Photo projects on home, by young photographers

1 to 31 Aug 2018, 11am – 9pm daily
Library@Orchard, Orchard Gateway
Admission: Free
Venue sponsored by National Library Board

Artist Talk: Sat 4 Aug, 4pm to 5.30pm at Library@Orchard

This exhibition celebrates the works of nine young participants in the Shooting Home Youth Awards 2017. SHYA is a platform for students aged 15 to 23 to develop their photographic skills and ambitions.

The young photographers draw inspiration from their surroundings and issues close to their hearts, in this group show themed around ideas of home. They were mentored by Joseph Nair, Irvin Tan, Charmaine Poh, Grace Baey and Nurul Huda.

The exhibiting artists are Jean Low, Joanna Lee, Ong Kong Liang, Nur Sabrina Bte Fatta Jamol, Joanna Tan, Ethan Chng Wenxuan, Cleo Chua Jingyi, Leong Kit Shan and Joyce Chua. In addition, the exhibition presents works by two SHYA alumni, Brian Teo (2016) and Donn Tan (2012).

Read on below for more details on each of their projects.

The call for submissions for Shooting Home Youth Awards 2018 is open now. Apply here by 1 Oct. 

From “The Traditional Bakery” by Jean Low

Taking an interest in vanishing trades around Singapore, I wanted to look into the daily process of making traditional bread and find out what precisely makes traditional bakeries such as Sing Hon Loong so distinctive.

Is it the façade? The process of bread cutting? Or is it the workers? With their ageing pool of older workers on top of the difficulties in employing young locals, the future of this bakery is uncertain. 10 years down the road, will we still be able to enjoy traditional bread?

Jean Low participated in SHYA 2017 as a JC1 student at River Valley High School. Her work focuses mainly on human portraits and landscapes. Through capturing precious moments of humans, she aims to bring out the candid emotions of individuals.

She occasionally takes part in Instameets, such as Ren Ci Hospital and instaSG’s collaboration in 2016, where her work was exhibited as part of ‘1 Lens | 2 Photos | 3 Words’.

From “A Teddy Bear Friendship” by Joanna Lee

Teddy bears are one of man’s best companions, bringing joy to people of all ages. They are like a friend who will always be there to comfort you with a hug and offer their listening ear without saying a word. Sadly, we often fail to treasure them. At first, we are excited to bring them home as our new friend and we enjoy our time spent with them before we start distancing ourselves from them, treating them like unwanted objects as they become just like one of our old toys. Eventually, we even abandon them, forgetting the many years of friendship and memories that we shared… but without us, teddy bears can also be equally happy. This also signifies our friendships with our friends. While no one is indispensible in this world, we should always cherish our friends for all the love and joy that they have showered upon us.

Joanna Lee participated in SHYA 2017 as a Secondary 4 student of Tanjong Katong Girls School, where she was a student photographer. She is also currently a student photographer in her college. She began her photography journey in Secondary 1 under the guidance of her teacher, Ms Charissa Lim, who developed her passion for photography. Joanna now enjoys portrait and nature photography.

From “Transparent Play” by Ong Kong Liang

“Transparent Play” explores the nuances of performances that take place within the playground space. These grounds may be mundane but are an important part of our lives, playtimes, conversations and reflections, which add to the utilitarian beauty of this place.

In such spaces, the carefree emotion that flows from a child’s imaginative play is juxtaposed against the leisure of grownups. “Transparent Play” reveals the common desire for an enjoyable moment in which life is a little more carefree.

Ong Kong Liang participated in SHYA 2017 as a Year 1 student at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. He is an aspiring artist who strives to create works that address contemporary issues and evoke reflection in individuals, and has a passion for conveying his ideas through photography and pencil mediums. He draws inspiration from his personal reflections and stories and spaces that resonate with him.

From “Kin” by Nur Sabrina Bte Fatta Jamol

These photographs attempt to depict the relationship between siblings that share a huge age gap. It may be rough and infuriating at first, especially due to the generation gap but with time, siblings learn to adapt and understand each other. Just like everyone else, my younger brother and I often fight over the smallest matters but we continue to grow and “survive” with each other. We are really comfortable, to the point where he does not mind me taking pictures of him doing his daily routine, mostly in my room.

Nur Sabrina participated in SHYA 2017 as a Year 1 student at Millennia Institute. She takes photographs of her surroundings almost every day. She regularly shoots things that intrigues her or places that she goes to. She picked up her interest in photography when she was required to take pictures in reference to her subject matter for art, one of the subjects she takes in school. Since then, she snaps pictures of the most random things. She also takes pictures during events and performances, even when she is the performer herself.

From “Tug of (Space) War” by Joanna Tan

Not a day goes by without a little squabble in the room we sisters share. Every day is a power struggle for personal space and privacy, where we mark our boundaries differently, be it with towers of books or heaps of clothing, to monopolise that certain corner of the room. These photographs capture the day-to-day antics of what we do to occupy a larger territory or how we simply learn to live together harmoniously.

Joanna Tan participated in SHYA 2017 as a Year 4 student at River Valley High School. Every blink of the eye bids goodbye to the image before you and because things progress so rapidly in our life, I discovered that the only way to retain that image for eternity, as well as the accompanying memories, is through photography.

From “Unseen Beauty” by Ethan Chng Wenxuan

This series of photos is about exploring the airport’s daily life. It is about who goes there for leisure, small things people use often but sometimes overlook, and most of all the hustle and bustle of movement of people and cars that evoke a profound sense of happiness in me.

Ethan participated in SHYA 2017 as a Secondary 2 student at Zhonghua Secondary School. He is a keen photographer who is deeply intrigued by the complexity of things. He deeply enjoys examining the hidden story within. He loves hidden aesthetic lines, curves within everyday objects, bold tones and interesting use of colour that reveals its use as he delves deeper into the subject.

From “Memories” by Cleo Chua Jingyi

My grandmother has always been foreign to me. Her antiques are all that is left of her past. She has dementia and with the medication she takes her memories are left in fragments — incomplete. She often acts out of character and is starting to become more dismissive and unresponsive. Despite the circumstances her memories are relatively within the tangible items she keeps around her every day. These objects are significant in giving an insight into my grandmother’s quirks, beliefs and feelings —  the very essence that brings her individuality out. Through this series I look into my relationship with my grandmother through the objects which signify the memories of our interaction, along with the present reminder that age is catching up to her. Time doesn’t stop.

Cleo Chua participated in SHYA 2017 as a Year 1 student at Millennia Institute. She is an aspiring photographer who is known for her keen interest in abstract and conceptual themes. As a student of both visual arts and studio art, Cleo has found a love for interpretation and expression of art, which she hopes to showcase in her works.

From “Home Sweet Home” by Leong Kit Shan

“Home Sweet Home” is a short series on an animal shelter. The shelter houses hundreds of dogs and felines, and this number increases year by year, due to the shelter’s no-kill policy. It is a home for the unwanted, abused and injured. A ‘home’, rather than a shelter, because most of the animals do not see a future beyond the iron gates. Instead, they live out their old age with only one another, with a few trusted human volunteers and helpers who care for their basic needs.

Kit Shan participated in SHYA 2017 as a Year 1 student at Raffles Institution (Junior College). She is an 18-year-old who started photography four years ago in 2014. She first started with food photography, but later found an interest in humans as well. She is especially inclined towards the power of imagery to express the abstract human condition, as well as various social topics.

She is extremely grateful to be given opportunities to explore different aspects of society with her camera and the help of invaluable guidance by her mentors.

From “Vitality” by Joyce Chua

As a student who just completed my secondary school education, I have made friends during the five years who will be there for me through thick and thin. Something special about us is that we share something in common, that we are diagnosed with clinical depression. Through my photography, I want to let you venture through our journey with us. To many, it will seem that we are a bunch of friends just hanging out but we are in fact fighting through something that cannot be seen and emotionally, we have to be strong for one another. Wanting to spread awareness that clinical depression happens in children and teenagers as well, I photographed our school holidays together and those who pay close attention will realise the importance of friends.

Joyce Chua participated in SHYA 2017 as a Secondary 5 student at Junyuan Secondary School. She photographs mainly human portraits and her day to day life as someone who sees the world in a different light. She is pursuing film to make work that will spread awareness on mental health and wants to capture moments that others can relate to as well.

From “Qing Ming” by Brian Teo

My work revolves around the Qing Ming festival at Lim Chu Kang Cemetery, at a time where a large portion of the graves are going to be exhumed to make way for the expansion of the Tengah Air Base. The Qing Ming festival, also known as the tomb sweeping day, is an event that I have been participating in for many years, following my parents to pay respects to my ancestors at columbariums. Yet, I had little understanding of the rituals, especially when there are different intricacies amongst dialect groups.

Hence, in a bid to comprehend the cultural practices of my ethnic group, I visited Lim Chu Kang Cemetery during this year’s Qing Ming Festival. Being one of the oldest and largest cemeteries, I had hoped to get a glimpse of the origins of the Qing Ming Festival. Fortunately, despite the cemetery being in disarray from a freak storm a few nights before, visitors were still able to get around without too much trouble.

Brian is a budding photographer who is exploring the world of photography. He participated in SHYA 2016 as a JC1 student at Jurong Junior College, with “Kailin” being his first exhibited work. Brian has continued from exploring the initial theme of ‘home’ to ‘culture’ now.

He was formerly the Vice President of the New Media Club for Commonwealth Secondary School and the President of the Photographic Society for Jurong Junior College. This is also his fourth year contributing to the Student Correspondents’ Club at Lianhe Zaobao. His works have been published on Dou Hao and Lianhe Zaobao alike, with the Qing Ming Festival being his latest feature on 早报周刊.

From “Unscripted” by Donn Tan

Donn’s wedding work is inspired by his obsession with visual storytelling, as he believes that there will always be something special in places where people are not looking. Love and all its intricacies just happens to be the story he chooses to tell.

“I am merely an observer, a fly on the wall. That is what I do, what I have always done. I look out for / keep my eyes peeled for the little nuances of your unique stories, that tell people infinitely more about you than you let on. Remember, your moments are yours to keep, and not mine to mould. At the end of the day, I won’t need to remind you to hug your loved ones or tell them you love them, because I know you will most likely do it. In your own special way. And I will be there, to make sure you have something special to remember those moments.”

Donn Tan (b.1993) is a Singaporean wedding photographer and 1/4 of Tinydot Photography.  He is also currently a Year 4 Photography Major at NTU’s School of Art, Design and Media. He participated in Junior Shooting Home 2012 as a JC2 student at Serangoon Junior College. The passion for his craft comes from his unyielding curiosity towards people and their interactions with all things (living and non-living), and how spaces and scenes reflect the emotions of the people involved in them.