"Singapore is not one-dimensional," says local photographer Aik Beng Chia
Using a mobile phone makes it easy for Aik Beng Chia to go into stealth mode – and when he’s taking street photography, he needs that edge. The graphic designer is known for his raw and honest depictions of Singapore and her people. It’s his way of showing the world that the city is not a postcard-perfect place.
Click the arrow to see his works.
H&D: Your photos are gritty and honest.
ABC: I work in the advertising industry, so I see a lot of things that are perfect and posed. Singapore is not one-dimensional, and there is a grittiness here that adds flavour to our country. What attracts me is human behaviour. When someone is in deep thought or in a rush – these are the moments I try to capture.
H&D: Do you get into trouble sometimes?
ABC: Yes. Just recently, I took a close-up photo, with flash, of an old woman crossing the road. She was fanning herself, and it was an interesting shot! She smacked me with the fan and scolded me in Cantonese (laughs). I apologised and walked away.
H&D: Why do you think it’s important to
ABC: These photos of the mundane, everyday life may not mean much now, but it might younger generation. Unfortunately, these archives also show interesting places that have already gone, or are going, such as the Thieves Market in Sungei Road.
H&D: What advice would you give tourists?
ABC: Go to the heartland. That’s where the community and people are.
See more of Aik Beng Chia’s work at www.instagram.com/aikbengchia.