Weekly Grind: Part VI

For this week's post, I would like to talk about the amazing opportunity that I had last night to meet with Gary Knight and Ron Haviv, the co-founders of the VII photo agency. To actually be in the presence of these two highly accomplished photojournalists in Singapore hints at the right direction that we are taking and how the local photography community can benefit much from these opportunities. Unfortunately, I was too awestruck that I forgot to snap any photographs of them in action but what I learned from their sharing session and subsequently the questions I asked them in person are extremely invaluable to my own development.

When they shared with us the beginning of their careers as photographers, I can't help but to slip into a daydream where one day I would get the same opportunity to talk about my own career infront of an audience too. And my ever supportive girlfriend said that I will eventually get there sooner or later. I honestly don't know if anyone else would ever believe in me as much as she does. Eternally grateful to have her.
But back to Gary and Ron, they are definitely the kind of role models to look up to especially for someone who is new and trying to break into the industry. 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. We were also told that we need to have the "I-don't-take-no-as-an-answer" mentality and to just keep ploughing through till you get the results you want.

Admittedly, the industry is increasingly more competitive with significantly lower backing from traditional institutions. So I asked Gary what would be the most fundamental quality that someone needs to have to make it in the industry and he replied with one thing: good ideas. It was as simple as that that it leaves me with plenty to think about - something that I will remember for a lifetime and keep working on as I continue growing myself.

On a side note, I thought that Ron is really a funny guy and this is remarkable considering the nature of the work that he produces which are always concerning heavy and dark subjects. But I'm guessing that his light attitude helps to bring a different dynamic to the conversation as well.

So many things to aspire to and to achieve one day. For the time being though, I will continue to just keep my head low and put in the hard work and we'll see where will that brings me to.

Alright, enough of talking and let's get to the photographs made from this week. I hope you will enjoy them!

For this week, I explored the idea of urban night crawlers that continues to linger around in the strangest of places long into the darkest hour of the night. The very notion that these individuals, for unknown reason, continues to inhabit these open spaces when no one else is and therefore bounded by a temporal relation to the space makes their bodily performances somehow also ironically freed from the concept of time as well. This untitled series aims to show how for these individuals, the idea of time is both constraining and liberating at the same time too.