FOTO-FOTO: Boomer Dads


15 Feb 2013

I woke up on a Saturday morning in June to find my father fallen asleep in his reclining chair. He looked so tired; somehow older than I remembered. I had never really thought about it prior to that, but it hit me then—the realization of my father’s mortality and the understanding that one day I would no longer be able to count on his reassuring presence in my life.

Baby boomers are defined by the World Health Organisation as those born between 1946 and 1964, during the global surge in births in the post-World War II years, with Singapore's definition varying slightly: 1947 and 1965. No other generation has had so many people ageing at the same time, and according to a study of 52 countries by the US Census Bureau, Singapore's population of those above 65 is expected to treble between 2008 and 2040, a statistic higher than that of any of the other 51 countries in the study.

The Boomer Dads here are born between 1947 and 1965, with children (my peers) who have recently come of age and entered the workforce. They lived through the dramatic changes that accompanied Singapore's progress and laid the foundation for Singapore's present day prosperity. They deserve the spotlight. These portraits are motivated by a desire to capture some measure of their essence while they are still vital and untouched by the ravages of old age.

(I began this series in 2010. Some of the fathers in these portraits have since passed on. I am glad I photographed them.)

Words & Images Lim Weixiang

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