Photojournalists document and capture moments – happy or sad – through the lens of our cameras.
Each of us has thousands of images from this year. We are participating in some or, more likely, observing them from afar.
Collectively, there are probably more than a million visuals that show glimpses and fragments that make up our lives.
We each share a moment from 2022 – frozen in time – as we celebrate and look back on the year.
New Year’s fireworks being set off during celebrations near Housing Board blocks in Commonwealth on Jan 1, 2022.
For me, the year was filled with many firsts, including taking up new hobbies, travelling for the first time since Covid-19, and several life-changing decisions.
ONG WEE JIN
This year, we were able to watch fireworks at the Marina Bay once again as the National Day Parade (NDP) returned as a full-scale event for the first time in three years.
2022 was a year of many firsts, watching my toddler go through new experiences, especially with Covid-19 restrictions in place.
He had not known what fireworks were and when the first ones burst in the sky, it startled him. My two-year-old jumped and clung to me for safety.
I observed him as he watched the entire display in silent awe, the embers glimmering in his eyes.
When it ended, he said: “Again, again?” And we were back at Marina Bay again the next few weekends during the NDP rehearsals.
KUA CHEE SIONG
A man walking along a footpath in Toa Payoh Crest on Feb 17, 2022.
Like the twists and turns in the footpath, this year has been one of ups and downs for me.
I have learnt that life does not always go your way, but to always make the best of what you have and appreciate the beauty that lies around you every single day.
A woman waiting with her dog outside a veterinarian in Sunset Way on April 4, 2022.
From Apr 26, vaccination-differentiated safe management measures were removed from all settings except for events with more than 500 participants at any one time, nightlife establishments where patrons dance, and food & beverage outlets.
Social distancing was also no longer required between individuals or between groups later in the year.
For the first time in more than two years, the Republic’s disease outbreak response system condition (Dorscon) level was stepped down from orange to yellow, in what Health Minister Ong Ye Kung called a major milestone in Singapore’s pandemic journey. Dorscon gives an indication of the disease outbreak situation and measures needed to control infections.
This image is a reminder of what was.
My daughter Clovelly, who will be turning three in January, taking her first of two Covid-19 vaccination jabs at Queenstown Community Centre on Nov 5, 2022.
The vaccination exercise for children for six months to four years old had just started a few weeks prior.
Starting on Oct 25, almost everyone above six months old can be protected from getting seriously sick from Covid-19 because Singapore began offering vaccinations for children between the ages of six months and four years.
This also meant she could explore the outdoors more often and mingle with her friends.
Her cry from this vaccination was louder, even though she had taken other jabs before. My wife and I were worried about the side effects and wondered if taking this vaccine was the lesser of two evils.
Plush toys packed inside a claw machine at Beauty World Plaza in Upper Bukit Timah Road on Sept 20, 2022.
Seeing these plush toys squished against the front of a packed claw machine reminds me of the crowds that have returned in full force as the country reopened with the easing of Covid-19 measures.
While returning to “normality” has its perks, I cannot deny a part of me misses the quieter, emptier Singapore of 2020 and 2021.
Three-year-old Chang Xiao Wan with her mother Wang Yalu, 37, and father Chang Jia Ming, 37, picking up litter in Orchard Road as part of the SG Clean Day initiative on October 30, 2022.
Mr Chang thinks that it is important to cultivate cleaning as a good habit, and doing it together promotes family bonding.
Covid-19 took a toll on the mental health of many people during the past few years due to uncertainty, disruptions in daily routine, as well as concerns for the health and well-being of family and loved ones.
As time passed, we became accustomed to the disruptions caused by the new normal, even appreciating working from home and spending more time with family.
A boy interacting with a mechanical dinosaur outside West Mall in Bukit Batok Central on May 29, 2022.
It was part of the decoration and display for the Jurassic Alive event for shoppers held by the mall.
For me, the quirky moment represents Singapore moving towards post-pandemic life, where people can head out together for activities, events and have fun again, albeit cautiously.
A double rainbow forming over Bistro at the Park in Pasir Ris Town Park after a late afternoon shower on Jan 4, 2022.
This picture represents my family’s journey from trepidation to relief.
My wife and I stumbled upon this double rainbow after completing a detailed scan that morning with our gynaecologist, and it felt as though our rainbow baby was reassuring us that he will join us on his estimated due date in May 2022.
We had to terminate a previous pregnancy because of complications detected through a similar detailed scan in 2021.
As 2022 draws to a close, we are grateful parents to a seven-month-old boy who lights a room up with his laughter.
Seven-month-old Lim Kayen (left) grabs the hair of his brother Kiran, 4, who was playing with him at home on Nov 26, 2022.
This was a year of beautiful chaos as I juggled – and struggled with – work and family as a mother of two.
Like many working mothers, there is always worry and guilt about finding sufficient time to meet work and family commitments, and not being enough. Although there was pain and tears, there was also joy and laughter.
Everyone has their own battles to fight and inner demons to vanquish. As much as it has been tough, I am beyond grateful for the love and support from family, colleagues and friends, who keep me going even at my lowest of lows.
This is my image of 2022 – a reminder to embrace the chaos, that it is okay not to be okay, and to count my blessings, not the sleepless nights.
Mr Chai Kien Chin, owner of Fire Flies Health Farm, at work in the farm on June 17, 2022.
Fire Flies Health Farm, an organic vegetable farm in Lim Chu Kang Lane 2, closed on July 12 after 25 years. The land was handed over to the Singapore Land Authority on Aug 22 as the Government had earmarked the land for military use.
Along with it, the family’s two Thunder Tree food outlets in People’s Park Centre and VivoCity stopped operations at the end of May and June respectively.
I wonder if there is a place for soil-based organic farming in Singapore, as it pushes for high productivity and high technology use for agriculture in this land-scarce country.
Ms Emmylou Almeda, 42, takes a break at the void deck of her rental flat in Bedok, after shopping for items to pack into her care package, known as balikbayan box, on March 15, 2022.
She was sending it back to her family and friends at home in Tanauan city in Batangas, south of Manila.
“It’s not easy. I miss my kids. You want to hug them, but you cannot hug them. They’re very far. That’s the hardest part,” says the Filipino national working in Singapore as a product specialist in the healthcare industry.
At the end of a year, New Year resolutions always feel like something we need to make to become an improved version of ourselves.
This picture reminds me that some of us are just taking it one day at a time, and that is okay too.
Although Covid-19 fears lingered in 2022, I felt more confident travelling again as countries opened up and quarantine restrictions eased.
I went to Tokyo in December, and made a side trip to see this colossal Gundam robot at Yamashita Pier in Yokohama, about 50 minutes by train from the Japanese capital. The robot is based on a character in the popular Mobile Suit Gundam anime series.
Standing 18m high and weighing 25 tonnes, it can move its limbs, turn its head and even take a knee, which is quite a feat given its size. It took six years and a team of engineers from various fields to turn an idea into reality.
As I stood there looking up at this mechanical marvel, I realised that in any given year, or in life in general, everyone needs their own “team” or support system that keeps you grounded, celebrates with you during the good times, and provides the shoulder to lean on during tough times.
For me, this team is my family, friends and colleagues. I’m grateful for all three.
Golden Temple guardians at Amrit Sarovar pool, which is sacred to Sikh devotees. The Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, is the pre-eminent spiritual site of Sikhism.
2022 was a special year for me because it represents a huge step for recovery since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, when borders were shut across the globe.
This year most countries opened their borders to travellers and many religious gatherings and processions were allowed to resume.
WANG HUI FEN
Tourists taking pictures at the Naganeupseong Walled Town, a fortress village established during the Joseon dynasty (1392 to 1910) in South Korea, on May 24, 2022.
2022 was like a year of revenge travel. With many countries opening up, everyone is rushing to go somewhere. After years of staying in, people are eager to travel and get back out into the world.
Covid-19 has taken millions of lives, mangled global economies, and caused a mental health crisis. Travel seems like a good way to get revenge against a disease that cruelly imposes social isolation.
CHONG JUN LIANG
Like many Singaporeans, I travelled for the first time this year since Covid-19 shut borders around the world in 2022.
As I watched the sunrise from a hot air balloon in Cappadocia, on Nov 3, 2022, I was struck by an epiphany – the night is darkest before dawn.
As long as mankind unites and perseveres in these troubled times, the future can still be beautiful and bright.
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