Monthly Archives: October 2012

Then, Here and Now

I apologize for this long period of absence away from blogging. This baby of mine, planning a student education programme for the Singapore International Photography Festival, has taken up so much of my time and energy. I got on board the festival committee around December last year, and things started to pick up after June. Go behind the scenes with us through this visual timeline.

Emailer designed by Erika showing details for the first ever student education programme for SIPF. For enquiries or registration, please email

I would also like to share some good news (long overdue)! A photo book “The Epiphany of States” which I contributed my maiden foreword and essay, was selected for exhibition at the C Photobook Show in Brighton from August 17 – 19 August and the D Photobook Show at Helsinki from August 31 August – September 2, 2012. The artist Liana Yang and I couldn’t make it down to see our book on display, but it seemed like there were lots of great stuff to browse around! More details on the show are available here.

It’s our first foray into self publishing photo books and we were really overjoyed and humbled for being so fortunate.

The Epiphany of States, a self published photo book by Singaporean photographer Liana Yang, with a foreword and essay written by Kong Yen Lin (2012). The work was exhibited at the 2012 Arles Photography Open Salon. The book was also featured in the The Invisible Photographer Asia’s Singapore Photo Books Day on October 13. – Picture Credit: IPA

Here is an extract from the essay of  “The Epiphany of States”:

“The Epiphany of States was born from Liana’s fascination with life’s oscillation between emotional extremities and the ambiguities in human expressions. Bringing realms of mass media and pornography into her work, she surveys with a somewhat ironic and distanced eye, anonymous young men of various ethnic backgrounds caught on camera while engaged in acts of passion. At the core of her art is an investigation into the profound relationship between pain and pleasure and how such boundaries blur between these seemingly contrasting emotions.”

More information about the artist can be found at her website.

The “Epiphany of States” is also available for purchase at $25 each, for 200 limited edition autographed copies. For more enquiries, please email 


Thoughts, Musings and Inspirations

An esteemed art writer once said: “The difference between commercial and conceptual photography is that one ends with a full stop, and the other, with a question mark”. The divide between art and commercial photography may have become increasingly blurred in recent times, but this distinction forms the basis of diverse approaches to photographic education. A skill-based approach involves science, physics and engineering- what we take to be empirical truths. A concept based approach however, derives itself from the humanities – semiotics, history, anthropology, politics, geography.

This question has been on my mind for a long time, but it only took on a personal resonance when I started designing a student education programme for the 2012 Singapore International Photography Festival.

“The Guilty” by South Korean artist Kwon Ji-hyun, exhibited at the national library. The site uses containers to hold exhibits, a reference to Singapore’s history as a shipping hub. Currently in its third edition, the Singapore International Photography Festival features works by 50 artists selected from an open call submission. The festival runs from Oct 5 to Nov 17 in various parts of Singapore.

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