Spotted! Kyle Ngo

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Kyle Ngo is an independent graphic designer and photographer who graduated from Singapore Polytechnic with a Diploma in Visual Communication Media Design. He is currently at the Glasgow School of Art, pursuing a degree in Communication Design.

Kyle about design: “Conventional design’s success is measured against how well it sells and how elegantly conflicts among aesthetics, production, usability and costs are resolved. Today’s designers need to be able to do more than solve known problems; they must be comfortable with uncertain opportunities and capable of inventing the unexpected by giving form to the ingenious. Design as critique can do many things – post questions, encourage thought, expose assumptions, provoke action, spark debate, raise awareness, offer new perspectives, and inspire. And even to entertain in an intellectual sort of way. Thus, my projects approach design as a form of critique rather than a method for problem-solving.

“My works explore, experiment and discover imaginary possibilities in the form of speculative design, new modernism and emerging technologies with relations to the cultural, social, technological, ethical and political implications,” he continues. “Crafting the coexistence of design in the here-and-now and yet-to-exist with physical presence that can locate in our present-day world, while their meaning, embodied values, beliefs, ethics, dreams, hopes and fears belong somewhere in the possible future.”

Every year, Kyle works on a personal project that reveals an unseen part of our society. Last year he teamed up with The Project X, a non-profit organization working with a small team of dedicated volunteers who walk the streets of Geylang to reach out to sex workers. “The project also aims to end the stigma and discrimination that results in physical, verbal, emotional and financial violence against sex workers in Singapore,” Kyle explains. “I conducted interviews and documented a series of photographs based on the lives of transgendered sex workers. Titled Sisters, my documentary photography project discovers this unseen part of Singapore. Being a sister in a conservative society like Singapore is a hard route to take. One of the many challenges that transgender women face is job discrimination. And for this very reason, many transgender women in Singapore become sex workers as sex work tends to be the only way they can earn a living.”

Kyle who describes himself as a postmodernist thinker, believes that design is not solely functional and usable, but can be a form of critique. “I am currently completing five projects that showcase these forms of discourses. One of my projects titled the WILD magazine, is a cultural and political gossip magazine that collects, analyses and presents fictitious stories about the current world. Bridging postmodernist thinking and aesthetics with present-day information, WILD blurs the confines of the real and imaginative news, breaks up conventional design phenomenon and seeks to redefine the aesthetics of cultural and political gossips with witty visual detritus within he society.”

 

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Spotted! Yik Keat aka YK

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Self-taught urban photographer Yik Keat‘s unique colour aesthetic adds a cinematic tinge to his frames. YK states he is known for the movement in his photographs and the ability to give streets personality.

Follow YK on instagram.

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I Want To Go Home by Wesley Leon Aroozoo

I Want To Go Home Full Book Cover plus Sleeve

Mr. Takamatsu's Wedding Photograph (Photography by Jon Chan)

Mr. Takamatsu at 77 Bank Memorial Shrine (Photography by Jon Chan)

Mr.Takamatsu's View of Onagawa Bay (Photography by Jon Chan)

Mr. Takamatsu Returns from Diving (Photography by Jon Chan)

Wet Suit Out to Dry (Photography by Jon Chan)

Photography © Jon Chan

Stuck to the window of BooksActually is a poster of “I Want to go home”, a new novel by Wesley Leon Aroozoo.

About four years ago, Wesley read an article in the New York Times about Yasuo Takamatsu, a man who lost his wife to the tsunami that hit Onagawa in 2011. Since that fateful day, he has been diving every week in search for her.

“I felt an urge to meet this amazing man. It took me months to locate and reach out to him. Eventually I had the chance to spend time with this lovely man in Onagawa in the summer of 2015. The novel is named after the last SMS that Yasuo Takamatsu received from his wife who saw the impending tsunami. Since then Mr. Takamatsu hopes to fulfil his wife’s last request. I didn’t want his inspiring story to be an article that came and went. I decided to share this man’s story of loss, recovery and determination to reunite with his wife in a novel.”

I Want To Go Home is a dual-language singular book in Japanese and English published by Math Paper Press. Look out for the book launch late September!

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Banner Shuffle! Sean Cham

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“The photographs are from the Yesteryears series, which captures forgotten and abandoned buildings in Singapore. Happy 52nd Birthday Singapore!” – Sean Cham.

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I’ve Cot You by Zinkie Aw

In I’ve Cot you (Sayang, Sarong Baby), photographer Zinkie Aw sets out to document families that are still practising the cloth baby cradle in Singapore. She hopes that through sets of photographs made in documentary and conceptual styles, viewers imagine that slice of memory lane that we could never remember as a baby in the cot, as well as appreciate an old trend that increasingly gets labelled as archaic.

(from the press release)

Most of us used to be sarong cloth cradle or 摇篮 (‘yao lan’ cradle), also know endearingly as ‘yo-nah’ babies.

Were you one?

As babies, we could never give a testimonial, or recall that experience.

Via the ‘yao lan’ or sarong cradle as a cultural icon for interviews, this body of work focuses on family bonding, Singapore’s shared values, and ties in with a sense of collective cultural heritage via exploring memories of the family unit.

Sayang, the sarong baby.

The exhibition opens on 6 August and runs through 30 September at the Tampines Regional Library, Our Tampines Hub, L2 – L6.

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