Singapore International Photography Festival

Singapore International Photography Festival
'Somewhere Only I Know' by Donna Chiu
Singapore International Photography Festival
'Catch' by Wolfgang Zurborn
Singapore International Photography Festival
'Signs' by Akkara Naktamna
Singapore International Photography Festival
'Stateland' by Marvin Tang

The biennial Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF) was the first of its kind when it premiered in 2008, and this year’s fifth edition promises to showcase even more works by South-East Asian artists. The festival includes a slew of exhibitions, workshops, and public talks by the likes of veteran photojournalist Li Zhensheng. It's held at various locations, including the Downtown Line. So next time there’s a train delay, take comfort in the fact that, hey, at least there’s art to look at. Six stations on the line are exhibiting the works of 40 local and international photographers. Here are four to keep a lookout for.

Somewhere Only I Know by Donna Chiu (Hong Kong/Singapore) 
Where Rochor MRT

‘There is a place only I know in my mental world, with feelings and emotions inexpressible – at least through words.’ That pretty much sums up Chiu’s exhibition, which stitches together secret spaces, intimate moments and surreal illustrations into bizarre collages. Apart from being selected as featured photographer for +50 by PLATFORM in 2015, Chiu’s also a member of local photography collective 5iveFootWay.

Catch by Wolfgang Zurborn (Germany) 
Where Rochor MRT

How does one communicate clearly in an increasingly noisy world? Freelance photographer Zurborn explores this through cut-out images, off-centre photo compositions and unusual vantage points – a reflection of the mess that is our modern lives and spaces. Zurborn runs the Gallery Lichtblick in Cologne, Germany, and established the Lichtblick School for photography enthusiasts in 2010. 

Signs by Akkara Naktamna (Thailand)
Where Botanic Gardens MRT

Crawler plants consuming a street light, mutant creepers gorging on objects and taking on unearthly form – these eerie elements are signs of nature’s steady hand at seeking vengeance for our destruction of its existence, as examined in Naktamna’s photo series. The software engineer, who picked up street photography in 2008, is deeply inspired by American photographer Elliott Erwitt’s works.

Stateland by Marvin Tang (Singapore)
Where Botanic Gardens MRT

Small, private plots of plantations and gardens in state-owned jungles in Singapore: who are the people that emerge from thick foliage, carving out these spaces? Tang’s interest in the parallels between space and human interaction is reflected in his works, with photography becoming a tool for investigation. Stateland was previously exhibited at the Dali International Photography Festival 2015 in China, among other international festivals.

By: Rebecca Liew

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