#OUR HEARTLAND STORY

Popular Instagrammers Yafiq and Yais Yusman share their memories of growing up in Woodlands, and their experience snapping shots in the heartlands.

my life story

#OUR HEARTLAND STORY

Popular Instagrammers Yafiq and Yais Yusman share their memories of growing up in Woodlands, and their experience snapping shots in the heartlands.

Twins Yais and Yafiq knee-to-knee at the void deck near their flat in Woodlands Street 83

Twin brothers Yafiq and Yais Yusman, 23, started using Instagram (mobile app for sharing photos and videos) four years ago. Today, Yafiq (@_yafiqyusman_) and Yais (@_yaisyusman_), whose posts are shot with their handphones, have garnered more than 39,000 and 31,000 followers respectively. Yafiq earned a spot on the list of Singapore Instagrammers of The Year in 2014, while Yais made it to the list last year.

After completing National Service last September, Yafiq has been working on freelance projects such as curating for a local travel website, Explore Singapore. He was also a judge for HDB’s ‘Celebrating LIFE in the Heartlands’ Photography Competition 2016. The younger twin, Yais, is globe-trotting as a member of Singapore Airlines’ cabin crew.

Yais (@_yaisyusman_) & Yafiq (@_yafiqyusman_)

Amid their busy schedules, Yafiq and Yais remain active Instagram users. They are particularly adept at transforming architecture into cinematic structures through their lenses.

Although their family only recently moved into their five-room flat at Woodlands Street 83, Yafiq and Yais are no strangers to the neighbourhood. They had lived at Woodlands before moving to Yishun five years ago, and are glad to be back. Yais shares, “Our friends and relatives live around this area. It’s more convenient to meet my cousins!” The twins fondly recall memories of their secondary school life and times spent at the nearby playground then. On days when they stayed back in school for study sessions, the brothers would accompany their classmates home before making their way back. “Because we are twins, we have each other,” explains Yafiq.

One of their favourite aspects of heartland living is having good neighbours. Their grandmother was particularly close to their ex-neighbours as they all enjoyed gardening. She would get herbs from them whenever she needed extra ingredients for her cooking. During Hari Raya, the twins’ family also invited their Chinese neighbours for a meal.

Credit: Yafiq Yusman

Photo-worthy gems

Among the growing pool of Instagrammers in Singapore, Yafiq and Yais stand out for their eye for beauty. Other than offering a visual treat, their unique photo series launched via hashtags invite their followers to discover beauty in their surroundings. “If you keep exploring, you can uncover many hidden gems in Singapore,” says Yafiq.

Yafiq started a series called #weekly_clouds in their old Yishun flat. Every week, he would snap a photo of the sky and an HDB block from the same spot along the corridor and add a caption to summarise his work. This personal project was well-received by his followers. “I miss doing that. I’m trying to find a spot here [to continue the series],” says Yafiq.

Meanwhile, Yais’ creativity is showcased in#TheHangingCollection series, where subjects in the photo look like they are hanging onto something. Yais adds, “One thing I like about shooting in HDB estates is the ‘look up’ (low angle) perspective. An image can have a very different feel with a slight change in angle.”

Gallery