The Photographers

11791046_10152850712266076_1021232411_oBryan van der Beek is an award-winning commercial and editorial photographer based in Singapore. His images cover Asia, North America and Europe. A former executive photojournalist with The Straits Times, he has also worked with newspapers in the United States. His photographs have appeared in international publications such as TIME, TIME Asia, Newsweek and the Washington Post. Bryan’s photographs can be found in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Singapore. A graduate of the Indiana University School of Journalism, he has lectured at Nanyang Technological University, Temasek Polytechnic and the Objectifs Centre for Photography and Filmmaking.

The portrait of Bryan van der Beek was drawn by Flee Circus.

To purchase a copy of Transitions by Bryan van der Beek, please visit:

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Nicky Loh is a full-time commercial photographer based in Singapore and Shanghai. He started out as a photojournalist with Reuters and soon expanded his repertoire to specialise in portraiture and documentary photography. In his photographs, he aims to create visuals that are naturalistic and convey an emotional truth. He is drawn to capturing the unguarded moment, the spontaneous interaction, the exchange of a sincere glance – the real intimacy, joy, concentration or excitement in someone’s eyes. Loh’s clients include HSBC, Singapore Tourism Board, Nike, Adidas, Esquire and Bvlgari. Loh also prides himself on being one of the last few fluent speakers of Hainanese in Singapore, and has the uncanny ability to eat chicken rice and kaya toast everyday.

The portrait of Nicky Loh was drawn by Flee Circus.

To purchase a copy of Common Wealth by Nicky Loh, please visit:

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Sam&Sam has been making portraits together since 2012. The team consists of Sam Chin and Samuel He.

Sam Chin is a Singapore-based photographer who seeks to reflect societal and environmental issues through his pictures. In 2012, his work on migrant workers, SuperHeroes, was exhibited at the National Museum of Singapore as part of the show, 10 Years of Shooting Home. Sam graduated from the School of Art, Design & Media, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography and digital imaging.

Samuel He is a director at Weave. Besides photographs, he also makes documentary and commercial films. Previously, he spent four years as a photojournalist at the Straits Times. Samuel is a graduate of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at NTU.

The portrait of Sam&Sam was drawn by Flee Circus.

To purchase a copy of DEFU by Sam&Sam, please visit:

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Edwin Koo was born in Singapore in 1978. He graduated with first class honours from Nanyang Technological University’s School of Communication Studies, specialising in journalism. In 2003, he stumbled into photography when he landed a full-time job as a photojournalist in the now-defunct tabloid Streats. In 2008, after five years as a news photographer, he left the newsroom and moved to Nepal with his newly-wedded wife. As an independent documentary photographer, Koo focused mainly on issues of human displacement and a lost sense of identity. His pet subjects included Tibetan exiles, Maoist guerrillas and Pakistan’s Swat Valley.

In 2011, Koo returned home. His first personal project in Singapore – dedicated to his newborn son – was to document the historic 2011 general elections. This culminated in his first solo exhibition, Notes from a Singapore Son (2011), a body of work reflecting the currents of change in Singapore’s political landscape.

Koo’s work has been recognised internationally. In 2009, he was awarded the Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography and his work on Pakistan won a third placing in the UNICEF Photo of the Year. In 2012, he was awarded the ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu, which recognises a Singaporean artist for an outstanding body of photographic work.

The portrait of Edwin Koo was drawn by Flee Circus.

To purchase a copy of Transit by Edwin Koo, please visit:

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SIT WENG SAN is a Singaporean artist who works primarily with still and moving images. She has a background in economics and worked for almost a decade in a maintenance chemical company, during which time she became fairly competent in stain removal and rust prevention within shipyards and other industries. That experience has led her to begin her practice investigations into systems and power structures that create the gap between representations and individual identities, which are often the foundation and reinforcer of deeply entrenched inequalities. These systems do not function in isolation, but are fluid intersections crossing between nationality, gender, race, the body, globalisation, resistance, mythologies and other themes.

Weng San has exhibited in Singapore, Los Angeles and New York City. She was a recipient of the CalArts Scholarship, the David Bermant Foundation Fellowship and Director Scholarship at the International Center of Photography. She was selected for the SOMA Summer residency in Mexico City (2013) and the SPARC (Senior Partnering with Artists Citywide) grant in New York City (2012), and won the UOB Painting of the Year Award (Photography Section) in Singapore in 2008. She holds an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and is based in Los Angeles and Singapore.

COLOMBA CRUZ ELTON born in 1984 in Santiago de Chile is an interdisciplinary graphic designer, photographer and visual artist. Her work has been exhibited at Cirrus Gallery, Ooga Booga and the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA Museum in Los Angeles and in Common Center in Seoul, Korea. She was selected for the CalArts+Kookmin Design Summer Program in 2014 and for the Design Summer Workshop Otis University in 2013. In 2011 she won the Torre Iberdrola Artist’s Book Contest. Colomba holds an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and a BA from University Finis Terrae in Santiago de Chile, where she also received the University Finis Terrae Award in 2006 and 2009. Colomba is the co-founder and patner of Kat+Colomba, graphic design studio based in Los Angeles.

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Bernice Wong (b. 1988) is a documentary photographer based in Singapore. An avid traveller with a keen interest in social issues, she uses her work as visual stories to cast light on under-reported segments of society, with particular attention to the fortitude and fragility of the human condition.

Her photographs on migrant and indigenous communities in South and Southeast Asia have earned numerous awards in international photography contests such as the Prix de la Photographie, Freedom House, and The Other Hundred. Aligned with her passion to promote social engagement through photography, her work has been exhibited by Plan International’s BIAAG campaign in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and supported by the Singapore National Arts Council for public education purposes.

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Zinkie Aw |zɪŋkɪ aʊ| [zeen-key ahow]
noun. Singaporean photographer NRIC S85XXXXXX born in 1985. Female. Has an obsession with ‘trashy portraits’. Has photographed trend stories about the Psy-nomenon (Once Upon A Gangnam Style, 2012) and Candy Crush (Meet the Candi-Dates, 2013). Also tells Home Store-ies (2014) through photographs of storerooms in Singapore. Her observations revolve around issues of identity, urban consumption, trends and the environment.

Zinkie’s photos have been published in the Sunday Times (UK), Kult Magazine, Catalog (Singapore), Straits Times (Singapore), Weekend Weekly (Hong Kong) and《 L a V i e . 漂 亮 》 (Taiwan). Her work has also been featured online news at Invisible Photographer Asia, designboom, PetaPixel and PSFK. She has exhibited in the Singapore International Photography Festival (2014), Milan Image Art & Design Fair (2014), Px3 Prix de la Photographie Paris exhibition (2013) and Galeri Petronas in Kuala Lumpur (2013).


The portrait of Zinkie Aw was drawn by Flee Circus; and Leonard Goh, who will anchor all the interviews in this series, is a co-founder of Platform.

To purchase a copy of Singaporelang – What the Singlish? by Zinkie Aw, please visit:

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Ore Huiying is a documentary photographer from Singapore. Her practice revolves around storytelling. She works mostly on personal projects and editorial assignments. Her work has been published in Le Monde (France), Courrier International (France), British Journal of Photography (UK), Ojo de Pez magazine (Spain) and BBC (UK), among others.

Since 2008, Ore’s work has also been exhibited in photo festivals, museums and galleries both regionally and internationally, at venues such as the Arts House (Singapore), Dali International Photo Festival, Gallery Lichtblick Cologne and HOST Gallery (London). She received one of the best portfolio prizes at the inaugural Singapore International Photo Festival in 2008. The same year, the National Arts Council (Singapore) awarded her a Professional Development Grant in support of her work.

Ore was named one of the 10 Platform Emerging Photographers in Singapore 2010 and was selected to participate in the 1st Asian Women Photographers’ Showcase at the Angkor Photo Festival. She was nominated for the Sagamihara Photo City’s Asia Prize (Japan) and received a Select Award in the Kuala Lumpur International Photo Award. Most recently, in 2013 Ore was nominated for ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu, a photography award in Singapore that honours photographers’ original vision and dedication to their craft.

In 2010, Ore completed her Masters of Arts in Photojournalism & Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication. She spent three years working and living in London, then returned to Singapore in 2013. Her photography is focused on investigating the progression of Southeast Asian societies in the global context.

To purchase a copy of We Are Farmers by Ore Huiying, please visit:

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ernestErnest Goh is a visual artist from Singapore. His focus on the natural world was nurtured when he was a young boy, wading and looking for fish in the streams of the kampung where his grandmother lived. In 2011 he presented The Fish Book, a whimsical study of the ornamental fish bred in Singapore. Following that, in 2013 he released COCKS, a book showcasing portraits of supermodels of the chicken world. He is also the creative director of The Animal Book Co., an outfit that works with animal welfare groups through photography.

To purchase a copy of The Gift Book by Ernest Goh, please visit:

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As Singapore has developed over the last few decades, it has experienced a tireless ‘renewal’ that never ceases. Indeed, whenever someone purchases a property here, especially a residence, it seems almost unthinkable that it will not go through a state of transformation. The question is not “Will it change? Will it be renovated?” but how much renewal the space will have to go through. At any given time today, in any residential area, there is bound to be at least one house, flat or shop space being skilfully demolished, built or rebuilt by construction workers. It has become a very normal scene – nothing surprising.

Amid the haste of going through this change, there are many occasions when portions of the old buildings are left behind. Some may have been intentionally left to be integrated with the new structure, but in most cases, the remnant appears to just have been forgotten. It is like an old scar that is trying to blend with the new skin, hoping to be healed yet remaining precariously obvious. Many of these remnants look awkward and stick out and dominate where they remain, although some have been hidden after many years of being left alone, either overgrown by plants or shrouded by other impermanent structures.

These are what I call senseless spaces – spaces that are utterly meaningless in terms of their utilitarian purpose or design. Most of these have been left behind or forgotten, perhaps some with the hope that no one would notice that they actually belong to an old part of the building. Most of these ‘senseless spaces’ can be traced to previous structures or dated to a certain moment in the history of that space. Many of these spaces are quite idiosyncratic and leave one wondering whether the original intention was for it to be left behind.

Whatever the reasons may be, the fact is that the ‘senseless space’ has been left in an unsettled manner. Perhaps it is this uncertainty that has drawn me to capture its surreal environment. I think I call these places ‘senseless’ as they probably leave one feeling bewildered and perplexed, trying to figure out “Why was this left here?” Even if one explores the space for an answer, as I have, in most cases there are no answers to be found.

Most of the areas shown here are places that are currently inhabited or operational. Since these venues are in use, the non-functionality or absurdity of the space provokes a feeling of puzzlement. Very dreamlike in nature, they appeared withdrawn and incoherent from the rest of the setting.

To purchase a copy of Senseless Spaces by Chow Chee Yong, please visit:

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