How far has Singapore Photography advanced?


Aug 25, 2009
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#1
We have always heard of "European-Style", "American Photography", not to mention even art, there's "Cubist", "Impressionist" etc etc.

How far has Singapore developed its photography? Are we far from even having something defined as "Singaporean Photography"? Or are we simply (like every thing in Singapore) a mix and match of everything else, or...even worse..... a direct copy of styles?

We can discuss... this topic is quite broad for discussion.

Photography is really a subset of Art and this topic is just to explore how far our photography has reached... and how far are we from our overseas counterparts.
 

sfoto100

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2009
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#3
We have always heard of "European-Style", "American Photography", not to mention even art, there's "Cubist", "Impressionist" etc etc.

How far has Singapore developed its photography? Are we far from even having something defined as "Singaporean Photography"? Or are we simply (like every thing in Singapore) a mix and match of everything else, or...even worse..... a direct copy of styles?

We can discuss... this topic is quite broad for discussion.

Photography is really a subset of Art and this topic is just to explore how far our photography has reached... and how far are we from our overseas counterparts.
this is a very good question...

i would love to see more thoughts on this...

i'm sorry that i can't contribute anything here...
 

clioboy

New Member
May 25, 2008
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#5
i think it is matter of taste and fashion..

for last year "journalistic" was in..this year, "antique plate" is gaining popularity..

and they take turn to be popular..

IMO, as for singapore's style..being a latecomer to most things in this world apart of Newater and ERP, we are restricted to follow the trend/style and for an unique take, usually it is a mix-match one..
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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Punggol, Singapore
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#6
We have always heard of "European-Style", "American Photography", not to mention even art, there's "Cubist", "Impressionist" etc etc.

How far has Singapore developed its photography? Are we far from even having something defined as "Singaporean Photography"? Or are we simply (like every thing in Singapore) a mix and match of everything else, or...even worse..... a direct copy of styles?

We can discuss... this topic is quite broad for discussion.

Photography is really a subset of Art and this topic is just to explore how far our photography has reached... and how far are we from our overseas counterparts.
this topic is so big, need somebody really carry some weights to voice out, I'm not sure how we going to start this discussion, as I don't even think I can represent anyone, just a small fly here.

So are you inviting some heavyweight local photographers to share their view and visions here, or just want to have some kopitiam talk?
 

May 3, 2010
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#7
how do you even differentiate american photography or european style?

is photography a type of breakfast or food? :dunno::bsmilie:
 

sfoto100

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2009
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#8
So are you inviting some heavyweight local photographers to share their view and visions here, ....?
if it happens, i am all ears!!!

i don't even know who are the local heavy weights... what a shame... [malu]
 

Nov 15, 2009
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#9
Dont mind me saying this, I'm still a newcomer in photography...

I feel that Singaporeans have leaped the past eras into the modern era, we just skipped everything else... Nowadays, photography is about 'ME'. It defines you yourself. The pictures you take, and perspectives you have, its all about your own style. Nothing broad in category to define, it's just you. Especially so for photos that you care to share online, those are photos you took and you think are nice and represent yourself or your skills.

Nowadays, it's no longer about who possesses a DSLR or camera: even a mobile photo taken your style is your art. You may end up being the only one in the world who appreciates it, but you are still you. Unless you are talking about recognition from other people (which means having to bend your own tastes for the recognition of billions of people elsewhere in the world), I'm pretty sure that everyone who has a camera, be it DSLR, PnS or iPhone, makes art in your own ways. And because you are all Singaporeans born and bred in our unique environment, that's the Singaporean style.

Just my 2cents worth.
 

johnlim

New Member
Feb 26, 2004
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#11
Don't think there exists any style of photography that belongs to a country/area. :think:

As to "American photography" , I think they are refering to photography taken in America by American photographers. And it probably exist in the past/film days. Not now, when everyone can easily own a digital cameras and travelling abroad so often.
 

acpical

New Member
Jul 25, 2007
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#12
TS, can you elaborate what are American and European styles?
 

Anthony Lee

Senior Member
Feb 12, 2009
2,465
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Shunfu Road, Singapore
#13
What's 'photography' today? Are you talking about Canon, Nikon, Sony and their type and where they are now? What has Singapore and our society got to do with this 'photography'? Give a guy a handphone and he is a photographer tomorrow. So, what art are we talking about? Please define 'photography' first.

We have always heard of "European-Style", "American Photography", not to mention even art, there's "Cubist", "Impressionist" etc etc.

How far has Singapore developed its photography? Are we far from even having something defined as "Singaporean Photography"? Or are we simply (like every thing in Singapore) a mix and match of everything else, or...even worse..... a direct copy of styles?

We can discuss... this topic is quite broad for discussion.

Photography is really a subset of Art and this topic is just to explore how far our photography has reached... and how far are we from our overseas counterparts.
 

Aug 25, 2009
326
0
0
#14
Just some background to what I am asking....

Photography is a subset of visual arts, together with paintings, sketches, drawing etc.

Its an expression of self and society.... sometimes it driven by a mixture of both.
In the Early 20th century, a set of 20+ Picassos were brought to America, and no one could comprehend anything of it. They were eventually sent back to Europe, where they were eagerly snapped up. It was only decades later did American society started to understand Cubism, Impressionists etc etc and MOVED away from Victorian-style art / portraiture ( u know, the William Farquhar / Stamford Raffles portraiture)

In Art, there has always been a little American - European style distinction, although the lines are quite blurry now.

Just went to a exhibition by White Canvas Gallery, it was pretty good. I would encourage people to go see more exhibitions such as these. Although some of the street photography is not those straightforward kind of "Clear sharp face shot" kind, and I know that it MIGHT take some time before people would appreciate such works and actually start BUYING those photographs.

This has nothing to do with Nikon, Canon, Sony etc........ these are just TOOLS. In art, they are just "brushes". No one will ask Vincent Van Gogh, "wow, nice, what size of brush u use ah?". Maybe asking on certain techniques applied, yes, but still, u need a keen visual eye of his to do that kind of paintings or works.

From 1900-1960s, America was struggling to define its art, eventually as people's eyes are opened, and more exposure to breakthrough works, they eventually reached a level quite different from their European counterparts.

Yes Singapore is small, but why can't we?

Yes give a pig a iphone and he can also make photographs. But:
What photographs is he making? What subjects is he taking?
What does he do with those photographs? Is he composing them? In what way?
How do he treat them after taking those photographs?
Is there more than 1 message in the picture?

Just some thoughts, hope that clarifies the question for more discussion...

Yes, this thread still open to all to voice out... I wonder if we ever comes a day that when foreign people see piece of art, or a photograph, they will say "I'm sure that's Singaporean" or "That's so Singaporean, wow!".

( You do categorize things subconsciously don't u? When something is goth / impressionist / american / romantic etc etc. Ever wonder what makes gives people the impression that something Goth is "Goth"? Or American "American"? ).

Also I'm curious to know if I'm the only one thinking such thoughts.
 

Anthony Lee

Senior Member
Feb 12, 2009
2,465
2
38
Shunfu Road, Singapore
#15
Yes if you discount digital photography as what you mentioned were mostly film era photography. That's why I asked you to re-define photography as film and digital are poles apart.

Just some background to what I am asking....

Photography is a subset of visual arts, together with paintings, sketches, drawing etc.

Its an expression of self and society.... sometimes it driven by a mixture of both.
In the Early 20th century, a set of 20+ Picassos were brought to America, and no one could comprehend anything of it. They were eventually sent back to Europe, where they were eagerly snapped up. It was only decades later did American society started to understand Cubism, Impressionists etc etc and MOVED away from Victorian-style art / portraiture ( u know, the William Farquhar / Stamford Raffles portraiture)

In Art, there has always been a little American - European style distinction, although the lines are quite blurry now.

Just went to a exhibition by White Canvas Gallery, it was pretty good. I would encourage people to go see more exhibitions such as these. Although some of the street photography is not those straightforward kind of "Clear sharp face shot" kind, and I know that it MIGHT take some time before people would appreciate such works and actually start BUYING those photographs.

This has nothing to do with Nikon, Canon, Sony etc........ these are just TOOLS. In art, they are just "brushes". No one will ask Vincent Van Gogh, "wow, nice, what size of brush u use ah?". Maybe asking on certain techniques applied, yes, but still, u need a keen visual eye of his to do that kind of paintings or works.

From 1900-1960s, America was struggling to define its art, eventually as people's eyes are opened, and more exposure to breakthrough works, they eventually reached a level quite different from their European counterparts.

Yes Singapore is small, but why can't we?

Yes give a pig a iphone and he can also make photographs. But:
What photographs is he making? What subjects is he taking?
What does he do with those photographs? Is he composing them? In what way?
How do he treat them after taking those photographs?
Is there more than 1 message in the picture?

Just some thoughts, hope that clarifies the question for more discussion...

Yes, this thread still open to all to voice out... I wonder if we ever comes a day that when foreign people see piece of art, or a photograph, they will say "I'm sure that's Singaporean" or "That's so Singaporean, wow!".

( You do categorize things subconsciously don't u? When something is goth / impressionist / american / romantic etc etc. Ever wonder what makes gives people the impression that something Goth is "Goth"? Or American "American"? ).

Also I'm curious to know if I'm the only one thinking such thoughts.
 

sfoto100

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2009
2,092
0
36
#16
Just some background to what I am asking....

Photography is a subset of visual arts, together with paintings, sketches, drawing etc.

Its an expression of self and society.... sometimes it driven by a mixture of both.
In the Early 20th century, a set of 20+ Picassos were brought to America, and no one could comprehend anything of it. They were eventually sent back to Europe, where they were eagerly snapped up. It was only decades later did American society started to understand Cubism, Impressionists etc etc and MOVED away from Victorian-style art / portraiture ( u know, the William Farquhar / Stamford Raffles portraiture)

In Art, there has always been a little American - European style distinction, although the lines are quite blurry now.

Just went to a exhibition by White Canvas Gallery, it was pretty good. I would encourage people to go see more exhibitions such as these. Although some of the street photography is not those straightforward kind of "Clear sharp face shot" kind, and I know that it MIGHT take some time before people would appreciate such works and actually start BUYING those photographs.

This has nothing to do with Nikon, Canon, Sony etc........ these are just TOOLS. In art, they are just "brushes". No one will ask Vincent Van Gogh, "wow, nice, what size of brush u use ah?". Maybe asking on certain techniques applied, yes, but still, u need a keen visual eye of his to do that kind of paintings or works.

From 1900-1960s, America was struggling to define its art, eventually as people's eyes are opened, and more exposure to breakthrough works, they eventually reached a level quite different from their European counterparts.

Yes Singapore is small, but why can't we?

Yes give a pig a iphone and he can also make photographs. But:
What photographs is he making? What subjects is he taking?
What does he do with those photographs? Is he composing them? In what way?
How do he treat them after taking those photographs?
Is there more than 1 message in the picture?

Just some thoughts, hope that clarifies the question for more discussion...

Yes, this thread still open to all to voice out... I wonder if we ever comes a day that when foreign people see piece of art, or a photograph, they will say "I'm sure that's Singaporean" or "That's so Singaporean, wow!".

( You do categorize things subconsciously don't u? When something is goth / impressionist / american / romantic etc etc. Ever wonder what makes gives people the impression that something Goth is "Goth"? Or American "American"? ).

Also I'm curious to know if I'm the only one thinking such thoughts.
:thumbsup:

i learned alot from this post of yours... i have been telling myself to do more research on this area... i get to know things like this after reading one of michael freeman's book on bw... that is his best book imho.... in that book he mentioned those art movements.. not in great detail... but i do take note of them and wanna google... but now i don't know where i placed that piece of paper haha...

pls do share more... i am all ears!


i do hope one day we can have a picaso in sg too!
 

night86mare

Deregistered
Aug 25, 2006
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#17
what i can tell you is that on naturescapes, and fredmiranda, all the landscape photos don't seem to have a particular style.

style is an individual thing today.

maybe in the past there used to be "tradition", etc.. for example, chinese painting, you say it, people will know what you mean.

today, can you identify a modern chinese form of art that isn't embedded in the past? something new?

an explanation i can think of is globalisation - with cultures spilling over everywhere, chinese students going to america, american students going to beijing... it is hard to tell in the melting pots everywhere what is what.
 

snowspeeder

Senior Member
Feb 16, 2004
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#19
before people from other countries can identify a singapore style, they must first realise that singapore is not part of china.
When i was on a student attachment program in canada in the 90s, the hotel manager whom i was working with referred me to her giant atlas map and asked me "where is singapore?"...i think there are still many out there today.
 

Alpc

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Oct 10, 2002
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#20
before people from other countries can identify a singapore style, they must first realise that singapore is not part of china.
Yes, that reminds me of the question I got when I was in California... "So which part of China is Singapore?"

But interestingly, on another trip, during the height of SARS period... when I mention "Singapore", I hear some gasp and murmurs... So, they know the name Singapore, but I wonder if they finally know the geographical location - or do they still think it was somewhere in China...
 

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