Markers & Memory at Bukit Brown Cemetery

[Slideshow 1]


Markers & Memory at Bukit Brown Cemetery


So I finally went and wandered around Bukit Brown Cemetery in land-scarce Singapore. This weekend was the beginning of Qingming and the annual tomb sweeping season. I wondered myself why it took me so long to visit.

What I know of Bukit Brown I know from the good folks at Singapore Heritage Society and from the few other photographer friends who have come and documented. There, I met a ninety-something year old tomb keeper. She was still as a rock and waiting. I did not see her at first, nor she me. When she saw me she asked repeatedly, which grave I was looking for, or at least that was what I assumed. I speak no Hokkien.

Markers and memory were what I noticed in Bukit Brown.

[Slideshow 2]

The day before. I bought a book, The Collected Poems of Arthur Yap, from Kinokuniya. 

 Page 154 muses… 

 there is no future in nostalgia 

 & certainly no nostalgia in the future of the past. 

now, the corner cigarette-seller is gone, is perhaps dead. 

 no, definitely dead, he would not otherwise have gone. 

 he is replaced by a stamp-machine, 

 the old cook by a pressure-cooker, 

 the old trishaw-rider’s stand by a fire hydrant, 

 the washer-woman by a spin-dryer 

 & it goes on in various variations & permutations. 

 there is no future in nostalgia. 


Curation: Singapore Photography for Odesa/Batumi Photo Days, Ukraine

Happy to be invited to curate a small projection showcase of Singapore Photography for the second edition of Odesa// Batumi Photo Days Festival 2016 happening 13-17th April in Ukraine. To have a conversation with a country so far and different to ours was a valuable opportunity. 

 This year’s festival theme is “SPACE/TERRITORY”. The showcase, including photojournalistic work to the artistic and personal, explore the theme – ideology and contention – in and beyond our little city-state.

Featured photographers include: 

Festival Program can be viewed on

Photobook Update 1st February 2016: Suddenly The Grass Became Greener

Photobook Update 1st February 2016

An update on the production of my photobook Suddenly The Grass Became Greener, scheduled for publication in April 2016.

Popped by Grenadier Press today. First off-set test prints of images on production paper stock done and it’s looking good. A few minor colour corrections and tweaks needed to best suit the stock. The final book will have colour and duotone black/white signatures on two different paper stocks.

Fabric for the book’s hardbound cover, ordered a few weeks ago from US, has also arrived.

First drafts of the essays received from the writers Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh and Charmaine Poh.

We’re moving!

Colour Test Print: Stock #01

Cover Fabric arrived.

B/W Test Print: Stock #02

(Note: photos for illustration purposes only)

First Edition limited to 500 copies only. Scheduled for publication in April 2016.

Now available for Pre-order or Sponsorship. 


Curatorial Projects 2015

Documentation of 3 curatorial projects in 2015.

Guest Curator, Angkor Photo Festival 2015

Hong Kong & Taiwan Showcase, 5th – 12th December 2015. 

When we talk about photography from East Asia, China and Japan usually dominates conversations and we are exposed too much from these two territories. The invitation by Angkor Photo Festival to curate an evening of slideshows is an opportunity to introduce great photography and photographers from Taiwan and Hong Kong to the young Southeast Asian audiences at the festival and hopefully initiate more dialogue and exchange between the regions. 

 Hong Kong and Taiwan have shared proximity to China in every sense of the word – geographically, historically, politically and culturally. The ideas and notions of territories, borders, custodianship, post-colonial identity and nationhood are shared between them. These notions are not unfamiliar to us in Southeast Asia.

 The showcase features 18 photographers from varying age, experience and approaches to photography from the observed, interpretative to the traditional reportage, from Chang Chao Tang, a Taiwanese Master Photographer to Lam Yik Fei, an emerging photojournalist in Hong Kong. 

 I hope it will be beneficial for young Southeast Asian photographers (esp. the participants who have just finished the workshops) to take on an external view, by looking at how logos and motifs are translated in the photography, language and spirit of the people in these countries and reflect on their own symbols and authorship. 

Photographers featured: 

Alfred Ko Chi-Keung 高志強, Hong Kong
Chan Dick 陳的, Hong Kong
Chang Chao-Tang 張照堂, Taiwan
Chen Chin-Pao 陳敬寶, Taiwan
Ducky Tse 謝至德, Hong Kong
Dustin Shum 岑允逸, Hong Kong
Guan Xiao-Rong 關曉榮, Taiwan
Johnny Gin 甄祖伦, Hong Kong
Lam Chun Tung 林振東, Hong Kong
Lam Yik Fei 林亦非, Hong Kong
Lau Chi Chung 劉智聰, Hong Kong
Paul Yeung 楊德銘, Hong Kong
Peng-Chun Yen 顏鵬峻, Taiwan
Shen Chao-Liang 沈昭良, Taiwan
Terry Ng 吳漢曦, Hong Kong
Tou Yun-Fei 杜韻飛, Taiwan
Vincent Yu 余偉建, Hong Kong
Wong Kan Tai 黃勤帶, Hong Kong

Photoquai Biennale 2015 

22nd September – 22nd November 2015, at musée du quai Branly, Paris France. 

 The selection of 40 photographers for this 5th edition was made by a curatorial team of experts consisting of an artistic director – Frank Kalero – six curators – Claudi Carreras (Latin America), Liza Faktor (Russian Federation), Michket Krifa (Middle East), Azu Nwagbogu (Africa), Kevin WY Lee (Asia) and Louise Clements (World and New Interactions) – and an internal programming committee at the musée du quai Branly chaired by its President Stéphane Martin. 

Sajeev Photo Studio, A Decade Of Portraiture in Little India

Sajeev Photo Studio, A Decade Of Portraiture in Little India

Sajeev Photo Studio, A Decade Of Portraiture in Little India

Sajeev Photo Studio, A Decade Of Portraiture in Little India

Sajeev Photo Studio, A Decade Of Portraiture in Little India

Sajeev Photo Studio, A Decade Of Portraiture in Little India

Sajeev Photo Studio, A Decade Of Portraiture in Little India 

 30th July – 31st August 2015. A co-presentation between Objectifs - Centre for Photography and Filmmaking and Invisible Photographer Asia. 

 The exhibition was a showcase of Sajeev Lal, a Singaporean photographer and his decade’s worth of matchmaking portraits for migrant workers made at his traditional photo studio in Little India. The exhibition is also a timely reflection as the nation celebrates its Golden Jubilee Year. Singapore was and is built just as much by the invisible hands of migrants and immigrants, and our yearnings and dreams, of home and family, are shared. They build our homes so they may build theirs.

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