Tell-tale Lines, a personal project created in late 2015. It’s a tribute to the untold hard work, from stay-home mothers to nurses, from cleaners to clerks, and especially the pioneers of Singapore whose perseverance and resilient have inspired me to become who I’m today. The exhibition was first launched at The Substation on 16th March and ended on 28th March 2016.
As a People and Portrait Photographer for almost 20 years I have photographed many people from all walks of life. And during my 12 years career as a staff photographer in The Straits Times, I was lucky enough to have photographed some of the world most iconic figures, such as leaders like Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin, George W. Bush, Lee Hsien Loong and many more.
But above all, there was one who I felt extremely privileged to have photographed, not once but numerous occasions. He was the founding father of the modern Singapore, the visionary who was responsible to turn the once a swampy island into today world class city-state, with precious decision. He was no other than the man himself, Lee Kuan Yew, the extraordinary.
Not too long ago I was commissioned by a client to do conceptual people photography. The job required me to art direct and photograph a campaign for a play in London. After several months of discussion and conceptualisation, the shoot finally took place and off I was flown to the capital of England.
The shoot involved some extensive co-ordination because the entire team was made up of talents from different parts of the world, three prolific stage actresses from three different countries, Finland, England, and America, video crew and makeup artists from Italy, and myself a Photographer from Singapore. The shoot took two days in a studio once used to be a train station, the three actresses were photographed against a white background, the concept was to digitally stripped in a background and then passed down to a designer to create a vintage looking poster, booklet and billboard.
After the shoot had completed, back to Singapore and intensive post production work began. First it was hunting, a lot of legworks were put in to hunt for samples from different places and to photograph them. Second, back in the workstation, digitally reconstruction, mixing nature and metal to create make-believe elements as parts of the concept.
After a month or so the final collection of work was completed and was delivered to the client. The client was very happy with the result and he decided he wanted me complete the entire visual, meaning to design the poster, booklet and billboard as well. The reason for his decision was simple, I was the creator of the dish, I knew the flavour better than anyone else. Although I knew there would be a lot of eye damaging in front of the computer but I agreed to take up job further, and the final result was most satisfying.