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My Perfect Weekend with film-maker Koh Chong Wu, Life News & Top Stories

My Perfect Weekend with film-maker Koh Chong Wu, Life News & Top Stories

Who: Film-maker Koh Chong Wu, 34, directed local horror anthology film Late Night Ride, which is showing in cinemas.

In 2016, the graduate from Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media won the Singtel 5-min Video Challenge with his short film, When You Are Old. He also picked up the Jury’s Special Mention Award at the Movie Makers Short Film Competition two years in a row with his works, Prank (2015) and Please Give Me A Chance (2016).

“I am a workaholic, hence I really treasure my days off and weekends. There are two main ways I spend my weekends.

The first way is simple – I just ‘potate’, or be a couch potato, at home. Due to the nature of my work, I am always outside on a shoot or in the office at my work station. Sometimes, I really just want to stay at home, sleep till the sun is up, have a simple breakfast – whatever is available at home – and hide in my man cave to catch up on shows.

I would leave home at some point to hit the gym or do a workout around my neighbourhood, which is quiet and breezy. After that, I head home and continue to ‘potate’.

After recovering from an injury, I have been working out regularly. I am probably at my fittest right now. My workout regimen is standard. I start off with some cardio to warm up and burn calories, then move on to strength training. I try to hit at least six stations, with at least three sets of 12 to 20 repetitions.

I love food, so working out is my excuse to enjoy good food.

The second way I spend the weekend is going on a derive, which means to go on an unplanned gentle walk with the aim of discovering something new.

Occasionally, I invite a couple of like-minded friends along, but I am perfectly comfortable being on my own. This is something I have been doing since university. It was given to us as an assignment, to go on a derive and document the journey – penning it down with words, doing a sketch or taking photos.

It is something I have been doing since I was young, but I never knew there was a proper term for it. I fell in love with the experience and it has become a staple for my perfect weekend.

Singapore may be small, but there is so much to explore. Sometimes, I head into the embrace of nature. I’ve probably visited most parks and nature reserves here.


Koh enjoys going on derives, which are unplanned gentle walks with the aim of discovering something new. PHOTO: KOH CHONG WU

Most recently, I went to Bukit Brown and Coney Island, but Sungei Buloh is still my favourite for now. I am not an avid nature watcher, but it’s always exhilarating to spot wildlife. My current goal is to visit all our offshore islands.

Sometimes, I just explore a neighbourhood I am not familiar with. From public to private housing estates, I seek out the hidden parks and playgrounds within them. It’s actually good homework for what I do, identifying potential filming locations.

My favourite thing is to explore old and abandoned places. Yes, it is creepy, but there is so much narrative to these places and it is up to you to imagine. Before it was demolished, I liked visiting Dakota Crescent. I couldn’t access the units, but I loved thinking about how each one once housed a family, and how every window once told a story.

Going on a derive is almost meditative. You are not just seeing, but you are also observing. You are not just hearing, but you are also listening. You are not talking, but there is definitely a conversation going on with your surroundings, with yourself.

In the past, I always take along my film and Lomo cameras. Because of the convenience of smartphones, it’s been a long while since I did that. Maybe it’s time I take them out from the dry cabinet.

I end a perfect weekend with a hearty meal. Sunday evening is family time and my parents, elder brother, younger sister and I usually head out for dinner. With the current restrictions, we have it at home.”

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