Lights. Camera. Culture. | The A List
For many, the yao lan (cloth cradle) is a symbol of comfort, security and nights spent rocking gently into sleep. (Photo: Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre)

Lights. Camera. Culture. | The A List

Retro is back in vogue and old trends are finding new leases of life, from the fashion runways to the interiors of homes. While some pay homage to the past in tangible ways and seek to bring back old designs, others choose to revive instead, memories and ways of life that have been lost to the recesses of time.

One such example is I’ve Cot You, an exhibition by Singapore photographer Zinkie Aw, held at Artspace @ Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre. Through photographs, Aw memorialises the yao lan, or cloth cradle suspended from a spring.

The once ubiquitous cloth cot has all but become obsolete in contemporary Singapore homes, replaced by more sophisticated rocking cots. Indeed, mentions of yao lan might draw blanks from those around you, until you show them a picture of what it looks like.

Aw doesn’t, however, turn the camera’s lenses on babies in those old-fashioned cradles. Rather, the subjects in her pictures are adults, each posing inside a yao lan, with their personal reflections on the cloth cradle accompanying the photos. For some, the cradle represents parenthood, love, hope and promises. For others, it is a reminder of childhood and a symbol of a safe space.

Like the cassette player or floppy disk, the cloth cradle is a personalised trove of memories waiting to be unlocked. And technology, namely digital snaps, might just hold the key to uncovering and preserving those special moments in the otherwise mundane.

Details about I’ve Cot You here.

We can’t wait to share more awesome content with you. This is going to be so much fun.

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