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Welcome to #ObjectifsSupports, our bi-monthly feature where we highlight filmmakers and photographers, and the ways in which you can engage with and support their works during the COVID-19 period and beyond!
Click here to view the full list of prints available and to support their print sale for COVID relief.
#PhotoSolidarity is a print sale organised by the CPB Foundation, a Chennai based non-profit organisation by Chennai Photo Biennale, to raise funds to support organisations working on the ground for COVID relief in India. From now till 15 June, all profits from the sale will be donated to Khalsa Aid India and Protsahan India Foundation, two NGOs which are working towards providing essential supplies and medical kits, and child care during the COVID crisis. Pick up a special edition print from some of the photographers who have also been part of Objectifs’ programmes and exhibitions over the years, or from many of the other incredible international photographers who have contributed to #PhotoSolidarity.
#PhotoSolidarity is a print sale organised by the CPB Foundation, a Chennai based non-profit organisation by Chennai Photo Biennale, to raise funds to support organisations working on the ground for COVID relief in India.
From now till 15 June, all profits from the sale will be donated to Khalsa Aid India and Protsahan India Foundation, two NGOs which are working towards providing essential supplies and medical kits, and child care during the COVID crisis.
Pick up a special edition print from some of the photographers who have also been part of Objectifs’ programmes and exhibitions over the years, or from many of the other incredible international photographers who have contributed to #PhotoSolidarity.
Click here to watch the short film programmes via the Objectifs Film Library from now till 13 June 2021. Proceeds from the film rentals will go towards the event costs for SPOTLIGHT:MYANMAR and will be donated to aid organisations providing assistance in Myanmar.
SPOTLIGHT:MYANMAR is organised by 合作社 Collective, a Taiwan based a non-profit platform committed to fostering civic and political engagement through the intersections of art, academia, and activism. From thousands of young men seeking a way out from poverty in the jade mines of Hpakant to women celebrating their Buddhist faith with a robe weaving competition in Yangon, the award-winning short films in this collection serve as a jumping off-point to explore the nuances of history, memory and reality through the individual and collective in Burmese society.
SPOTLIGHT:MYANMAR is organised by 合作社 Collective, a Taiwan based a non-profit platform committed to fostering civic and political engagement through the intersections of art, academia, and activism.
From thousands of young men seeking a way out from poverty in the jade mines of Hpakant to women celebrating their Buddhist faith with a robe weaving competition in Yangon, the award-winning short films in this collection serve as a jumping off-point to explore the nuances of history, memory and reality through the individual and collective in Burmese society.
Exclusive to the #ObjectifsFilmLibrary, we present the films of Sun Koh! “These films are a chronicle of my personal journey — the things I’ve seen, felt, heard or responded to during the first 2 decades of my filmmaking life. I was discovering different styles, experimented and grew tremendously with each one. I hope it resonates with you. In the next 2 decades, I hope to simmer all of these experiences into a subtle brew while exploring new layers of meaning in my work. I am immensely grateful to be doing such creative work, and to have them available on the Objectifs Film Library for all to enjoy.” – Sun Koh
Exclusive to the #ObjectifsFilmLibrary, we present the films of Sun Koh!
“These films are a chronicle of my personal journey — the things I’ve seen, felt, heard or responded to during the first 2 decades of my filmmaking life. I was discovering different styles, experimented and grew tremendously with each one. I hope it resonates with you. In the next 2 decades, I hope to simmer all of these experiences into a subtle brew while exploring new layers of meaning in my work. I am immensely grateful to be doing such creative work, and to have them available on the Objectifs Film Library for all to enjoy.” – Sun Koh
Click here to view more images from ‘The Colony‘ and here to purchase Marvin’s book, ‘Wayside Trees’. For his fourth upcoming work on colonial plantations across Malaya, Marvin is seeking participants who can share stories of plantation culture. Whether these stories are personal or research-based, reach out to him by DM (@tang.marvin).
He is currently working on a long-term research project The Colony, which has been presented in three parts:
a) The Archive – British Made: Artist-made postcards of colonial botanical gardens
b) The Tree that Bleeds White Gold: An installation on the smuggling of 70,000 Para Rubber Tree seeds by the British from Brazil to Singapore
c) On Growth in Glazed Cases: A research into Wardian Cases and its role as a colonial tool of plant migration
Click here to purchase a selection of prints from ‘While You Were Sleeping’ and here to view the short documentary (dir. by Jeremy Ho). Darren’s photobook, ‘In the Still of the Night (While You Were Sleeping)’ is also available for purchase via our online store. Join us for an artist talk with Darren Soh and Jeremy Ho on Thu 8 Apr (7pm – 8pm) – please click here for more details and to register.
Eighteen years, two books and two exhibitions in the making, While You Were Sleeping is a long-term labour of love by Singapore photographer Darren Soh, featuring both familiar and less trodden landscapes from Punggol to Jalan Kayu. Darren Soh has exhibited at Objectifs on multiple occasions, from Along the Golden Mile in 2015 to Before It All Goes, Architecture from Singapore’s Early Independence Years in 2018, and was featured as part of Image Makers – a short documentary series initiated by photographer Tan Ngiap Heng, Objectifs, and production house The Creative Room which uncovers the processes and motivations behind internationally renowned photographers from Singapore.
“When I first started to photograph in dark and unfamiliar places all over Singapore in 2003, I had no idea that those images I made would come to define me as a photographer. Born out of a curiosity of the unknown, as well as a young photographer’s restlessness, While You Were Sleeping grew to say as much about our country as it did of me. Eighteen years, two books and two exhibitions later, Singapore is now a very different place. Many of the locations I visited in the early 2000s, once alien, are now completely transformed.” – Darren Soh
Click here to view a selection of prints from ‘WAKE UP! (The Revolution)’ and here to view the accompanying video work. Support the Myanmar democracy movement by purchasing these prints. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to families faced with the death of their loved ones or economic loss from migration. To purchase, contact email@example.com.
In her ongoing multi-disciplinary project WAKE UP! (The Revolution)’, Myanmar-based film director and visual artist Moe Myat May Zarchi brings us through the journey of a 3 finger salute, a sign of injustice towards the ongoing military coup in her country. This project is an artistic response that celebrates the spirit of the revolution in high beliefs towards a democratic nation. We are honoured to have worked with Moe last year as part of our Short Film Incubator.
Moe would like to urge everyone to join in on the 100 Projectors movement in solidarity with the pro-democracy advocates. Visit their Instagram page to learn more.
Click here to view a selection of images from ‘You Can’t Step Into The Same River Twice‘.
Hari Katragadda’s work explores communities, the environment and personal memories. Dive deeper into his series You Can’t Step Into The Same River Twice, and you will find that these mesmerising cyanotype prints are actually created from pollutants found in the Ganges River.
Based in Mumbai, Hari uses a long-term documentary approach for his practice and works with alternative photographic methods to incorporate found materials, text, fabric, and drawing in images. This series, supported by the India Habitat Photosphere grant, was previously exhibited at Objectifs during the Invisible Photographer Asia Awards in 2018.
This June, Hari will be publishing his photobook ‘’ll be looking at the moon, but I’ll be seeing you. Pre-order his book by dropping him a DM @hari.katragadda on IG!
Paul Yeung made the series Dark Light in response to his feelings of frustration during the Hong Kong anti-extradition movement in 2019.
The Hong Kong-based photographer, educator and curator started his career as a photojournalist and photo editor. Today, he has won numerous awards and his works are collected by The Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Library of The Chinese University of Hong Kong and private collectors. Paul participated in the HK/SG Photobook Exchange presented by Invisible Photographer Asia and Objectifs in 2017.
Paul would like to invite everyone to learn more about the Hong Kong photography and photobook scene:
- Be part of the upcoming 香港攝影書節 Hong Kong Photobook Festival organised by 光影作坊 Lumenvisum in March/April
- Check out books by independent photobook publisher brownie publishing here.
- Check out online photobook store The Salt Yard Photobook Store here.
In food writer Sheere Ng’s new book When Cooking was a Crime: Masak in the Singapore Prisons, 1970s – 1980s, eight former inmates recall their days of cooking supper using chamber pots and mugs, plastic bags and blankets.
“In Singapore, food is strongly associated with family ties and national pride. Taking an interest in the other kinds of relationships with food, such as the ones that arose from deprivations in prisons, offers an opportunity to get to know people and situations different from our own,” says Sheere.
Shooting Home 2009 Alum Sit Weng San is a visual artist who works primarily with still and moving images. Based in Singapore and Los Angeles, Weng San shares her ongoing project Routine as Repertoire, which explores routines that women and non-binary folks incorporate into their lives—from taking medication, cleaning of wheelchairs, meditation, exercises, rest, to community building, and so on. In doing so, Weng San hopes that illnesses, disabilities, aging, motherhood, and gender transitioning can be viewed beyond the tragic or heroic polarities.
Routine as Repertoire began with Weng San’s own early-stage cancer diagnosis in 2015 and the care work that follows the change in her body. Weng San says, “The generosity and wisdom of those who came before me, those whom I have filmed or spoken to, have guided my own journey of body acceptance.”
What began as a hobby collecting postcards evolved into a passion for photographing old HDBs for local photographer Koh Kim Chay. After a chance encounter with fellow Safra Photo Club member Eugene Ong in a darkroom, the pair started a campaign to publish a book about Singapore’s disappearing housing landscape. Today, the book retails at Objectifs as ’Singapore’s Vanished Public Housing Estates’. Revisit an invaluable window of Singapore’s history before our housing heritage was smothered beneath towers of concrete and shining glass.
Objectifs’ Shooting Home 2009 alum Lim Yaohui is a photojournalist with The Straits Times. Since joining The Straits Times, Yaohui has covered regional and international news like Malaysia’s 14th General Election and the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests in 2019. Inspired by his love for nature and the environment, he also covers feature stories about the illegal wildlife trade across Asia and the last days of Inuka, the Singapore Zoo’s last polar bear.
His latest photo essay looks at the kayaking tours through Sungei Khatib Bongsu led by Kayakasia. Sungei Khatib Bongsu is one of Singapore’s last undammed rivers with the largest concentrations of mangroves. The nature park network, which currently covers more than 350ha, will be extended by 200ha by 2030. A 40ha nature park will be established at Khatib Bongsu, a rich mangrove and mudflat habitat.
Click here to view Richard W J Koh’s aerial photos from ‘Over Singapore’, which is avaialble at major bookstores and online, including Amazon and Kinokuniya. Purchase these aerial photos as fine art metal prints via our online store.
In one of the most extensive aerial photography projects in Singapore, shots were taken from helicopters at more than 10,000 feet above sea level. Some rare aerial photos of the extremities of Singapore are presented, from the Raffles Lighthouse along the Southern border to land reclamation in the Western Tuas mega port. Quaint illusionary faces can also be seen in the myriad of industrial and urban development interlaced with gardens and naturescapes. The blend of old and new in the city core, outlying islands with coral reefs, and even the Red Lions in action are all seen from a new perspective.
12-year-old Rauf is the youngest of his 8-person household. A quiet child, he prides himself on being responsible for helping with household chores. This visual installation, comprising a portrait and illustration series, explores his perspective of growing up in a big family.
Inspired by Rauf’s hobby of collecting coins and game cards, Superhero Me built on the idea of family photos. From interviewing his family members and collecting items in the household that are “same same but different”, Rauf deepened his powers of observation and built confidence especially through directing his family members in portrait shoots. It was also an avenue for him to strengthen his ties with family members; “I felt weird to be able to instruct them to pose as I usually take instructions from everyone else,” he said, “but it was a fun way to try something new.”
His visual story of growing up in a big family is presented as part of Homerun, a community arts exhibition set in two rental flats featuring artworks by Rauf and his friends.
We still fondly remember those lively days when Superhero Me presented their exhibitions and inclusive art activities at Objectifs in 2016 and 2017, as part of their ongoing efforts to champion values-based community arts!
Objectifs’ Shooting Home 2006 alum Ore Huiying comes from a family of farmers. The Singaporean documentary photographer grew up chasing piglets and playing in the wild alongside 100 of her extended family members in a pig farm. Despite venturing into hydroponics farming when the pig farm was forced to shut down in the late 1980s, redevelopment once again caught up with Huiying and her family.
Although their farm is slated for demolition by the end of this year, Huiying is determined to continue documenting her family’s resilience in the face of an urbanised reality. Through a mix of archival photos, new images, and text, her ongoing series ‘We Are Farmers’ looks at the economic and political forces that cause family-run businesses to gradually disappear in Singapore.
We Are Farmers exhibited as a solo show at Objectifs in 2014, and we will be working with Huiying again to revisit this series in 2021.
Click here to view Juliana’s series commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO), documenting Singapore’s fight against COVID-19. Visit our online store to purchase Juliana’s zines, ‘Clear Mandate‘ and ‘Waking Up in Strange Places‘.
For this photo series, she visited the National Public Health Laboratory and met medical technologists Yen Chun Ya and Poh Wan Yee, who have been working tirelessly to test samples and observe possible mutations of the virus. Besides documenting the work of our frontline workers, Juliana also stepped into a migrant workers dorm and a senior care centre to observe how the virus affects the most vulnerable communities among us.
Click here to view the trailer for and to find out more about Karolina’s short film “Square”. Habiba’s works from this series are available in limited edition 20 x 30 cm archival prints. View more of her works at www.karolinabregula.com.
Polish artist Karolina Bregula‘s love affair with Taiwan began at Objectifs. During her residency here in 2012, she chanced upon a photobook on Taiwan in Objectifs’ library. It compelled her to visit the country, and she now divides her time between Warsaw and Tainan.
Taking inspiration from her love of Taiwan, ‘Square’ is a film set in a peaceful Taiwanese town. From a source of beauty and pleasure to one that causes discomfort, complaints, misunderstandings, and anger, the townspeople’s lives become increasingly disrupted by a hidden singing object in the communal square. The film has been exhibited internationally as a multi-channel video installation, including at the latest Singapore Biennale 2019.
Click here to find out more about Habiba’s “Life of Venus” series. Habiba’s works from this series are available in limited edition 20 x 30 cm archival prints. Please DM Habiba Nowrose on FB or @habiba_nowrose_photography on IG for print or other collaboration enquiries.
Habiba Nowrose is a visual artist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her works have been exhibited across different platforms internationally, and were featured at Objectifs’ Women in Film & Photography Showcase in 2018. A recap of the artist talk accompanying this exhibition is available here. She is also currently teaching Visual Anthropology at Pathshala South Asian Media Institute.
Taking inspiration from Renaissance period paintings, Habiba Nowrose’s Life Of Venus is a series of portraits representing the everyday woman in various stages of her life.
Awash in colours of the ocean in reference to the mythological origins of the goddess Venus, the faces of the figures are shrouded in ambiguity and anonymity to represent the loss of uniqueness and individuality in the pursuit of being the perfect mother, daughter, or wife. The colourful fabrics and patterns seek to conceal, but also urge us to look deeper beyond the surface, raising questions about society’s perceptions and expectations of femininity.
In a meta-film about a director attempting to make a film amidst the coronavirus outbreak, Back To One is a work-in-progress docu-fiction by local filmmaker Tang Kang Sheng, who was Objectifs’ Artist-in-Residence in 2017.
In the film, the character Kang Wei struggles to prepare his graduation film due to the pandemic, and his uncertainty about his craft intensifies as he remains stranded in a country far from home. This mirrors Tang Kang Sheng’s real-life situation, as he was forced to shut down a film in prep while pursuing his MFA in Film Directing at UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television.
With each passing year, Kang Sheng finds that his personal responsibilities grow to be at greater odds against his art:
“Being Asian, the traditional values that we were raised upon begins to be interrogated as society changes. For me, it has mainly been about wrestling between the communal good and prioritising individual self-interest. Making this film, I yearn for a resolution. But there are no answers, only more questions.”
Click here to find out more about Mai Nguyen Anh’s current project, which aims to investigate the cost of constructing statues of Ho Chi Minh around Vietnam while examining his contemporary portrayal across the country’s different provinces.
Mai Nguyen Anh is a Vietnamese visual artist who was the recipient of the Open Category award for the inaugural Objectifs Documentary Award in 2018. Read more about his project 63 Years here and here. He is the co-founder of Matca, a photography community in Vietnam.
This currently untitled project examines how the Vietnamese government is increasingly taking advantage of Ho Chi Minh as a tool of propaganda. Despite a poor standard of living in certain provinces in Vietnam, their governments have sought large sums of money to construct or repair statues of the former Prime Minister and President, leading to huge controversies among the public and in the media.
Don Aravind is a Singaporean screenwriter and director for both film and television.
After attempting for a few years to make Silk, Don finally self-funded and produced it with friends when the Covid-19 pandemic offered him the downtime to do so. The film sees a dutiful son struggling to reunite his fractured family amidst his father’s ailing condition, but the discovery of a family secret only makes it much harder.
Don shares: “The initial story was much simpler, with a totally different story arc and dynamics. I was also trying to secure funding for it by incorporating it into commissions. However, it never saw the light of day. […] Since I [eventually] had no one to answer or conform to, I explored more within the narrative.”
Mary-Ann Teo has been documenting local bands since 1993. As a photography educator who focuses on theory and black and white photography, she has taught at various institutions like NTU School of Art, Design and Media (ADM) and Objectifs. She exhibited her series Through a Pinhole at Objectifs in 2013.
Mary-Ann shares: “When I first discovered the local bands I found them to be much more captivating than the usual mind-numbing music that is so readily available. There seemed to be a purpose and sense in what they were doing. I wanted to show people who weren’t familiar with the scene how amazing they are not just when they are on stage but as beautiful creative people. In a way, it was also me giving them my support not just through watching their performances and buying their music. The same feeling remains to this day.”
Click here to find out more about Jeth Heng’s work and his short film 一瞬間 (A Fleeting Moment).
Jeth Heng is an award-winning filmmaker and digital content creator from Singapore. His past short film #12-99 won Best Film in the Student Category of ciNE65 IV (2017), a biannual short film competition by Nexus for which Objectifs was the film consultant and manager.
Jeth’s short film 一瞬間 (A Fleeting Moment) (2018), shot on location in Yilan, Taiwan, tells the story of two ex-lovers, entrapped by memories of a decade lost to them, who have a chance re-encounter in the town where they first met. Time seems to have stopped since then, allowing them a moment to pick up where they left off. The film was an Official Selection, Out of Competition at the Viddsee Juree Awards Singapore (2019).
Jeth explores themes of impermanence, nostalgia and memories in his films. Having lensed works that have featured at international film festivals over the past five years, he is currently venturing into creative producing, with sights on creating compelling regional content.
Click here to find out more about visual artist Doni Maulistya’s multimedia project Anatomy of Idea, which seeks to answer the question:“ How is humankind able to develop ideas about whether to believe or not believe religion?”
Doni Maulistya is a visual artist from Yogyakarta, Indonesia who was an artist-in-residence at Objectifs in 2012. Originally trained as a documentary photographer, Doni has expanded his art practice to other mediums besides photography, and also engages in curatorial work and is a professional exhibition designer.
Doni has been working on Anatomy of Idea since 2017. He shares: “[In] my social life in Indonesia, where every aspect of living can be easily connected to a religious context. I intend to work with multiple mediums and use photography as the main medium to tie the project together. […]
The Birth is a video work that I am collaborating on with a number of artists […]. [It] is about the memory of a body that has experienced maternity.
In the development process we reimagined Basic Struggle (2017), my documentary photography work about maternity. Then, the performer tries to recall her bodily memory of giving birth and re-expresses that memory to become a choreographed performance [Constellation (2017)].
This became the foundation for the video and sound works. I am waiting for the right time and a safe climate in which to continue working on the photography aspect of this project.”
Click here to find out more about lens-based practitioner and writer Mysara Aljaru‘s video work Suaraku Bukan Dosamu (My Voice is Not Your Sin), which highlights offline and online spaces created by Muslim women. This commission for Objectifs’ Women in Film 2019: Remedy for Rage exhibition was accompanied by an installation that recreated a home / bedroom. Read a recap of the artist talk featuring Mysara and other participating artists here.
Mysara Aljaru is a lens-based practitioner and writer. A former documentary producer, she is currently researching mainstream media discourse on the Malay community’s development. Her works, based on personal experiences and research, explore and reimagine dominant narratives through different mediums. Working at the intersections of art and academic, she also explores the politics of space and power structures in the process of narrative making.
Mysara shares about her video work Suaraku Bukan Dosamu (My Voice is Not Your Sin): “For many women, having a personal space is a privilege, whether it is in our own home or outside. I often question the narratives that we internalise and consume on a daily basis — when are minority Muslim women like myself able to find space for our own selves? How can we break these narratives when spaces are limited? I also wanted to relook and explore how we consume media in spaces — including the physical space itself.”
Click here to find out more about artist Dennese Victoria‘s project Flowers For, where she sought to gather handwritten letters of sorrow — invitations to contain and hold other people’s sorrow for a while.
Dennese Victoria is a Filipino artist whose practice touches on truth, memory, personal history, and the exchanges that occur between herself and those that are reached by the forming and sharing of her work. She presented her work at Objectifs’ Women in Photography exhibition in 2015, and in the group show we will have been young in 2018. She has worked as an educator, cultural worker, and cinematographer including filming for Shireen Seno‘s second feature film Nervous Translation in 2017.
Flowers For was one of the projects Dennese initiated during her residency with Los Otros in 2019. She shares: “Whatever I am doing with my work, which I almost always come to understand differently as time passes, must have something to do with creating space, holding space, even if only in the mind. To create somewhere to go, to enable witness, contact.”
Mark Chua and Lam Li Shuen are Singaporean filmmakers and musicians whose work explores the possibilities of resistance in the presentation and production of narrativity. They have written and directed films under their independent production company Emoumie and were the recipients of the Objectifs Artist Residency in 2019.
Mark and Li Shuen’s experimental sophomore feature film Revolution Launderette is set in Tokyo and features a cast of primarily indie and avant-garde musicians and artists from Japan. It follows Tomo, a young man who plots to undermine the next punchline of his existence and is drawn deeper into the stranger side of the city, where he gets more than he bargained for. Revolution Launderette is a gonzo tale of being in the world, the individual will, and the deciphering of signs.
Click here to watch Lan Yu’s award-winning first short film $ingapura, which depicts a day in the life of a Singaporean taxi driver and offers glimpses into the stories of his passengers. Read on her for thoughts about the film here.
Lan Yu is a Singaporean filmmaker who enjoys listening to stories and (re-)telling them. Her social science background has trained her to use stories as bridges to connect people, society and environments. When she isn’t writing for Weave, she’s engrossed in a brainstorm, delving deep into research, or bugging someone about a new project she’s interested in. Her personal works are driven by her interest in social issues. She believes creative stories are best served with empathy; she strives to bring out the human in every tale she tells.
$ingapura is Lan Yu’s first short film, which depicts a day in the life of a Singaporean taxi driver and offers glimpses into the stories of his passengers. It won Best Film and Best Screenplay in the Open Category of the ciNE65 Movie Makers Award (2019), a biannual short film competition by Nexus for which Objectifs was the film consultant and manager.
Click here to view Zul’s series Malay Boy (after Cheong Soo Pieng), 2020 and to read what Zul has to say about the work. This series is currently showing as part of the group exhibition How to Desire Differently, co-curated by Zul and Farizi Noorfauzi, who also exhibited in MAT. View the show online here and offline until 7 Aug at the Lim Hak Tai Gallery at NAFA.
Zulkhairi Zulkiflee’s practice revolves around Malayness, with specific interests in creative knowledge making and tensions of habituses concerning taste and class positions. He also runs Sikap, a project group interested in organisational experiments in the visual arts. Zul had curated and exhibited in the group show MAT, recipient of the inaugural Curator Open Call at Objectifs in 2019. Click here for more information about the exhibition, including its catalogue, a video featuring the artists, and media coverage.
Zul’s recent series Malay Boy (after Cheong Soo Pieng), 2020 takes the painting Malay Boy with Bird (1953) as a point of departure, specifically responding to possible tropes of the Malay male body as mediated by imaging sources like paintings, and its expansion today.
See Kian Wee (b. 1989)’s current practice explores the relationship between society, its myth-making mechanisms, and the narratives brought about by it. He works primarily with photography and looks into its efficacy as a myth-making tool, and often incorporates other visual and sensory media as well. His work has been presented at the Jendela at Esplande — Theatres on the Bay, and The Substation.
Finding Cụ Rùa is a short film about the legendary turtle of Hoan Kiem Lake, and its significance to the people of Hanoi.
Click here to view some videos from Farizi’s series, Internalised Conversations, which is being shown as part of the group exhibition How to Desire Differently, co-curated by Farizi and Zul Zulkiflee. View the show online here and offline at Lim Hak Tai Gallery, NAFA. It runs till 7 Aug.
Farizi Noorfauzi is a multidisciplinary artist whose work was part of the group show MAT, recipient of the inaugural Curator Open Call, at Objectifs in 2019. Farizi works at the intersection of media and performance, exploring trends in culture specifically within the socio-cultural context of Singapore as an intersection of diasporic cultures. He approaches personal histories as an entry point to imagining past, present and future tropes of cultural identity, via re-contextualising current assumptions and understandings of the self and each other.
Farizi’s work Internalised conversations is an an attempt at approaching sampling — both sonically and visually — as a tool for reconstructing new narratives out of disembodied film sequences from old classic Malay film. The video installation adapts dialogues and scenes from films that professedly focus on the “Malay social imaginary”, exercising pre-existing tropes of Malayness to the forefront.
nor is a multidisciplinary visual artist whose work was part of the group show MAT, recipient of the inaugural Curator Open Call at Objectifs last year. nor’s practice spans a variety of mediums including photography, film, video, performance, text and spoken word poetry. Rooted in self-portraiture, Norah engages with ideas of belonging and identity through frameworks such as gender performance, ethnographic portraits and the interweaving of transnational histories.
nor’s new text-based work Wedding 2020 is about her experience of getting “married”. It is a love letter to her own queer experience, the narratives surrounding people like herself and playfully making sense of the aspirational fantasies we are told to have.
This work is a collaborative continuation of Session #8: nor in Conversation with Wong Bing Hao, held at Peninsular in Nov 2019.
Click here to view some images from Ashfika’s series, Files of the Disappeared, and here to read a recap of the artist talk with Ashfika during Objectifs’ Women in Photography exhibition in 2019. Ashifka’s works are available for sale, and she can be contacted by email for enquiries. She will direct the proceeds towards mutual aid funds for vulnerable communities in Bangladesh.
Ashfika Rahman is a Bangladeshi photographer who explores systemic social issues through her photography. Her series Files of the Disappeared was presented at Objectifs’ Women in Photography Exhibition in 2019. Thousands of people have been picked up by the police in Bangladesh in recent years. Many were tortured in custody, and those released were not allowed to speak out. Following conversations with victims of such violence, Ashfika made portraits of them and landscape photographs of the locations where bodies have been found.
She shares, “My protagonists prefer to be photographed in their own space where they feel safe with their dearest ones. In custody, psychological and physical methods of torture are used. Though psychological torture results in more trauma, and leaves longer-term scars in the person, it cannot be visualised. I try to take my protagonists through a meditative journey, that may allow them to investigate their own anxiety which they kept secret for so long. Illustrating personal emotion in one’s own portrait is a process of healing. Stitching the photographs with golden thread is a symbolic representation of silence in custody.”
As we witness the curtailment of freedom of expressions globally, this series urges us to consider the civil and human rights we cede to those in authority. Ashfika reflects that the pandemic has made her more aware about how interconnected we are, and how collectively, we can make a difference, be it socially, economically or ecologically.
Amrita Chandradas is a Singaporean documentary photographer whose works explore issues revolving around heritage, memory, conflict, identity, changing environments and other lesser discussed issues of displacement through on-ground personal insights.
Click here to view some of the images, drawings, and the video from the series Postcards from Singapore.
Lac Hoang (aka Phuong-Thao Hoang), a visual artist and editorial photographer from Hanoi, Vietnam, who works with photography, video and drawings on the formation of identity in public space and was the recipient of Objectifs’ reciprocal artist residency with Matca last year.
Lac spent Mar 2019 in Singapore for her residency and worked on Postcards from Singapore, a project about foreign domestic workers (FDWs) in Singapore and their relationship with public spaces. Lac shares: “With a camera in one hand and an eraser in the other, I investigate the boundary between the public and the private and how that both forms and fractures one’s identity. Appropriating digital media — found footage, photographs and stories — I archive humans’ responses to space, especially where the boundary blurs between publicity and privacy, labour and leisure, authorisation and reclamation of power.”
Click here to view some images from the series How They Love. You may contact Charmaine directly via email to purchase her prints. How She Loves, a book documenting Charmaine’s residency with the Exactly Foundation, is available on the Objectifs online store.
Charmaine Poh is a Singaporean photographer, artist and writer who has been a mentor for Objectifs’ Shooting Home Youth Awards photography mentorship programme and whose project Room was part of the Women in Photography 2018 Slideshow Projection presented by Objectifs and Women Photograph.
Charmaine’s practice often employs ethnography, focusing on issues of performativity, memory, and gender. Her genre-spanning work combines image-making with research, text, video and installation. When not working on long-term projects, she works with brands, non-profits, and editorial outlets to produce imagery. Her work has been exhibited internationally and featured in publications including i-D, Channel News Asia and The New York Times. In 2019, she was recognised as one of Forbes Asia 30 under 30 – The Arts.
Charmaine’s project How They Love examines the performativity of queer feminine identity in the local context. Through a process of collaborative image-making, the series examines the ways in which romantic partners express desire as well as the manifestations of their individual identity formation project in the contemporary queer experience. Made over a period of two years, the series is both an attempt to validate and render visible these identities, as well as an inquiry into appearance and engagement, as it is performed in front of the camera.
How They Love was first initiated through an Exactly Foundation residency in 2018 (which culminated in an exhibition at Objectifs in 2019) before turning into Charmaine’s thesis project as part of the M.A. in Visual and Media Anthropology at the Freie Universität Berlin. It has been showcased internationally both offline and online. Charmaine is currently working to make her projects into artist books.
Click here to view some images from the series Myth, which are available for sale as prints. Please contact Hui Hsien directly via email if you are interested in purchasing a print. Part of the proceeds from the print sales will be donated to Dorcas Home Care.
Ng Hui Hsien is an artist, writer and researcher. Her art practice uses photography as a medium to explore themes such as consciousness, the nature of reality, (im)materiality and interconnectivity; they are sites where the unconscious can find expression, indirectly or otherwise. Her work has been internationally exhibited and is in both public and private collections. Hui Hsien has been a mentor for Objectifs’ Shooting Home Youth Awards photography mentorship programme and presented her solo exhibition The Weight of Air at Objectifs in 2016.
Hui Hsien’s new photographic work Myth explores the idea of interconnectivity. Comprising unique photographic prints created in the darkroom using organic matter such as earth, flowers and rocks, the work references cosmological events and geological phenomena.
Hui Hsien says of her series Myth – “It is an invitation to wonder about how we are all connected — with one another and with the environment.”
Clang shares with Objectifs his series, The Moment (2011), and his thoughts on photographers/visual artists making work during this trying period. Click here to read more.
For emerging photographers and visual artists, Clang is offering the opportunity to contact him if you have any questions about your work or would like to seek professional/artistic advice during this period. You may contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Clang is a Singaporean visual artist whose practice often straddles dual realities of global cities, unfettered by confines of time and geography. He has participated in numerous international exhibitions, and his works have entered the permanent collections of Singapore Art Museum and National Museum of Singapore. In 2010, he became the first photographer to garner the Designer of the Year award at the President’s Design Award. In 2013, a showcase of over 90 works by Clang was exhibited at the National Museum of Singapore. Clang has previously conducted portfolio reviews at Objectifs, and is one of our featured photographers in the Image Makers: Singapore Photographers short documentaries series.
Clang shares “These portraits were created with 3 cameras triggered all at the same precise moment, to emphasise the idea of being together… with these images, I hope we can appreciate the people around us, especially during this tough time.”
Click here to view some images from the series (Un)bound, and click here for a recap of the artist talk with Grace Baey and her collaborators, held at Objectifs in 2018. Grace is looking to work with more individuals from the transgender and queer community in Singapore. Please reach out to her if you or anyone you know would like to be involved.
Grace Baey is a Singapore-based documentary photographer. Trained as a human geographer, Grace is interested in issues of place, identity, and belonging. Her personal work focuses on transgender and queer identity in Singapore and Southeast Asia. She has been a mentor for Objectifs’ Shooting Home Youth Awards and was a recipient of the inaugural Objectifs Documentary Award (Emerging Category) in 2018, where she presented her series (Un)bound.
(Un)bound is a collaborative project about the lives of trans men and women in Singapore. Through portraits, journal entries and scrapbooking, these stories reflect on experiences of struggle, resilience, and coping strategies amidst the challenges of gender norms in society.
Grace worked closely with individuals to tease out specific story points in their life journeys, as well as issues pertaining transgender identity that they felt were valuable to highlight. A converging theme was family, and the different pressure points of what we understand and expect of familial ties and family formation.
Kris Ong is a Singaporean writer / director of several short films and music videos that have screened at international film festivals and platforms like MTV Asia. Kris is the co-founder of Momo Film Co. Her latest short film Sunday had its world premiere at the Palm Springs International ShortFest 2019 and was in competition at the 30th Singapore International Film Festival. Kris was the recipient of Objectifs’ reciprocal residency with the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival last year and was one of five artists commissioned to create a short film for the 2019 Objectifs Women in Film & Photography Showcase.
You Idiot (2018) by Kris Ong follows Darren and Matt who roam the streets one night, writing a song about what’s to come in their happy-go-lucky world.You Idiot is a love letter to late night conversations, and a gentle friendship between two young men — and all the more poignant in our current circumstances in its celebration of the freedom of being outdoors together, in good company.
Ramasamy Madhavan from Tamil Nadu, India, works in Singapore as a site engineer. $alary Day, which he directed and acted in, depicts the life of a migrant worker in Singapore.
This film, the first produced out of a collaboration between migrant workers and Singaporeans, addresses themes of migration, labour, wages and family, and is an important addition to the range of narratives depicting migrant workers’ experiences in Singapore, as it is told by a member of their community.
Madhavan says of his film: “I wanted to visualise the life of migrant workers, especially for their families and for local people, as migrant workers work in Singapore in huge numbers. Migrant workers face this kind of situation mainly because of a piece of paper (money). Everyone is running for it, including myself.”
Click here for Brian’s series on the evolving responses of the community to the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore.
Brian Teo is a photographer who has exhibited locally and been featured in major publications like Lianhe Zaobao 联合早报. In 2016, Brian participated in Objectifs’ Shooting Home Youth Awards, an annual mentorship programme for young photographers aged 15 to 23. Since then, he has gone on to clinch the CDL Singapore Young Photographer Award in 2018 and was a finalist in LensCulture’s Black & White Photography Awards in 2019.
Brian has been documenting the ever-evolving behaviours of people going about their daily lives since the outbreak of the COVID-19 situation in Singapore. It has been a volatile few months ever since the first case of the coronavirus was reported in Singapore on 24 January. As we reach yet another milestone, with the recent extension of the circuit breaker, only time will tell how this epidemic will pan out.
Brian reflects: “Documenting the ever-evolving responses of the community to the pandemic not only allows me to process the situation, but also serves as a way for me to sharpen my creative edge during the circuit breaker period. This is a good time to slow down, reflect, and perhaps even put things in a different perspective.”
Kong Chong Yew is a photographer who has been a mentor for Objectifs’ Shooting Home Youth Awards. Since 9 Feb, Chong Yew has been working on Stay Home For Us, a series documenting Singapore’s medical workers involved in the frontline and backend operations of the fight against COVID-19. This series is commissioned by National University Health System – NUHS, a cluster of healthcare institutions in the west.
Says Chong Yew: “Being close to the action really lends perspective to how everyone in the hospital has an essential role in containing the virus. They work in shifts round the clock to care for their patients, while keeping in mind of all the infectious diseases protocols. It’s a tireless assignment. When SARS and H1N1 hit our shores, I was still a student. As a photographer now, I hope to share the brave work of our frontliners through my pictures. This is my contribution towards the battle against the virus. For the rest of us, we can help by simply staying at home.”
Purchase Li Lin’s DVD, A Wee Thing, from our online store. Enjoy the film’s trailer and a peek behind the scenes.
Wee Li Lin has won awards including Best Director at Singapore International Film Festival – SGIFF and is a part-time screenwriting lecturer at NTU School of Art, Design and Media (ADM). Objectifs has distributed Li Lin’s short films, screened her works in our Watch Local programme, and worked with her on our filmmaking and scriptwriting workshops.
Her film, The Perm, commissioned for ciNE65 IV, is a heartwarming story of intergenerational relationships and the warmth of community spaces like Singapore’s old hair salons. In this current climate which calls for safe distancing measures, The Perm reminds us of family members and friends, and the neighbourhood spots we look forward to gathering in again when we can.
In Young Love, Sean photographed students who were either best friends or lovers in pairs. If you are or know anyone ideally between the ages of 17 to 23 who fits this description, contact him via email. He is looking to photograph more pairs, with the end goal of self-publishing a book.
Of his series Young Love, Sean says, “When I was 17-years old and a student, the girl sitting beside me in class passed away after a short struggle with an illness… She had stopped school for a while, but because no one knew the seriousness of her condition, we all thought it was a matter of time before she came back. When she passed away, we did not have the chance to say goodbye… I often tell my students that photography teaches us above all things, that our time here is brief. Perhaps this work is a way for me to say a proper goodbye to my youth, and to my friend.”
All of the work on his website is also available for sale as prints on Awagami Bamboo paper, longest side 20cm. They will be unframed and without editions, at S$280 each.
Watch Wei Keong’s 2017 award winning short film Between Us Two, which features a conversation between a gay son and his dead mother.
Objectifs has worked closely with Wei Keong over the years, distributing his short films Hush Baby and White. Visit our online store to purchase tote bags handprinted by Wei Keong, featuring Kingdom, and rent Wei Keong’s short films on the Objectifs Film Library.
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The work at Objectifs continues behind the scenes during the COVID-19 period. As a non-profit arts organisation, we count on donations to enable us to support the arts community, and to keep creating programmes that broaden perspectives and inspire people through the power of images.
We are an Institution of Public Character (IPC) status. As such, your donations will qualify for a 250% tax deduction for the year 2020. Your contribution will also be eligible for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth’s Cultural Matching Fund, that provides a dollar-for-dollar match for cash donations to arts and heritage charities. Thank you for supporting our work!