Asean University Games

What a crazy 2 weeks. I’m very grateful for this opportunity - thank you Stefanus for lobang and Singapore University Sports Council for the trust. More than just a carousel of my fave images, these snapshots will be etched as memories of my time watching our athletes face off, falter and fight. I hope I did you all justice. For those of us whose paths crossed, thanks for taking time to share your sport with me and for the convos. I’ll see y’all around.

They say you need 10,000 hours to have mastery of a skill. In essence, it really is about the grind, the smart effort and the tenacity to keep going at it. I’ve never shot all these sports before, in fact I’m still very new to this genre. The last 14 days has been a steep learning curve, but it’s also imbued in me this desire to be at the top of my game. This is just the beginning and the first 1%. I’ll work hard. Watch me 😎

The best feeling about photography for me is when I’m doing the shoot itself and can’t wait to get home to review the images. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt this way and I’m looking forward to more such days :) Also, right now I’m doing a more pure sports photography but can’t wait for the day and opportunity where I’ll be able to combine my photojournalist skills with sports and document the true, all-access, no-holds-barred, honest journey of a team/sportsman. Hit me up if you think you’ve the perfect gig for me!

SG Women Soccer League

Covered my first #SGWPLfor Lion City Sailors WT against Tiong Bahru FC at Yishun Stadium last evening. Fairly uneventful first half, but the last 45 min was lit up by a brace from Danelle Tan and a spark of brilliance from TBFC.

The atmosphere sure as hell felt very different from SPL, marred by the lack of scoreboard, dug out and joggers around the track 🤯 - these girls deserve better, surely! Football is a physically demanding game and when the atmosphere, facilities, circumstances are not the most supportive, there’s an added barrier the athletes have to overcome. It is easy for naysayers to lament the state of football/sports in Singapore when we perform unsatisfactory, but hello does anyone out there want to donate a pool of cash or reform the system? Page me pls, and at the same time fund us poor photographers too :P 

Greece greece baby

Though I may not be really good at it (just yet!), I love to make things with my hands. I’m very much a paper-pen person and because I also have the memory of a goldfish, there’s no better way for me to remember things then to have it in a tangible form. I have a diary for EVERYTHING - my daily calendar, my photography, my thoughts, exercise etc. 

I did this small little book project of my recent Greece trip - played with different types of paper, washi taped some receipts/printouts, made a couple of fun folds here and there, and hand-stitched it together in an A6 + A5 format - just so we all got something to look back on next time 🙃

It was my first time to Greece - we spent time in Athens, Santorini and Thessaloniki. Wish we had more time to explore the islands and the trails but this just means we will be back again. Greece is a lot more affordable compared to her Europe siblings. A good meal wouldn’t cost more than $20 and the portions were huge! and! yummy! We had so much gyros and pitas and gelatos - I love eating :D But also, thank God for good weather throughout. We had nice sun (hello Vitamin D!), cool temperature accompanying us for most of the trip. It made our 10km hike from Oia-Fira enjoyable. 

Also, surely in Santorini you’d expect to see those Instagram-worthy model-esque poses right? (not me, I’m nasty at this just look at mine)

Glad to have made this trip out post-pandemic and appreciate the solid company too! Thank you, K, but make sure you get your International Driving License next time ah.

p.s: the above images aren’t the spreads of the zine, just some photos to summarize part of this trip :]

See you again, one day

The only way I can close this chapter of our lives together is knowing that after 25 years she’s going back home to her family.

Luce has been there since forever. Also probably the one person who knows all the deepest darkest secrets of the household. Watched our dramas and heartbreaks, took care of us when we were under the weather, and held the fort when my folks were away. Hosted me at her village when she went back for a holiday, fed me, nourished me, cheered for me silently. And so much more 💔

Hand on heart, it’s been tough because I’m such an emotional sentient being, and even more difficult when it’s someone so close to heart. Wish I could say this is not goodbye and that I’m not heartbroken, but deep down inside, in the recesses of my heart, I know how final this might be. God-willing, may we meet again one day 😭😭


Hi! I’m showing work here:

ennui is part of a body of images that manifested from months of long morning walks, in a bid to make sense of my restlessness and disenchanted state of being.

The free-flowing fabric symbolises a state of surrender to the ineluctable flux of life and circumstance, whilst being tethered by an anchor.

Our body’s circadian rhythm is an unfathomable thing. Was stricken by bouts of insomnia for the longest time but 2021 had new plans for me. It decided that I should get out of bed at 6 or 7 am every morning. Frustrated, I could have been (who wouldn’t want to sleep in more!!!) but with an extra 2 hours to my day, I decided to go on morning walks instead. I didn’t want to be cooped up at home, or in bed, restless and mad at the world for throwing me this spanner.

These walks did me some good. It gave me time to think. It cleared my head for a bit. Prob gained some knowledge from the hundreds of podcasts I’ve listened to, and it was refreshing to be out there before everyone else. Cool, quiet mornings on the walk up; familiar strangers on the way back, made even better with the glow of the soft morning light. 

As a photographer, I’m pretty sensitive to the quality of light and how it reflects/bounces off different surfaces. Most days during golden hour, I’d find myself looking out for this. Eventually, I started making some images with my phone. 

This process of photography was spontaneous and unpremeditated. I would only whip out my phone from my pockets whenever something caught my eye. It could be anything from the soft shadows of vines creeping behind the tarpaulin, the tortoise that took forever to cross the road, to the canvas crisp yet being gently blown in the wind. And oh, the interesting blend of colors on weathered bark. 

The theme of this exhibition is ‘invisible’, and it was birthed from Buangkok Potters’ initial outreach with a group of APSN students. APSN is a school providing special education for students with mild intellectual disability. Our friends at Buangkok Potters shared about how ‘normal yet invisible’ this group of students were in mainstream society. I’m not doing justice to their project with my second-rate explanation, but you could always slide in their DMs to ask more or come see the works of the kids at the show!

How I decided to interpret this theme for and through my work, I leave it to you to make educated guesses. Share with me if you’d like, I’d be happy to hear your thoughts. 

Just as an extra note:

·       Experimented with printing images on fabric and mulled quite a bit about form vis-à-vis space. This series is antithetical to my usual photojournalistic work, a lot more introspective and contemplative. Pretty pleased with how ‘random’ images coalesced to form this triptych.

·       Also! Made some merchandise, in the form of a scarf, with 2 of my fave weathered-bark images. They come in an edition of 8 (more exclusive than the BTS MacDonalds thingamajig), and measures 1m in length. All proceeds from the sales of scarf goes back to serving a group of marginalized individuals/families we reach out to in Cheng San, championed by the X-team. X-team is a non-partisan volunteer group consisting of friends, ex-offenders, good looking folks, aunties (not me!!), seed funded by my cool illustrator friends Jackie & Nat from 8EyedSpud last Dec. We do weekly home visits to some vulnerable and isolated seniors, keep up with youths falling back in school, hang out with adults who need a little bit of help in life. All profits from purchasing a scarf, at $120, goes back to supporting the efforts of X-team and makes a small little difference in the life of someone I guess :) 

Say hello or throw me some questions at :D

New normal?

Oh, how our lives been changed. In Singapore, we went through a period of ‘lockdown’, also known as Circuit Breaker (CB), with our movements severely curtailed in order to contain the virus. To be frank, I was in a bit of a rut during CB. It left me listless and disenchanted. I chose to distance myself because I really needed space to navigate and find a way around all these emotions.

Being socially and digitally absent pushed me to catch up on books and do some fun photography work. If you know me personally, you might know that I eat a.l.o.t. of bread. Like, a lot. Like the can eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner kind of a lot. So I started photographing some of it.

It dawned upon me that I could use my photography skillset to help struggling F&B outlets. I decided to get in touch with some of my fave small local businesses and made some photos for their use during this climate where delivery and social media outreach was the most viable marketing option. No money exchanged but it made me happy being able to do a little something to (hopefully) keep them afloat. 

Here’s some images I made for Bakehaus. The bonus of all bonuses being I got to try a variety of bread and viennoiseries. I also made weekly deliveries to a select few friends and shared all these goodies with ‘em. 

Another eatery I was delighted to photograph for was Soulfood Catering at Pahang St. If you’ve seen my previous post, you’d have noticed that I ordered nasi lemak from them to send to some of my kids. Soulfood is a nondescript shop tucked in the corner of a Kopitiam in the Arab St area and they serve really homey fusion nasi lemak. The owners were very sweet and accomodating when they had to send nasi lemak to my boys during Ramadan and this really was just my way of paying forward their kindess. Also, helped ‘em clean up their Instagram feed a little, but yes if you’d like to get value-for-money nasi lemak, go find them on IG :)

Delving into something more personal: I was having recurring dreams of my late Dad and it unsettled me. Plus, I was on some insomnia streak. It was tough. The painful reality is that I will never ever get to see him ever again, let alone travel or take photos together, but long story short, I made a couple of images of my parents, using cut-outs, around my home. Guess we have a new memory together now :)

The school teaching semester has begun + I’ve been trying to keep up with the many kids around me + doing a lot more community things (count this my national service, pls!) so that’s all keeping me pretty busy. I’ve so many more things to share but this shall do for now. Thanks for reading this and have a lovely week ahead! 

Funds for Ramadan 2020

[Update | May 22, 2020]

Just wanted to keep everyone who contributed in the loop. Despite the economy being in doldrums, we’ve been incredibly blessed to have raised half a grand in a few days. Definitely surpassed what we were hoping to raise, so thank you vv much! We’ve sent out 119 meals to 16 friends, twice a week. Soulfood Catering was an obvious winner with the kids and Brett (the charming co-owner) had been so generous in topping up our nasi lemak sets with putu piring from the makcik beside. 

Also, qt Ryan celebrated his birthday at home with half of his family. The day before, he had sent me a one-liner “tomorrow is my birthday” at 4.43am, haha.  A bit surreal that this boy is now 12. Soon he won’t be video-calling and sending over adorable messages and tiktok vids to me anymore? :(


[April 20, 2020]

Woke up last morning to a text from an old friend, Shaun, asking for recommendations to an organization to donate to during such times and it prodded me to put together something for the few families I’ve been serving. 

Long story short, the aforementioned convo sparked an open call (me on trusty IG story and Qq through her own networks) for some $$ so that the bunch of us can send out happy meals, twice a week, to our kids in Yishun and Woodlands during Ramadan. Sure, there are organizations that dispense free food to families in need but I’m also acutely aware of how there’s always the need for verification (ugh this can be v degrading and dehumanizing at times) and that sometimes the food isn’t the most delectable or appetizing either. 

Of course, there are two camps out there – one being those who would vehemently argue and assert, ‘it’s free food, they should just take whatever is given.’ But the renegade in me on the other end/hand wants to advocate for them to get some nutritious, wholesome albeit pricier meals too. During this month of Ramadan, please allow me to occasionally indulge them in a dinner set from Hjh Maimunah resto or a good portion of sinful mutton briyani, because if you can, why can’t they?

We will also be getting them some goodies and groceries to cruise them through iftar and sahur. So, if you’d like to contribute, can always ping me at 97698301 and I’ll hit you with more deets. Might score you some karma points and land you in the (elusive) Good Place.

Also, writing this to remember that the youths of today aren’t as apathetic as we make them be. Most pleasantly surprised and moved by two fellas I’ve been working with in the last couple of years. Shout out to Charmaine for soliciting donations from all her woke Cedar and VJ friends. Doesn’t matter whether it’s $2.90 or $30, it’s really that little gesture that matters. Thanks for giving up your days’ worth of bubble tea or delivery for ‘em. Also, to my not-so-kid-anymore Mervin who has been delaying getting his back injury fixed because “too expensive”, yet first few to step forward and contribute a sizeable % of his paltry army pay. You both make me very proud <3

Field Notes: Prison sessions

Exactly a year ago, I received a text from one of the prison superintendents, Mdm D, bidding for me to excogitate a program for girls in Reformative Training Centre (RTC). She knew of my community work with at-risk youths and thought I’d be a good fit to plug the current gap/s in the prison system.

In my knowledge, through-care for young female offenders has been found lacking, especially salient in comparison to their male counterparts. The scarcity of befrienders going into prison is compounded by the fact that very often the biographies and personality of these well-meaning individuals who volunteer their time simply do not match the girls inside. As a result, the efficacy of the programs planned leaves a lot to be desired. Girls come out wanting to change, but fade and go back in just as quickly. Not just that. They follow through the prison system like we do in school - graduating from Girls Home to RTC and then to Prison. Rate of recidivism is high.


In my first meeting with Mdm D and C, I was immediately sold by the opportunity of going in to prison. I’ve heard countless stories from my subjects-turned-friends of their time inside this total institution and have always wanted to see and *smell* what this space was like. But I also know for a fact that I’m not one who works well with bureaucracy and red tape, so I needed someone like-minded, organized and patient to help me deal with all of those so I could have fun doing work I like to do. This is where my kindred spirit and co-conspirator, Nadia Samdin, comes in. 

My friendship with Nad dates back to 2013 when we were co-panelists on a Trailblazer Community Service Weekend Sharing Session co-curated by *SCAPE and TedxYouth. Not gonna lie and say I paid a lot of attention to her then because I was enamored by Anthony Chen, whose film at that time just won the Cannes Award (sorry Nad!), but we kept in touch and over the years I’ve been impressed by her work and dedication to the community she serves. I knew for sure I would want her on board if I had meaningful work to do and needed a partner.

Long story short, Nad and I formed a team and it’s been 8 months in. 8 months of administrative headaches, cumbersome paperwork, pushing boundaries, playing bad cop (think: archaic and inflexible systems), but also pooling together a motley crew of befrienders, doing ethnographic work inside listening to stories of despair and regret; and also of dreams and resilience, and now meeting some of these girls outside has been pretty darn fulfilling.

Just some field notes:

One incident that shook me – receiving news that A, who was actually due to be released pretty soon, was sentenced to punishment cell/isolation because of misbehavior and subsequently diagnosed/labeled to have mental health issues. Of course, the medicalization of deviant behavior looks to be the easiest way to file and ‘treat’ these individuals, but really, how much of this is actually us individualizing social problems (i.e. becomes a medical problem/illness vs social issue)? You take away the moral culpability of what being in this cold, inhuman, insentient space managed in the most esteem-crushing, undignified way does to your soul. Now it becomes the fault of the deviant and not symptomatic of problems in this social system. Right? Very sad because in all my interactions with A, she struck me as a warm and enthusiastic youth with a fervour for life :(

Also, another thing that stood out was the girls’ perception of self-image and social participation upon release. The first few considerations and actions were to shed away visual cues of prison life by getting a new look (hair, nails, brows, clothes) so as to reintegrate back into “legitimate” society. Yet, their public identity as a deviant is still highlighted and made known by the tagging device latched on their leg (so big, so conspicuous!). Surely, this only serves to remind them of ‘em labels and master status as an offender. We brought V to the climbing gym last week and she insisted on wearing sweat pants (because long enough to cover the tagging) to avoid unwelcome stares. 

Medicalizing deviant behaviors, labeling and branding, status degrading tokens, middle-class aspirational references and lack of means – so many things to think about. It’s going to be a long and arduous journey. Do I have solutions to any of these? No, I certainly don’t. But I think I’m growing with each visit and every encounter with these girls and I hope that in time to come I’d have some answers however piecemeal they may be.

Covid-19 and more

I apologize for being largely absent on this page. In the last 10 months, I’ve been penning my thoughts everywhere but here. Some days I retrieve random scraps of papers buried deep and forgotten in the back compartment of my bag with equally random musing, other times I flip open my notebooks to pensive, broody entries. But all’s good.

This time the impetus for writing is to memorialize, lest my goldfish memory fails me, this whole whirlwind of events that are happening around the world and concomitantly to my little universe. 

Of course, we’re all hard-hit by this Covid-19 pandemic and it will indefinitely impair our lives for at least a good couple of months. So much fear and anticipatory grief all around, distress and sorrow for some, but generally a lot more anxiety and inconvenience for us all. That said, I’ve managed to draw some positives from this ongoing episode and also still count other blessings in life. 


So, the climbing gym, boulder+, I frequent and do some fun work for was unfortunately hit with our first Covid-19 case, also patient zero (henceforth known as 142) in the climbing community. A lot of vitriol and abomination spreading in the circle because of the few hundred people 142 forced into quarantine. 

Having left the gym 45 minutes before he entered, I only escaped quarantine very narrowly. I’m going to be upfront and post an unpopular opinion here but I stand with 142. He may have not made the wisest of decisions, esp. since his family was involved in a big known cluster in Jurong, but I don’t think he needs to be chastised or condemned :( We’ve all been stupid to different extents and made selfish choices, although with dissimilar repercussions, but guess we could do with a lot more love and kindness in such trying times. 

Anyway because of 142, I’ve got my first taste in crisis management and corporate communications handling b+’s social media accounts. I’m not formally trained in this field so a lot of it was down to educated guesswork and staying true to my being but ‘honesty’, ‘timeliness of information’ and ‘engagement with the community’ were the three important things that led the way for me. Some of the things we did were to get healthcare professionals who climb to answer Q&As from our climbers; sharing books and movie lists curated by our community to our quarantined friends amongst others. It was good fun, a great learning curve and overall I would like to think we did pretty well :)

for anyone else who wants some rec :D

Oh, the icing on the cake was when one of our regular climbers proposed a #bpositive t-shirt, in support of the gym, got it approved, designed and printed in a matter of days. Other less exciting and stressful behind the scenes would be masterfully timing and carefully wording the announcements, answering inane questions and checking copy when you’re exhausted. Very thankful for people I can trust 100% to fact check and read for me any time of the day – Smellywelly and Hakeem. 

In spite of the economic uncertainties and instability, I’ve received a proposition to maybe teach inter-disciplinary mod/s at my *dream school* (fingers crossed) and also the opportunity to work with a few individuals struggling with mental health issues at a Family Service Centre in Jurong. Extremely grateful for synergy and alignment in things I’ve got an interest in and paid work.

In the last 8 months, Nad and I have also been going in to prison to do some work with girls inside. I’ll strive to write more about the entire process (hurhur) soon but some of our girls are out and I think this is where the real work starts. Previously, I’ve handled mostly boys, so this is going to be interesting… and err… a lot more dramatic I foresee.

Lastly, for me to remember on days I feel like giving up on these ‘kids’:

-       Merv is gonna graduate as a naval diver soon!

-       Ayil was signed by an S-league club in Jan :’)

-       Leo, Hilmi & Ady are serving the nation and not in trouble

-       Hifzhan is back to climbing

Also current read - Deviant Behaviour: A Text Reader in the Sociology of Deviance. If you sat through this entire post, thank you and have a good day x


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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