A few days shy of Hari Raya 2022 in Singapore, Hafiz Spencer visits the iconic mall during the month of Ramadan to capture the stark difference in activity from 2021.
On 16th May 2021, Singapore entered Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), just as the local Muslim community looked set to celebrate Hari Raya. Only two unique visitors were allowed per household per day, and festive spirits were dampened for the second year in a row following 2020’s Circuit Breaker.
The tightened restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 were reflected in the empty aisles and concourse of Joo Chiat Complex. The iconic mall in Geylang is usually bursting at the seams with shoppers in the days and weeks leading up to Hari Raya.
But with the Ministry of Health (MOH) easing its Safety Management Measures in 2022, Joo Chiat Complex has returned to its lively, bustling glory. This year, crowds in dizzying numbers can be seen making their way down to the mall to do their Hari Raya shopping.
Adding further joy to the festive season, MOH also removed group size limits and lifted the cap on household visitors on 26th April 2022. This means that full family units can now visit the homes of loved ones this Hari Raya without worrying about restrictions.
Ecstatic, photographer Hafiz Spencer visits Joo Chiat Complex to capture the electric pre-Hari Raya atmosphere. And we’ve placed his images next to photos that were taken last year by photographer Hisham Zainal to illustrate just what a difference a year makes.
Copy by Arman Shah
Photos by Hafiz Spencer & Hisham Zainal