Critical Portraits

Loke Hong Seng’s photographs show the physical and social landscapes of Singapore undergoing dramatic changes between 1963 and 1985. Yeo Workshop, an independent art gallery in Singapore, is holding an exhibition of the work of this important photographer titled “A Social Portrait of Singapore: The Critical Years” (ending on 6 September). The show reads Loke’s work not as a nostalgic record of bygone years, but as an act of criticism of the human costs of rapid modernization. Organized to celebrate Singapore’s 50th year of independence, the show is one of many attempts by local artists and activists to review the country’s history in a more critical manner than the official celebrations.

If you are not in Singapore to see the show, you can catch a glimpse of it here. With the kind permission of Yeo Workshop, SP presents a selection of Loke’s photographs from the show.

samsui women_sm

“The Admirable Samsui Women” 1970/2015

selling ice-water 2 T

“Poor Child, Peddling Cold Drinks under the Hot Sun” 1970/2015

busy moment 3

“Loading and Unloading in a Team of Three” 1971/2015

Scan 27

“A Splendid View during a Flood, Potong Pasir” 1973/2015

About Jee Leong Koh

My book of poems Steep Tea (Carcanet) was named a Best Book of 2015 by UK's Financial Times, and a Finalist by Lambda Literary. I also wrote three other books of poems and a book of zuihitsu. My work has been shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize, and translated into Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian and Latvian. Originally from Singapore, I live in New York City, where I edit the arts blog Singapore Poetry, and run the Second Saturdays Reading Series and the Singapore Literature Festival in NYC.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: