A local Singapore photographer, who is also a Cultural Medallion recipient, more than just a master photographer that put Singapore on the world map, he’s also a gallerist, an art dealer, art patron and a veteran in the advertising industry. This is Truths & Legends of Singapore Photographer Chua Soo Bin.
At the Chua Soo Bin: Truths & Legends, an exhibition held at National Gallery Singapore from 6th December 2019 to 28th June 2020. There are close to 100 photographic works alongside archival materials, displaying the history and development of photography in Singapore, an area that is traditionally overlooked. Mr Chua Soo Bin photography works, tells more than just complex stories of his subjects. His portraiture artworks displayed great trust, close relationship and being up close and personal with the subjects and surroundings, through the Legends Series Photographs.
“Spotlighting the works of Singapore artists and educating the public of their artistic practices continue to be a priority for the Gallery. While photography has traditionally been under-researched in Singapore, it has played a significant role in our art history. The iconic works of Chua Soo Bin are excellent examples of the potential of photography as an art form. It has been exactly three decades since Legends was completed. We hope that this retrospective will raise awareness of Chua’s significant contributions to Singapore’s art scene as a photographer, a gallerist, art dealer and art patron. At the same time, visitors will be inspired to learn more about Singapore’s very own photographers and reflect on the changing role of photography,” said Dr Eugene Tan, Director of National Gallery Singapore.
Now, let me bring you a short walk through into this amazing artistic photography world of Chua Soo Bin: Truths & Legends
First Section: The Legends Series Photographs
The portraits of 14 ink masters, showcasing their portraitures, life, intimate moments and insights to a global audience through the eyes of Singaporean master photographer Chua Soo Bin.
Second Section: Candid and informal portraits of Wu Guanzhong
A collection of photography artworks, candid and informal portraits of modern Chinese ink artist Wu Guanzhong over two decades. The trust and rapport between artist and photographer is more than just special, beyond amazing, reflected through this collection of photographs.
Third Section: The life and journey of Master Photographer Chua Soo Bin
In this final third section, we learnt a lot more about Master Photographer Chua Soo Bin life, career and his commercial photography works.
A short Q&A session with Master Photographer Chua Soo Bin
During the preview session of Chua Soo Bin: Truths & Legends, we had the honour of meeting the legend himself, master photographer Chua Soo Bin, who shared some insights of the photographs that were on display inside the gallery while we were on a short preview tour.
After that, we had a short Q&A session too, listening to his years of experience, not just in photography, the stories behind those portraitures and insights into the different eras of photography from film to digital.
My personal thoughts and feelings as a photographer
For all photographers out there, whether you are from the old school of film photography or a young person learning photography in today’s digital world, I strongly encourage you to visit Chua Soo Bin: Truths & Legends photography exhibition at National Gallery Singapore.
As the saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words, when you visit this photography exhibition, you are not just walking into a master photographer’s eyes, works, and relationship with the person/people/environment. The portraits/photographs “speak to you” too, as you view the photography exhibition, a connection that bridge the photographer, subjects/people and their artworks across to you.
Chua Soo Bin: Truths & Legends, is a very inspiring photography exhibition, personally for me as a photographer. Having started my photography with film photography more than three decades back, viewing the photography prints shot on film cameras brought me back in time when it was just 36 frames in a roll of film and you had to print the photographs, versus the modern digital photography of today, instant gratification and sharing on social media.
I can continue writing and sharing, I feel that I would really like you to visit this truly special photography exhibition at National Gallery Singapore. I would just leave you with this quote below by the Master Photographer himself, that strikes a deep chord with me and my photography.
I would like to thank National Gallery Singapore and Tate Anzur for the invitation to the preview of Chua Soo Bin: Truths & Legends.
Information on Chua Soo Bin: Truths & Legends
Date: 6th December 2019 to 28th June 2020
Location: City Hall Wing, Level 4, Wu Guanzhong Gallery
General admission ticket required (Free for Singaporeans and PRs)
Chua Soo Bin: Truths & Legends is curated by Charmaine Toh from National Gallery Singapore. A series of complementary programmes through the course of the exhibition will also reflect the changing role of photography in today’s digital culture.
For more information, visit https://www.nationalgallery.sg/exhibitions/chua-soo-bin-truths-and-legends
* Information courtesy of National Gallery Singapore and Tate Anzur *