Imaginary Life

Barber in the alley

Evicted from his Tanjong Pagar shophouse in 2002, Lee Yoon Tong takes his salon to the street and continues his trade there. “I want to serve my old customers,” he says in Mandarin while sweeping up locks of hair strewn along the lane. “They still look for me, so I don’t want them to run around looking.”

Seven years have passed since the bespectacled 70-year-old moved his salon here. He was evicted from a shophouse around the corner when its rent shot up after redevelopment. Today, a firm selling overseas holiday homes occupies his previous unit while Lee continues to ply his trade in the alley.

See the video here. Photographed by Sam Kang Li, Interview by Justin Zhuang, Produced by Serene Cheong, Sam Kang Li, Music:Contemporary Canon by Johnson Zhang

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