Beyond its reputation as a leading instrument in the world of photography, Leica also aims to bring people together through the common passion of capturing the perfect image. And for the first time, the brand taps on the talents of two Singaporean photographers, Geoff Ang and Yik Keat, for an exhibition unlike any other.
Differences aside — one is an established commercial photographer and the other, a photographer born of the digital age — a common thread runs through their work, which is highlighted in the exhibition called "二, A Tale of Convergence". In this visual dialogue, the photographers bring their art, techniques, and viewpoints together using a tool that is celebrated for some of the most iconic shots in the world.
Read on to get a better understanding of who they are, their experiences, and what lies ahead on their photography journey.
Mr. Ang is a 44-year-old established commercial photographer who has worked with big international brands and is currently pursuing his love of mentoring bright, new talent.
Tell us briefly about your photography journey. Do you still remember your big break into making a name for yourself in the industry?
It all came about back in 2000 when I made the transition from film and embraced digital photography in its infancy. Being able to shoot digitally gave me an edge over the senior photographers in the industry, thus allowing me to be cutting edge and push boundaries never before possible.
Tell us about your first time working with Leica. As a professional photographer, what does it mean to be an ambassador for the brand?
I have always been a Leica fan, from my very first Leica M7 (film camera) to today… I always have a trusted Leica on my set and when I travel, so when Leica approached me to be their Ambassador, it was a natural fit and an honour. Leica has always represented tradition for me, and paired with their amazing optics, how can I say no to an offer like that?
Tell us about the community, Raw, and why do you think it will make a difference in the lives of young photographers?
A year ago, I started a community for photographers called Raw. I founded this community out of frustration, looking at the amount of people wanting to be photographers, and these photographers were often hobbyists who left their day jobs to pursue their dream of photography. However, they were confronted by the harsh realities of the professional photography world and they end up having to undercut the market with lower rates only to give up and return to their day jobs and leave the mess for us “lifers” to clean up. I cannot stop these people from coming into this amazing career, but I can sure as hell make them stay in it longer. Together, we can be better photographers and thrive in this ever-changing scene.
So in my small way, I want to change, educate, and help these hopeful dreamers to become better photographers.
The world of photography has changed so much since you first began. How do you think young photographers today can stand out among other budding photographers?
The best way to stand out is to be original and to have a unique style. In this overcrowded space of photography, one needs to push harder and create works that rises above the clutter more than ever. Keep doing something until you become synonymous with that style. Only then can you stand out!
The 22-year-old self-taught street photographer is pursuing his studies in aerospace, but is driven by his passion for photography. He belongs to a new generation of photographers who started his photographic journey on a smartphone and Instagram.
How did you get your start in photography? Did you ever dabble in film or has it always been on digital?
It all started five years ago when I was working part time as a delivery boy. Instagram was still fairly new and I was drawn to the photographs posted on that platform.
I have been shooting digital since I started. However, I have also tried my hand at film photography and it really helps in terms of shooting discipline.
You have an impressive following of over 200,000 on Instagram. Can you tell us how your popularity grew? What does the mobile platform mean for young photographers such as yourself?
I think it started growing when I first got my digital camera. Before that I was just shooting with my mobile phone so everything was very limited.
Instagram is such a powerful platform and I am able to make a living purely because of the internet. Take a museum for example. One day you could get 5,000 people viewing the artworks inside, but on the Internet, you can get millions within a day. That’s crazy!
Prior to working with Leica on this exhibition, what was your experience with the Leica brand?
I’ve always wanted a Leica of my own because of its quality and simplicity. A Leica has always been engineered to capture the moment in an instant, without compromising quality. I feel like the equipment should not be too complicated, otherwise it will hinder your creative flow.
My photographic journey with the Leica SL camera was inspiring. As a first-time user, I was very confident about handling the camera. The guidance I had from the Leica team and in this instance, my collaborative partner Geoff Ang, helped me greatly so I was able to fully appreciate the camera and its potential.
How do you see yourself evolving as a photographer in the next few years?
I would love to see myself creating mini cinematic stills and short films for the travel industry, and also venturing into the music industry. I love to capture scenes from music shows and concerts because music is a huge inspiration for me.
二: A Tale of Convergence exhibition is located at Leica Galerie Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Square, #01-07, held from 26 July to 24 October 2018. Open daily, 10.00am – 8.00pm. Tel: 6336 9555