#2016ShowReel

Looking back at the past 12 months, I can only say one thing: what a year it has been.

The rules in life are simple. First, make each year the best year of my life to date. And then secondly, make every year better than the previous year. So because of that, 2016 was a hundred times better than 2015 which, at that time, was already a very good year for me too.

But this has not made me forgotten that to be able to explore and understand the world is a privilege many do not have. That is why I try to balance it out by using the opportunities I had to give back to the people around me. Instead of traveling for leisure, I carried on searching for stories to tell from every possible corner of this globe. Stories that helped to raise awareness, fund a campaign or even support a wider and bigger cause than just about me.
I count myself lucky to be able to accomplish this.

Hence, after 13 destinations and a total of 8 months being abroad, I have compiled all of my photography work into a 7 minute show reel. Yes, my work is my life. So I hope that you will enjoy this simple compilation that I have put together.

And lastly, to all of you who have been with me on my journey in one form or another, thank you all so much for the memories. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The In-Between Pauses

What makes a memory beautiful? Or Complete? Is it just the ones that are staged? Or does it also include the moments before and after the staged photos were taken?

Every family that goes on a vacation trip together will have two kinds of photo albums. The first always consist of the more photogenic pictures in an idyllic state. The second album is the one that never gets to see the light of the day. It's made up of the quieter in-between moments, forgotten as soon as it slides through the cracks. As for me, I just have a personal preference for the latter. It's much more telling, more honest and raw than the first album. It is these little pieces that completes the bigger picture. But often, it's not seen as very important because it's missing the beautiful smiles or the picturesque sunsets which means it either gets stored away in the memory chip or sent down to the trash bin.

So here I am, presenting to you a simple photo essay of my recent family vacation that hopes to eternalise the ever slightly imperfect or incomplete moments that we are so ready to discard away.

#Ephemera: New Experiences, Greater Heights

#Ephemera: New Experiences, Greater Heights

A pop-up exhibition called Ephemera for all kinds of working artists at The Substation on Armenian Street and it was organised by Invisible Photographer Asia. The idea of this exhibition is that it will only last for exactly 18000 seconds hence the name Ephemera which refers to something that you can only enjoy temporarily. 

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Weekly Grind: Part IX - What is Our Narrative?

Weekly Grind: Part IX - What is Our Narrative?

There are so many narratives on what makes Singapore, Singapore. Some are more dominant than others, forming a backbone to our collective identity. But there are also narratives with subtle nuances that makes the plot line goes on a completely different track. 

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Weekly Grind: Part VIII - Little India on Diwali Night

Weekly Grind: Part VIII - Little India on Diwali Night

When the majority of Singaporeans walk away from the crowd, I walk towards it. If there is any time that is best for us to experience this little enclave at night, it should be on the night before the Diwali celebration begins. Last minute shopping sprees, bargaining by the road side and migrant workers in good mood from having an additional day off to their weekend. The atmosphere was jovial and light.

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Weekly Grind: Part VII With Matt Black


Once again, I had the rare opportunity to sit in and listen to one of the very few photographers that I greatly admire speak about his work. As part of SIPF 2016, Matt Black is in town this week to conduct a Magnum photo workshop and it all accumulated to an hour of sharing session.

One of the greatest things that can happen to you when you are given these opportunities is that you get to learn maybe one or two extremely invaluable pieces of advice. Granted, if I have disposable money worth around SGD$1800, I would have taken his workshop where I am certain I can learn so much more too but as reality has it, I don't have that surplus in savings. Therefore, an hour with him is all that I could make do with.


Magnum Photographer, Matt Black, The Deck 2016

In any case, he still shared with us two very important and yet very simple words of guidance. Firstly, he said that if you want to start on your journey as a photographer, particularly as a documentary or reportage photographer, always start with your front door. For him, this means California where his Geography of Poverty project began. So in reference to myself, I always have these ideas of going abroad and pursuing stories all over the world but since I am forcibly stuck here for the next six years, it comforts me to know that I can still do something with my own development as a photographer within Singapore.

Secondly, he also said to follow your ideas because you can be surprised where it will bring us to in the future the same way as it did for him. As simple as that. Gary Knight mentioned about the quality of ideas and Matt Black wants you to go after them. So it all comes down to  ideas, ideas and execution. I have all these ideas in my head and sometimes too many of them which often clogs up my own head as well. So maybe on top of all the advices I have gotten so far, I also need to learn to be more disciplined in organising my ideas on future projects too.

Hopefully, with all that I have learned in the past two weeks, I can start putting them into practice in the coming months. 

Weekly Grind: Part VI

Weekly Grind: Part VI

Some of the things that they shared touches on the need to have a lot of energy and motivation that what we are doing can and will make a difference. This is also the main reason why I've decided a long time ago that I want my photography to mean something more than what it used to be. It needs to be a vessel of a story, a vessel for change.

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Weekly Grind: Part V

One of the things that I wish I could bring back home after my Hong Kong trip is the level of enthusiasm to explore everything that is unfamiliar. That eagerness to get up early in the morning way before the sun rises and that determination to stay out long after dusk even when my legs have turned into jelly-welly. As much as I am aware that it is difficult to replicate all of the above in an environment that is already so familiar to me, I still think that the only thing that matters is our perspective. I didn't only see Hong Kong differently, I saw the world differently. So if I could somehow see Singapore in a different light ... then maybe, just maybe I might find myself a playground here too.

Enough rambling and let's move on to the selected pictures made from this week.

The Lost Cowboy

Escalator to Heaven

One last piece of news. I have successfully cull out thousands of pictures from my trip to Hong Kong down to just a handful over the past week which is a laboursome process but I am definitely happy with the result. It might even just be the best body of street photography work that I have produced so far. So I will be posting here the selections sometime next week.
Stay tuned for that update!