SIPF 2016

THE SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL MARKED ITS FIFTH YEAR IN 2016, EXHIBITING THE NON-PROFIT BIENNIAL EVENT’S ONGOING MISSION TO SHOWCASE THE WORKS OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN PHOTOGRAPHERS THROUGH EXHIBITIONS, WORKSHOPS AND OUTREACH PROGRAMS.

For almost a decade, what the Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF) has been trying to communicate and present to the public is not only the perceivable potential of many aspects of ‘photography’ as a form of media, but also the platform it has become for Southeast Asian photographers to express and critique something through their works which could eventually earn them international recognition.

The fifth SIPF taking place under the theme ‘The Archive’ explored how ‘public consciousness’ impacts or brings changes to the role of photography.  The undeniable truth is that  the line between the real world and social networks is now more seamless than ever, and photography is  no longer merely a tool humans call upon to record historical events and capture memories.

The theme of the festival was presented through six main exhibitions including:
‘A Room With a View’ curated by Carol Chow Pui Ha that featured  six photography artists from Hong Kong: Joe Yiu Miu Lai, Lam Wai Kit, Law Yuk-Mui, Lau Wai, Wong Wo-Bik and Yvonne Lo Yuen Man.

Joe Yiu Miu Lai, Gift (II): Mobile wind, 2010, Image courtesy of the artist

Joe Yiu Miu Lai, Gift (II):Mobile wind, 2010, Image courtesy of the artist

lam-wai-kit-which-things-were-are-allowed-and-which-were-are-2014-still-image-2

Lam Wai Kit, Which things were (are) allowed and which were (are), 2014, Image courtesy of the artist

9-5th-sipf-yvonne-lo-tree-guardians

Yvonne Lo Yuen Man, Tree Guardians, 2015, Image courtesy of the artist

‘Daido Moriyama: Prints & Books 1960s – 1980s’ featuring the contemporary Japanese photographers images capturing  Postwar Japan between the 1960s and 1980s that show a darker side of cities and life following the American occupation of the country.

'Daido Moriyama : Prints & Books 1960s to 1980s,' Image courtesy of the Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation

‘Daido Moriyama : Prints & Books 1960s to 1980s,’ Image courtesy of the Daido Moriyama Photo
Foundation

 

‘Witness: The Archive of Cultural Revolution’ by   Li Zhensheng of China documenting the 1966-1976 period of  the Chinese Cultural Revolution through images captured while the artist, who has been described as “risking his life hiding away negatives that offered an unabashed account of China’s political situation under the rule of Mao Zedong,” was working as a photojournalist for the Heilongjiang Daily.

Accused of bearing a resemblance to Mao, Heilongjiang province Governor Li Fanwu’s hair is brutally shaved, torn by zealous young Red Guards and made to bow for hours, clippings of his hair stuffed down his neck and shirt by an infuriated Red Guard. The banner behind him reads, "Bombard the Headquarters! Expose and denounce the provincial Party committee." Harbin, 12 September 1966, Image courtesy of Li Zhensheng

Accused of bearing a resemblance to Mao, Heilongjiang province Governor Li Fanwu’s hair is brutally shaved, torn by zealous young Red Guards and made to bow for hours, clippings of his hair stuffed down his neck and shirt by an infuriated Red Guard. The banner behind him reads, “Bombard the Headquarters! Expose and denounce the provincial Party committee.” Harbin, 12 September 1966, Image courtesy of Li Zhensheng

People in the Songhua River commemorate the one-year anniversary of Mao’s swim in the Yangtze, which marked his return to power at the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution. Harbin, 16 July 1967. Image courtesy of Li Zhensheng

People in the Songhua River commemorate the one-year anniversary of Mao’s swim in the Yangtze, which marked his return to power at the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution. Harbin, 16 July 1967. Image courtesy of Li Zhensheng

 

‘Roger Ballen’s Menagerie’ featuring images selected from the American photographer’s past three decades of work that “explore the staging of animal’s and human’s unexpected interventions.”

Caged, 2011, Image courtesy of Roger Ballen and Wei-Ling Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

Caged, 2011, Image courtesy of Roger Ballen and Wei-Ling Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

Audience, 2011, Image courtesy of Roger Ballen and Wei-Ling Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

Audience, 2011, Image courtesy of Roger Ballen and Wei-Ling Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

 

Largest in scope, an ‘Open Call’ exhibition featuring the works of over 40 artists from 18 countries, offering a diverse and thorough representation of both content, technique and the many perspectives from which today’s contemporary photographers are coming from, and focusing upon.

 

The highlight, however, seemed to be ‘The Archive as Conversation,’ an exhibition that invited seven artists to interpret and initiate dialogues between old and new media including Thailand’s Miti Ruangkritya who exhibited his ‘Thai Politics’ series.

© Miti Ruangkritya, Thai Politics. SIPF 2016

© Miti Ruangkritya, Thai Politics. SIPF 2016

 

If one missed the event entirely, the biennial’s website designed by Singapore-based H55 that captures the character of an ‘Archive’ in digital format with file folders replacing boxes and online platforms replacing galleries, is an equally worthwhile  visit:

www.sipf.sg

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