A Frame In Time.

Where I live now used to be London’s old Chinatown in Limehouse in the 19100’s to 1940s I was commissioned to do a series of paintings about it. Anyway where is this Chinatown I wonder.


Over the weekend, I chanced upon some photos from the past while I decluttered my space. I believed they belonged to my grandparents.

One of it showed a busy street scene sandwiched between two rows of low-storey post war buildings. Some of these low-rise buildings were poorly accompanied by old and unassuming signboards hanging by the building sidewalk. Others were a painful reminiscence of the war with bullet-marked walls.

The same photo also showed people loitering along the street, a hustle bustle marketplace, filled with hawker peddlers with their push carts. Some hawker peddled with rattan baskets attached to a long pole that they balanced on their shoulders.

Businesses were solicited through touting, word of mouth or “on-live telecast advertisement” by shouting at the top of their lungs. Peddlers struggled to earn a living, a livelihood that entailed hardship from hand to mouth. Every dollar earned was with
sweat and…

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