The Wu Xiao Kang Hoax
Last night, my colleagues and I were just talking about this "Xiao Kang" character, just as a conversation topic about photography, about life, and such.
I like taking pictures of the old and forgotten places in Singapore, not because I like to chase spooks like the good folk at SP*, but to make a link between our present and our past. If I could, I'd try to imagine what it must've been like when these complexes were functioning during they heyday. That's the reason why I often shoot alone.
View Road Hospital was a real find for me. I hadn't known about Xiao Kang yet. But it was tucked away at some corner of Singapore and I knew I had to go there because surely, there would've been stories to be told within those walls. Shortly after the shoot, I found out about "Xiao Kang". I was profoundly and immensely affected by what I saw and the intensity of these thoughts and feelings never subsided whenever I had a chance to think about that day when I explored the compound.
And now, the revelation (Straits Times, Monday July 2nd 2007, Life! Section page 7) that the whole thing was a hoax has left me with feelings that range from utter disgust and disappointment right down to utter disillusionment about all I've been trying to do. To those "artists" concerned, no matter how you want to slice it or dice it, as far as I am concerned
YOU GUYS ARE LIARS. Liars through and through.
You've toyed with the emotions and feelings of many, and have EXPLOITED the mentally ill for your own sick, selfish, personal gains. For the sake of art? For "giving exposure" to the plight of these people? That's just all bullshit that you're spinning to justify your perverted actions. You've played everybody for a bunch of saps. The only thing you've now achieved is to increase scepticism and cynicism that is already endemic in this population. In my book, you guys are no better than those who peddle child pornography.
So who are you helping now, huh?