Searching for Singapore III

I suppose this theme is like a visual fixation for me.

This post is dedicated to those who know what it feels like to be doing street photography in your own neighbourhood.

In our own ways, we’re all searching for something, using our cameras as visual search engines.

What are we looking for? For another way to look, to turn everything into a work of art…

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I suppose it’s about moments that surprise me.

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That tree now looks like an explosion with the HDB flat facade as backdrop…

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I keep coming back to HDB flats (public housing that 80-85% of Singaporeans live in), because it’s the cookie-cutter, middle-class, ideological environment I grew up in and which is part of who I am.

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For those looking for general info concerning public housing in Singapore, this article from Wikipedia is a good general source. You could purchase these (highly-subsidised) flats through various schemes which are generally pro-marriage, pro-family, pro-heteronormative, etc.

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It’s all very Bauhaus-influenced, with a rational/functional ethos to it.

Chua Beng-Huat, a sociologist at NUS, has a wonderful book called Political Legitimacy and Housing: Singapore’s Stakeholder Society. It looks at the ideological and social-engineering aspect of Singapore’s public housing policy.

I’m fascinated by how newness can emerge from familiar/regimental environments.

I have a thing with hawker centre food …

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These are some people I’m learning to see again with my camera.

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These were all taken on the same day I was due to go back to Hong Kong.

At the airport … back to Hong Kong…

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Is Hong Kong any different?

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In the end, it’s all about finding your place, moving up or down…

I should say all of images here are from the same roll of film: Ilford XP2 in an Olympus XA2.

The Leica M6 is now my back up camera (!!!)

Thanks for reading!

Beautiful Mistakes

Sometimes, mistakes can be surprising.

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The focus is off, but the colours are there. There’s some kind of neon lighting that is projected onto the ceiling which changes every 10 seconds or so.

The above and below are taken in a shopping mall at TST near my church. No prizes for guessing which.

I was on an ascending escalator, trying to focus on those buildings outside the glass window and the gentleman entered the frame, descending from top left. It’s underexposed so we can’t really see the person, but the repetitions of the grid and the colours are there. The metal fasteners (is that what they’re called?) look like flying seagulls.

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I’m not sure what went wrong with the photograph below. I think there’s motion blur and it’s overexposed… I don’t remember making this mistake…

I do this every Sunday on my way to church, to the taxi driver when he’s paying the toll at the Lion Rock tunnel.

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In all honesty, I’ve done a bit of post-processing to heighten the colours. But I’ve spend no more than 3-5 minutes on each, simply going along with what the images are telling me, and only with levels and curves with the generic software that came with my scanner.

I suspect they’ll look gorgeous when printed with textured paper and mounted on non-glare glass.

Now I’m beginning to see the appeal of lomography, which is essentially about creating something beautiful from intuition, serendipity and “errors”. That’s the kind of artlessness in photography I’m drawn to…

Thanks for reading.