In 2015, Singapore will turn 50…
The founders of Platform – Tay Kay Chin, Darren Soh, Ernest Goh and Leonard Goh – are proud to present a new initiative to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence.
TWENTYFIFTEEN.SG or 2015 to most people, will be the group’s biggest undertaking to date.
From August 2013 to August 2015, we will publish 20 books by 20 selected photographers, and each book will contain 15 new images which will be shot specially for this project.
The planned run for each book will be 500 copies and we hope to release at least one a month.
In line with Platform’s belief, all works generated remain the copyright of the individual photographers, who will be granting us the first rights to publish and exhibit worldwide.
As the country moves toward the Golden Jubilee, it will be interesting and important to take stock of different aspects of our history and progress.
In looking backward at our struggles, we can remind each other of the difficult roads that had been taken to bring us to the current state.
In examining the present, we can celebrate, as a people, the fruits of the fights, which will allow us then to look forward to the decades to come.
Photography is a powerful and suitable medium to reconcile the past, present and future, and thus the perfect choice for this exercise.
In previous key milestones in Singapore history, ambitious photographic projects were commissioned, and that is itself a testimony of photography’s importance.
In 1984, A Salute to Singapore, a mammoth book effort, brought dozens of world-famous photographers to our shore. In addition, four photographers from The Straits Times provided some local perspectives.
About five years later, in 1990, Singapore: Island, City, State, another photography coffee-table was commissioned, and this time, the contributors were predominantly local photographers.
The results were startlingly different – the former provided a more cursory, superficial, and foreign look at the way we lived; while the latter delved a little deeper into the everyday, and the ‘ordinary’. Also, the publications were restricted to the coffee-table book form, thus limiting their reach.
Fast-forward two decades, while nothing of similar scales were commissioned, the growth of photography in Singapore as a career option, as well as a way of recording history and preserving heritage, has been significant.
There are substantially more professional photographers based and originating from Singapore. There are more local photographers with books in their names.
But more importantly, increasingly, more and more home-bred photographers have found subject matters from our own backyard, devoted extended period of time to work on them, and then presented them to the world using their own style and points of views.
We can say, quite confidently, that Singapore photography has come of age.
The time is right for a new project that seeks to curate and present these unique points of views, of uniquely Singapore subject matters – by Singaporeans, for everyone who cares.
It is based on all these reasons that the four of us discussed, as early as 2011, this project.
Deciding on TWENTYFIFTEEN.SG was easy.
METHODS, APPROACHES, OUTCOMES
- a group of eminent as well as up-and-coming Singaporean photographers will be commissioned to create new photographic works, based on their areas of expertises and interests
- they will be selected based on track records, awards garnered, standing in the local as well as international communities, unique visions, professionalism and commitment to their art
- the four drivers of the project will shortlist and interview each candidate, to suss out his suitability and interest
- instead of a free-for-all, each candidate will work on a project close to his heart, and one we believe to be an area that will bring out the best results
- regular work-in-progress meetings between contributors and the core drivers to track progress
- monthly presentation, from now till 2015, to generate interest
We hope you are as excited as us.