Street Thoughts

I don’t want to over-intellectualize things, but after doing this for a few years now, I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, to take street photographs is to think on my feet.

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When I came upon the above scene for example, I am reminded of how much culture depends on physical toil that is too often, invisible. We marvel at the Great Wall of China, at the pyramids in Egypt, and of course, there’s an invisible history of physical toil involved.

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I like the way signs are re-appropriated for other purposes. The full-size image of an air hostess welcomes you into the shop, which is closed for lunch. I make it a point to come here every time I’m in Singapore, to check out some of those NATO watch straps.

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The deployment of trees is part of the city’s architecture.

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The trees frame the building. Living in the city, we tend to forget that it is ultimately nature that frames human activity.

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Something we do every day, waiting at a pedestrian crossing. One of those insignificant yet ubiquitous experience that characterizes urban life which we tend to forget.

Thanks for reading!

Buy my latest street photography and poetry book!

Camera: Olympus XA 3

Film: Ilford XP2

 

 

On Looking

Sometimes it is the architecture of the city that teaches us how to look.

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We look up.

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We look again with a slight change of perspective.

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We glance from far away.

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A coordinated look.

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Look up, look down.

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We read.

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We wait and read and see.

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What does the look want?

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The look of friendship.

Camera: Contax TVS II

Film: Kodak BW400CN

Corporate Cliches

We need to avoid doing the same thing and look out for or even create the next paradigm shift.

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We need to think about how we can add value to our work.

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It’s all about win-win.

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What’s our ROI on this?

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We need to think outside the box here.

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This is inevitable – it’s because of creative destruction.

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We need to synergize our mission and vision.

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Let’s pluck the low-hanging fruit for now and circle back to this discussion later.

Camera: Contax TVS II

Film: Kodak BW400CN

Getting Out of a Creative Rut

Some days, it seems like things just won’t come together.

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You’re feeling blocked.

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The framing is off.

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You look up.

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You look back at people.

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You look up again.

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You try again.

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What else can one do, but try to fail better.

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And then you get the feeling that things are coming together finally.

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And you find something that makes sense, finally.

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Ilford XP2 400

Singapore Speaks Monochrome

Singapore is a work in progress, and the physical landscape never fails to remind you of this.

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There could be cranes in the sky in built-up areas, and there could be views like the one below.

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Occasionally, it gets a bit postmodern, like this:

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The inside wants to be outside.

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Our desires/appetites/wants/needs are very well structured and catered to.

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Everything is for sale.

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Cities are places where appetites are met.

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Appetites transcend national boundaries …

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Pig organ soup, anyone? It’s actually quite yummy.

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Waiting.

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Doing.

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Working.

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Cooking.

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Buildings are structures of desires.

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There’s ambition in the architecture.

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These are homely desires.

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There’s an architecture of modernity.

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An architecture of nationhood.

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And space in which we simply do nothing at all.

Thanks for reading!

 

Open-edition prints are available at my Saatchi Art page.

 

 

 

 

 

Singapore Speaks Colour

Various scenes in Singapore – some iconic, others a little whimsical.

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Singapore the Garden City.

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Executives waiting for a bus. This was taken while I was in a bus.

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For the love of country.

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Country loving fashion.

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Looking up.

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He posed for me.

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The above and below few images are of workers who are maintaining a playground.

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They saw what I was doing, smiled, and gamely went on with their work.

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They were very thorough.

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They were tightening all the screws.

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And checking to see if everything is in order.

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That’s a chicken rice stall – the kind of food I go for whenever I am in Singapore.

This is part of the everyday Singaporean culture often take for granted.

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A sack of something on the pavement.

It makes for a wonderful art installation idea.

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Barrier – though I wonder what the triangular cut-outs are for.

 

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The durian.

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Lamp shade.

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That’s a partial rendering of the Marina Bay Sands, a tourist destination.

It reminds me of a Star Trek phaser.

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Rooftop facade of the Esplanade – also known as the durian.

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Swissotel the Stamford, designed by I.M. Pei.

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A construction worker taking a break at a public housing void deck.

 

For collectors: open-edition prints are available here.