I've Cot You (Sayang, Sarong Baby) is a heritage cum photo documentary project tracing personal Singaporean stories and memories revolving around the cloth cradle, also known as ‘yao lan’. This was a practice that was commonly adopted by Singaporean families to coax their babies to sleep in the 80s and 90s, but have since became obsolete as lifestyle trends and consumption patterns evolve.
'yo-nah' stories. Contribute yours.
Some remember this practice termed as
the 'sarong cradle', others as 'buai' (meaning 'swing' in Malay language), or 'buaian bayi' (meaning 'baby cradle' in Malay language).
In Hokkien dialect, some parents endearingly refer to their kids as 'yo-nah' babies who grew up sleeping in the 'yo-mua'.
Whatever you may recall it to be, I've Cot You, here at this site.
Explore the site for more layers of meanings behind this cultural icon of the Gen-Yao-lan!
Most of us used to be sarong cloth cradle or 摇篮 (‘yao lan’ cradle), also know endearingly as 'yo-nah' babies.
Were you one?
As babies, we could never give a testimonial, or recall that experience.
Via the ‘yao lan’ or sarong cradle as a cultural icon for interviews, this body of work focuses on family bonding, Singapore’s shared values, and ties in with a sense of collective cultural heritage via exploring memories of the family unit.
Still in keeping with her moniker of ‘I Shoot Habits’, photographer Zinkie Aw sets out to document families that are still practising the cloth baby cradle in Singapore.
Especially in an increasingly urbanised environment, this unique practice is diminishing along with modernisation of more Asian countries. For instance, I realised that my sister never adopted this tradition for my nephews; peers also preferred to purchase a ‘proper’ babycot in their new homes. For the few who still opt to use this traditional ‘yao lan’ to coax babies to sleep, they do so with the aid of a remote-control automatic spring that is deployed from a portable stand, unlike in the olden days where it was suspended from the ceilings of kampung attap houses.
It is hoped that through sets of photographs made in documentary and conceptual styles, viewers imagine that slice of memory lane that we could never remember as a baby in the cot, as well as appreciate an old trend that increasingly gets labelled as archaic.
Sayang, the sarong baby.
You are invited to the Community Exhibition from Aug - Sep 2017.
One way you can support this initiative:
(1) Take a snapshot of old photograph(s) of yourself in the traditional 'yao lan' (Suspended from ceiling, and manually rocked!)
- Post to your profile with #ivecotyou,
'Like' and Tag our Page @ishoothabits
- If shy, you can message & attach the image :)
- Post to your public profile with #ivecotyou and tag @ivecotyou
Via Uploading here.