s photo album is like looking at fashion changes through the decades. We also see how different dressing marks different milestones in her life – from a child to a student, to a working adult, to a young bride… until she decides that she no longer wants to “dress the part”. Breaking away from traditions of appearance that surround a departure in the family – she learns to deal with death and dying in her way.

Susie’s Void Deck Voices (in Mandarin)
by Susie Ng Chai Ha

The void deck is a space not quite here nor there: it’s not outside, but also not inside or “home”. Susie’s neighbours and husband share the same feeling: that “not here”, “not there” feeling, like they are just waiting for something to happen, for that unexciting finale that many dread. But she feels differently and chooses to see beyond – something else to look forward to.

Creation Process

Over several months, some Chong Pang senior-participants attended filmmaking workshops and tried out a series of film exercises to express their stories about end-of-life issues.

Gradually with each week, more intimate recollections were generously shared and received. Including sharply etched memories of experience with death and dying, loss and grief, of joy and regret from their childhood and across their adult years. These then became film scenarios that were acted out and re-imagined/re-scripted. A process of re-thinking the choices that the senior-participants, their families and friends have made.

Closer - Workshop - Jasmine Ng

From the setting-up to the screening and post-show sharing, the project aimed to build a communal cinematic experience to celebrate together. “We invite you, our neighbours and guest visitors, not just to be our audience, but also to help “build our neighbourhood cinema”.” That is why the project asked everyone to bring their cinema seats to the pop-up screening of their neighbour’s new film, “now showing” just below their block.



Artist Jasmine Ng

Jasmine Ng is a film-maker/educator with extensive experience directing and executive-producing, from award-winning shorts (Moveable Feast) to feature film work (Eating Air) and broadcast work for international channels (Discovery Channel, National Geographic). She has served on many film juries and pitch panels in Singapore and in the region.

As a film lecturer, she has taught at local and regional institutes and arts centres and has mentored for the National Arts Council (NAC) Young Artists series as well as their SilverArts programme for seniors. Jasmine has also conceptualised cross-disciplinary works for civic arts engagement projects like IPS PRISM for the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS).

Participant Art-Makers

Susie Ng Chai Ha

Rukumani d/o Rajoo Naidu

Tan Choon Hui

Film Screening

Closer - Akan Datang - Jasmine Ng
Closer - Akan Datang - Jasmine Ng
Closer - Akan Datang - Jasmine Ng
Closer - Akan Datang - Jasmine Ng
Closer - Akan Datang - Jasmine Ng

Workshop Process

Closer - Workshop - Jasmine Ng
Closer - Workshop - Jasmine Ng
Closer - Workshop - Jasmine Ng
Closer - Workshop - Jasmine Ng
Closer - Workshop - Jasmine Ng

Community Voices

“I am unafraid of living, illness, dying; I am prepared.”

Participant Art-Maker of Akan Datang