It’s gonna be a wrap! Our last Platform session is on 4th June, 2019, at Objectifs, 7.30pm onwards. Feat. Charmaine Poh, Sarah Choo and Jerrold Chong. 

My involvement in Singapore photography began in 2013 through Platform, a few months after I ‘started’ photography. By a stroke of luck and probably timely divine intervention, my work was selected and I was accepted to be part of the 2012 Angkor Photo Workshop in Cambodia. Most of my local contemporaries would have studied photography and/or went for workshops at home first before qualifying, but I got really lucky. I remember feeling embarrassed and inadequate when they were screening our portfolios on Day 1 of the workshop. Truly astounded and in awe when I saw what the Indian photographers, in particular, had to offer. In comparison, my work was crap. But because I went there and started from zero, I gained a lot out of this whole experience. More than that, I made friends in Juliana Tan, Zinkie Aw & Desmond Lui who shared with me about this photography community, Platform, in Singapore.

With Platform, I started off as a spectator. Listening with wide eye wander as speaker after speaker came to the National Museum of Singapore and enchanted us with their journey and stories. It could have ended there - with me being a sponge. But 3 years ago when Kay Chin and team wanted to pull the plug, Juliana and I decided to step in. It was our time to give back to the community, and more importantly for me, it was my way to acknowledge and thank this one man who has been instrumental in my career the last couple of years. 

I don’t say it enough and I’m not the best with words, but Kay Chin, thank you for everything. You taught me the art of self-publishing and printing; trusted me with co-producing big shows, locally and internationally; gave me opportunities to exhibit in Istanbul and Korea; passed me jobs you could have done etc. More than that, you taught me to be compassionate; to give, give and give (even if it hurts); and many other values in life. “If you’ve never been invited to home-cooked meals at Chempedak and also been berated by Kay Chin before, you’re not in the inner circle” (Wong, 2019). Thanks for letting me in, although I hope I will never get chided again.

I re-read the recommendation you wrote for me when I was applying to Missouri Photo Workshop (MPW) in 2014. In it, you spoke of me as a young, budding photojournalist; resilient and idealistic and you urged Dave, the co-director of MPW, to give me this chance of a lifetime. 

“And in return, our community will get in her, a responsible journalist committed to excellence and a colleague that can be relied on.” Now that we’re graduating from running Platform, I’m sure there are many other ways I’d find in contributing back home, but I hope I have been and will always be this beacon that you can be proud of. 

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