Hidden Singapore: As Told By Singapore Urban Explorers

Skyville by @misterkitt | © Cephas Tan
Skyville by @misterkitt | © Cephas Tan
Photo of Dawn Owlette
12 July 2017

In a high-density metropolitan like Singapore, it is easy to take the urbanity for granted. For jaded Singaporeans the city can become disenchanting: the city-state feels too small, too cramped, and stifling. Yet by the work of urban explorers (urbex) – Singapore can be made fresh again. Armed with an unassuming click on their camera ignites the grandeur of Singapore once more.


Few of us have the luxury of enjoying sights like pilots do, but for young Antonio, he has seen more of Singapore than any of us might be able to. His love for urbex began in 2014 when he bought his first camera. While the majority of the population mechanically went to bed, Antonio perched himself on high places and immortalized remaining movements of the city in streaks of dancing light from passing cars and blinking street lights.

Dempsey by @teenchocolate | © Antonio Poh
Heights of Singapore by @teenchocolate | © Antonio Poh
Dancing Lights by @teenchocolate | © Antonio Poh
Unnoticed Carpark by @teenchocolate | © Antonio Poh


Welcome to the LOOKUP SEASON. It’s suggestive enough, but for the unaware, explore the tag ‘lookupclub’ on Instagram for an adequate introduction. In his #lookup, Zac displays lesser-found tranquility in the geometry and angles of our otherwise bustling Central Business District, and showcases Singapore beyond what our naked eyes can see.

The Ascott by @zacspicy | © Zac Tan
CBD by @zacspicy | © Zac Tan
Juxtaposition by @zacspicy | © Zac Tan


For many Singaporean urban explorers, joy is found in the process of seeking understated places they can call their own – a little sanctuary away from the insane crowds of the peak hours on the highly pressured roads and public transport system. In these place, urban explorers can gather to meet new people, discuss their environment, and share their artistic talents.

Our last urban explorer, Kit, tells us how urbex has helped him not only to preserve fading landscapes, but more importantly, forge ties within the tight community of fellow explorers. He sums up his experience this way: ‘Urbex has taken me to places I have never thought I’ll ever go, made me do things I would have never did and it connected me with countless talented individuals whom I would have never met. Photography has shown me the world. Life is temporary, but photographs are timeless.’

For Kit, no where in Singapore is too far to reach. Urbex has taken him to every imaginable axis of Singapore, driving him to her borders and inducing a photography binge session with other photographers.

Somewhere West I by @misterkitt | © Cephas Tan
Somewhere West II by @misterkitt | © Cephas Tan
Skyville by @misterkitt | © Cephas Tan
Looking Up Skyville by @misterkitt | © Cephas Tan

We cannot deny that Singapore is a relatively small place, but through the photographs of these three urban explorers, the city is displayed through a new perspective. They make us realize that there always is more to be found and discovered.