Living in Singapore
Stories behind the numbers
by Esther Sutter
About the Book
‘Living in Singapore’ tells the stories of twelve diverse individuals who live and work in Singapore. The stories are illustrated with intriguing photographs and complemented with thoroughly researched background information on Singapore's society and economy.
These personal portraits make statistics about Singapore come alive: you might know that the average household income in Singapore is SGD 3,300 and that security guards make around SGD 1,100 a month. But you might not know how they live in Singapore on such an income. You might know that Singapore is not a welfare state and that social life is structured around the family. But you might not know what impact it has on the daily life of a disabled young adult or a 24-year old bartender. This book connects facts and figures with personal lives to tell you the 'Stories behind the numbers'.
These portraits were put together by Esther Sutter, who got to know Singapore during her MBA studies at INSEAD. To complete this book, Esther conducted over 60 interviews to understand the stories and backgrounds of the individuals portrayed. To capture their daily life in photographs, she took 77 taxi rides and over 80 bus and subway trips across Singapore to meet the twelve individuals in their environment.
After living in Singapore for one year as an INSEAD MBA student, I realized how little I knew about 'living in Singapore'. For example, I have never been to one of the government-subsidized housing blocks (HDB), even though 84% of Singaporeans live in such apartments. So, I decided to find out how different people live in Singapore – by documenting their daily lives in photographs and texts. To put things into perspective, I complemented the personal portraits with background information on Singapore's society and economy. I hold an MBA from INSEAD (Singapore) and a Master in Mathematics from the University of Bern. I work as a consultant at McKinsey & Company in Zurich, Switzerland. I am 31 years old, a Swiss national and a passionate photographer. All photos were taken with a Nikon D90 camera.