Reimagining Singapore’s Visual Image

wwc 210421 sg lens

MENTION a country and an image springs to mind.

India — Taj Mahal. France — Eiffel Tower. Australia — Sydney Opera House.

Of course there are variations. It could be people or nature, or the food.

But, the images are built up over time and continue to be perpetuated.

Singapore has its own scenes that are hammered into our consciousness by heavy marketing. Marina Bay Sands, the Merlion, the Singapore Girl, and we used to have Ah Meng.

While these serve very commercial purposes, to drive tourism into Singapore, what are the images that resonate with Singapore’s photographers?

The WED WEB CHAT — Singapore Through The Lens on 21 April, from 12:45pm — 1:30pm gathers well known lensmen and a young filmmaker to hear their views on the topic.

MBS bw Russel Wong
Marina Bay Sands shot from the Helix Bridge in black and white instead of the gush of colours. By Russel Wong.

Celebrity photographer Russel Wong is currently showcasing his pictures of Kyoto at the Asian Civilisations Museum. It took him many years to gain the confidence of the geisha community there. While his shots have graced the cover of TIME magazine and he played himelf in the Crazy Rich Asians film, what would be his image to represent Singapore?

Bryan van der Beek
Finding time for leisure, night fishing in Sembawang. By Bryan van der Beek.

Bryan van der Beek worked in newsrooms in the US and Singapore, and has since stepped out on his own. His commercial and editorial photography have won him numerous awards and are in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Singapore.

Darren Soh
Montage of blocks of flats showcasing the variety of public architecture. By Darren Soh.

Darren Soh is known for his architecture shots, and he is currently exploring the rapidly changing urban landscape. His work have been shown in a number of exhibitions and his multi-disciplinary project Before It All Goes was a President’s Design Award nominee in 2020.

Mimosa Grace Song
Singapore is like the touch-me-not mimosa, sensitive to external influences. Projected on a CRT TV instead of seen in real life, the CRT is a metaphor for progress at the price of nostalgic obsolescence. By Grace Song

Rounding off the panellists is young filmmaker Grace Song, whose offbeat films have kept her on her chosen path. Her recent works under the Creatives Commissioning Creatives residency titled Bat Soup and Dirty Laundry were shot during the Circuit Breaker in Singapore, garnering much media attention. Her latest film, Metadata, will be screened as part of the 7th National Youth Film Awards.

Join the WED WEB CHAT —Singapore Through The Lens on 21 April 2021 from 12:45pm using this link:

Watch our previous wedwebchats:

Got a topic of interest? Know a good panellist with a thought-provoking perspective on a subject? Please email with your details and a short summary about the person or topic.

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