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Thread: History of local architecture photography

  1. #1

    Default History of local architecture photography

    Hello! I'm not sure where to post this, but I'll try my luck here.

    I'm hoping to get in touch with some old timers who are in the local architectural photography business. I'm a NUS Architecture student writing a dissertation on archi photography.

    The premise is that archi photography first developed together with Modernism, and it was a mutually beneficial relationship which fed off each other. Certain photo conventions were established then and passed on till today, namely the celebration of volumetric forms in light and clarity.

    I am interested in how are these conventions applied to the representation of tropical architecture. Where things are cast in shade and not necessarily "photogenic". The contrast in such representations has been beautifully expressed in this writing "In Praise of Shadows" by Junichiro Tanizaki.

    Hence, I'm wondering if there are any archi photographers who have grappled with this issue here? Or anyone who knows of photographers documenting works from about the 1920s to 1970s, before the advent of airconditioning meant that we started living in mostly glass boxes and this discourse started to lose its relevance?

  2. #2
    Senior Member oracle0711's Avatar
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    Default Re: History of local architecture photography

    Can't help much though i do a fair bit of architecture photography when I first started. But then, I hardly shoot in Singapore during that time. Worse still, I was born after 1970s and have done anything of any research nature prior to that with regards to the history of architecture photography.

    As for reputable and well known architecture photographer of Singapore origin, there is a senior by the name of Albert Lim K. S.. I am sure he is probably the right person to seek out.

    Here's a link and I hope it is useful: Icon de Martell Cordon Bleu 2012 Nominee: Albert Lim - Luxury News from Luxury Insider.

    Hope to read about what you have written on this topic one day. Good Luck!


    Quote Originally Posted by squidyink View Post
    Hello! I'm not sure where to post this, but I'll try my luck here.

    I'm hoping to get in touch with some old timers who are in the local architectural photography business. I'm a NUS Architecture student writing a dissertation on archi photography.

    The premise is that archi photography first developed together with Modernism, and it was a mutually beneficial relationship which fed off each other. Certain photo conventions were established then and passed on till today, namely the celebration of volumetric forms in light and clarity.

    I am interested in how are these conventions applied to the representation of tropical architecture. Where things are cast in shade and not necessarily "photogenic". The contrast in such representations has been beautifully expressed in this writing "In Praise of Shadows" by Junichiro Tanizaki.

    Hence, I'm wondering if there are any archi photographers who have grappled with this issue here? Or anyone who knows of photographers documenting works from about the 1920s to 1970s, before the advent of airconditioning meant that we started living in mostly glass boxes and this discourse started to lose its relevance?

  3. #3

    Default Re: History of local architecture photography

    There was another big name before albert but he is long since dead. I cannot recall the name but he was on the past president ? of PSS. Some of his archi work is featured in a book printed by PSS along with 2 or 3 other big name of that period Yip Cheong Fun was one of them. Unfortunately in order to create space in my now smaller flat I had to dump out some stuff this book was one of them. Check with PSS they might have a copy - to see what was shot and how. Talk to Albert smile he could have some answers.

    Not being an art fiend - a quick look at modernism images turn up what looks archi photography today. Presenting a building in its best face(s) has only so many ways to do it for the subject to be pleasant looking. Suppose you may have to juxapose between photography and painting work and the latest today 3D rendering.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: History of local architecture photography

    I have a nagging feeling that architectural photography's beginning is less romantic in this part of the world. I could be wrong though. The fundamental role of architectural photography is to document, fulfilling the needs of developers, builders, architects, academics, etc to visually record a built environment. This needs are usually commercially motivated these days e.g. a housing agent needs a flattering set of photos to sell an apartment, etc.

    When you said tropical architecture....... were you referring to the design methodology, style(for the lack of a better word) or architecture in the tropics in general?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: History of local architecture photography

    if all else fails, go and talk to Tay Kheng Soon

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: History of local architecture photography

    Icon de Martell Cordon Bleu 2012 Nominee: Jeremy San - Luxury News from Luxury Insider

    Jeremy San is also an architectural photographer based in Singapore. He talked about photograhing architecture as a journey he takes through spaces..... a bit more romantic.

    Jeremy was a school mate of mine at RMIT, where he did interior design and I did architecture.

  7. #7
    Moderator Clown's Avatar
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    Default

    You can try Billy Mok too
    sigh.

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