The Whampoa Archives is one of four projects in a two-year initiative supported by a National Heritage Board research grant. The projects aim to examine curating and archiving as social practices to support the formation of a public legacy through the sharing, learning, exchange and renewal of an elder’s personal collection on a digital platform. Multi-agential in its reach and multidisciplinary in its approaches, the research team collaborates with the Tsao Foundation,  Whampoa residents, organisations, and institutions to extend the private collections of elders into a public legacy.

The project is supported by the Heritage Research Grant from the National Heritage Board, Singapore.


Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Heritage Board, Singapore.


Thomas K Kong

Principal Investigator, Department of Architecture, NUS.

Thomas Kong received his architecture degree with honours from the National University of Singapore, and a Master of Architecture, with distinction from Cranbrook Academy of Art, USA. He is a licensed architect in Singapore and an associate member of the American Institute of Architects. Kong has over 20 years of experience teaching architecture and interior architecture in Singapore, Canada, and Chicago and was recently the chair of interior architecture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). From 2009 to 2012, he was the co-chair of the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects at SAIC. He was recognized by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) as one of their 2014 visionaries and participated in the review of the interior design higher education accreditation standards in North America. The following year, he was inducted into the Placemaking Leadership Council of the U.S. based organization Project for Public Space. Thomas Kong’s interdisciplinary practice and research are centered on Asia. He has received awards and grants from Finland, the Netherlands, the U.S., and Singapore, and has lectured and published internationally on the intersection of art and design education, and interior architecture. Between 2016 and 2018, he co-led an interdisciplinary and multi-scalar research funded by Singapore’s National Heritage Board on the contribution of the arts to successful aging. Kong is on the Editorial Advisory Board for the journal, Interiors: Design/Architecture/Culture and a member of the Programmes Committee for ArtsWok Collaborative.

Lilian Chee (Dr)

Co-Investigator, Department of Architecture, NUS.

Lilian Chee is Associate Professor and History Theory Criticism Research Cluster Leader. She is a writer, academic, designer, curator and award-winning educator. A recipient of the University and Faculty Teaching Honour Rolls, she has lectured at the Bartlett, Delft, ETH Zurich, Melbourne and the Berlage Centre. Her work is situated at the intersections of architectural representation, gender and affect in a contemporary interdisciplinary context. She conceptualized, researched and collaborated on the award-winning architectural essay film about single women occupants in Singapore’s public housing 03-FLATS (2014), which won the best ASEAN documentary Salaya 2015; shortlisted for the Busan Wide Angle Documentary Prize 2014; and screened at the Singapore Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2016. Her publications include the forthcoming monograph Architecture and Affect: Precarious Spaces (Routledge, 2019) and a co-edited volume Asian Cinema and The Use of Space (Routledge, 2015). She is working on a book about public art in Singapore, and co-editing a volume on domesticity in architecture. Lilian is on the editorial boards of The Journal of Architecture, Architectural Theory Review and Australian Feminist Studies.

Peter C Chen

Co-Investigator, School of Art, Design and Media, NTU

Peter Chen is an architect, design educator, sculptor and photographer. Having worked as an architect since 1995, his work has covered large scale institutional projects to small scale design-intensive work and across sculpture to urban furniture. His experience extends beyond the traditional confines of architecture to include furniture, photography, sculpture and urbanism, and all else in between. His current work takes him into the realm of urban memory and computational photography, all of which attempt to reveal the disjunction between the idealized aspects of intentions and its constructed double. Ongoing projects include The Infratectural Sublime: Singapore’s Hidden Frontier, a photographic and research effort in documenting industries responsible for the development and success of Singapore, and Personal State, a project as the recipient of the Architecture and Design Excellence Award 2012. Completed works include Postcards from the Disposable City and Perspectives from the Ideal City, a 2 projects on documenting the changing civic landscape of Singapore. Other works include the Bench Project, a URA design initiative in repurposing salvaged wooden benches from the old National Stadium as public seating, Reed Sculpture, a public art commission by City Developments Limited, as part of the recipient of the CDL Singapore Sculpture Award, the winning entry to the LTA Bus Shelter Competition for the progressive refurbishment of all the national bus stops in Singapore. Other recent built works include Unplanned House, the design and construction of a single-family dwelling.As a design educator, he has taught at the National University of Singapore; Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore Polytechnic and the School of Art Design and Media in NTU.