Unphotographable (2002-06) / Tay Kay Chin


Shot on Mamiya 6×7 rangefinder camera,Unphotographable (2002-2006) is a continuation ofPanoramic Singapore(2001), which won Tay Kay Chin the Hasselblad Master in 2003.

“The feeling is very much the same – of confusions, of admirations and of protest,” explains the Singaporean photographer. “My stubbornness has convinced people that I really mean it when I say there is a lot to photograph in Singapore. But Unphotographable is also slightly different. While I am still as sarcastic and judgmental, I’m more prepared to give Singapore and myself a chance.”

Unphotographable is actually a selection from several projects, not all of which completed, that Tay has shot in the last few years. One of them is about Marine Parade, one of Singapore’s most expensive housing estates. But Tay’s focus is on the residents who live below the line. He found two blocks of rental flats and many old folks who would while away their time along corridors and void decks.

There is also a series on the beauty contest for Filipino maids in Singapore. “Many of these maids live in their fantasy world on Sundays, when they are off from work,” says Tay. “For one day in their lives, they become beauty queens. They told me different stories on different days. In the end, I decided to shoot the project like a fantasy.”

[Untitled / From Unphotographable / Courtesy of Tay Kay Chin]