Photography Identifies Who We Are

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We have always taken selfies, even as a region. In his study of Southeast Asian trends, Zhuang Wubin looks at photography trends over the decades. By S. Sakthivel

Selfies may seem like a new trend, but Zhuang Wubin says we’ve always loved images of ourselves.

Why this behaviour? Because we like it. And it makes us feel good.

“People like to talk about photography like it’s some new thing,” remarks Wubin, author of Photography in Southeast Asia: A Survey.

 

A Photo History
The tome, is for the historians who relish details that would otherwise require photographic memory. Zhuang feels that there hasn’t been enough groundwork to create a comprehensive history of photography in the region. He travelled through Southeast Asia to gain insights from local lensmen on their craft. Zhuang says that while many believe that Southeast Asian photography lags behind its western counterparts, his travels have proved otherwise.

Zhuang also weighs in on the photography and art debate in his book of black-and-white images. Zhuang feels that photography wields the most power outside of the realm of art. “The impact of photography is very evident in journalism, the media, politics, and even in our social interactions.”

The digitisation of photography and the selfie phenomenon are examples of how the practice has proliferated everyday life and become an integral part of human communication.

Find out more in the interview below with author Zhuang Wubin.

Photography in Southeast Asia: A Survey by Zhuang Wubin will be launched today at Objectifs – Centre for Photography and Film, 155 Middle Road, Singapore 188977, from 7pm-9pm.

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