A blanket of mist hung over the broad expanse of farmed land, the dawn light muted as it filtered through. At first glance, it’s unclear where the drone video was recorded. Somewhere in rural South-east Asia—Cambodia, Malaysia, or Vietnam—perhaps? Not Singapore, surely.

If what you’re used to seeing of the city-state is her gleaming skyline, an urban planner’s concretised wet dream, then this bucolic dreamscape is likely to come as a surprise. Not for Chai Sheau Shi, however, who is scrolling through hundreds of similar videos and photographs in various shades of green—from wide shots of verdant fields to close-ups of wildlife: a butterfly emerging from its cocoon; a paradise tree snake peering from its perch on the Bodhi tree; fireflies and the full moon lighting up pitch dark, countryside Singapura.

One of the few places in Singapore where children still hope to catch fireflies. Photograph by Ore Huiying for Jom

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