History of Photography / School of Art, Design and Media, NTU


I would like to thank Prof. Meridel Rubenstein for the invitation to co-teach the module, History of Photography, at the School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

This is the brief synopsis of the four lectures that I am involved.

The Imprint of Photography and the Imagining of Southeast Asia
This lecture traces the penetration of photography in the region that would become Southeast Asia. It focuses on how photography was transferred into the region through the desires and needs of people who put themselves in front of the camera.

The Enduring Allure of Pictorialism (Salon Photography)
The imprint of Pictorialism or salon photography in Asia is undeniable. But is salon photography inherently conservative? This lecture examines the factors that have given rise to the enduring allure of salon photography in Asia.

Re-Imaging Photography: Trudging the Limits of Modernism
In Southeast Asia, salon photography marks the medium’s intersection with modernism. In this session, we will cast the net further and look more closely at vernacular photography, including studio photography and documentary work, as a means to re-imagine the art of photography in Southeast Asia.

Conceptualism and the Avant-Garde
How do we locate the progressive in the photographic practices of Southeast Asia? What are the possible definitions of conceptualism and avant-garde, in relation to photography?