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Portraits as History series
Coming back to Singapore, I wanted to continue Moonlight Sonata, that was started in Tuscany but I was no longer in Tuscany. There was a very serious chance or running foul of the law if I were to take self portraits nude in public spaces in Singapore. The reality was that the only place that I could feel safe taking portraits nude was in my studio. However, this would no longer be an exploration of freedom and dance; I was not interested in taking classical nudes either. I was interested in how to reveal more about the subject in a portrait. How can one go beyond the superficial appearance of a person? And I came upon the idea of using my family photos to explore my personal history in an intimate portrait. The family photos represent the layers of incidents and people that have created the who I am today. And then I also realized if that I could explore my own personal history, I could do this with other people as well, and was the genesis of the series 'Portraits as History'.
Archival inkjet diasec print
Edition of 3
This artwork will come rolled
- Medium: Photography
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Tan Ngiap Heng has a Bachelor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and a Doctorate in Nonlinear Dynamics from University College London. His first significant move into the arts was a one-year certificate in Dance from the London Contemporary Dance School.View Profile »
Tan Ngiap Heng began his photographic career through his love of dance. Despite his engineering degrees, he returned to Singapore and started working for The Singapore Arts Centre, where he started photographing performing arts groups for The Arts Magazine. This spurred his career as a full-time photographer as his clients expanded to other reputable arts groups and organizations.
Ngiap Heng eventually expanded his business to wedding photography and was widely sought after by couples who were looking for his documentary style of black and white photography. After six years in wedding photography, Ngiap Heng moved into commercial portrait photography and has been photographing for major commercial clients including Deutsche Bank, NTUC Income and The National University of Singapore. In 2009, Ngiap Heng became a freelance photographer so that he has more time to focus on personal work.
Ngiap Heng has always retained his close relationship with the arts scene and continues to photographs the performing arts groups. He was the resident photographer for Singapore Dance Theatre in 2007 and 2008. He also exhibits his own photographic work. His latest personal exhibition entitled 'Journeys', featuring photos from his a five and a half month journey in 2010, was held at Objectifs.
In 2012 Ngiap Heng helped to found Photovoice SG, an organization that runs participatory photographic workshops for fringe communities.
Ngiap Heng's work has been gaining international recognition. In 2007 he won an international photography award and one of his photographs for Singapore Dance Theatre was on the cover of Dance Europe. In 2008, his dance photography for Keppel Corporation's calendar was accepted for the Photo District News Annual. Some of his dance photography was also be exhibited in the Fotoseptiembre Photo Festival in San Antonio, Texas. He was the Early Entry award winner of the One Life: International Photography competition 2012. He was a nominee for Singapore's prestigious Icon De Martell Cordon Bleu award in 2013.