Singapore International Photography Festival bring sharp focus on photography

Singapore International Photography Festival bring sharp focus on photography
A photography exhibition outside the National Library
(Photo: Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop)

SINGAPORE — For its third installment, the biennial Singapore International Photography Festival has drawn some big names, with the involvement of Magnum Photos (the prestigious photo agency co-founded by Henri Cartier-Bresson), renowned contemporary Chinese artist Wang Qingsong, and Italian photographer and artistic director of the Rapallo Contemporary Photography Show Andrea Botto.

Along with these prominent guests, the Festival’s core exhibition features 414 images by 50 photographers from 25 countries around the world. The selected images were drawn from the close to 9,000 images submitted in response to an open call between Nov 2011 and Apr 2012.

The festival is spreading itself over several venues: the Alliance Francaise, the National Library, the Singapore Management University, The Substation, the ArtScience Museum and the Photographic Society of Singapore at Selegie Arts Centre.

One of the highlights, presented at SMU, is the showcase of a monumental 42-meter-long work by Wang Qingsong, titled “The History of Monuments,” an interpretation of the history of mankind in a photo epic. For this work, Wang photographed over 300 hundred models in his studio.

“Silvermine,” also at SMU, is a fascinating photographic portrait of Beijing and the lives of its inhabitants over the last thirty years. This is part of a vast archive of 35mm color film negatives taken by ordinary and anonymous Chinese snappers and it unearths discarded souvenir snapshots, often amusing, banal or intriguing, which ThomasSauvin collected from a recycling zone where they were destined for destruction. On display is a selection of 300 photographs that brings the viewer back to the 1980s.

The SIPF will run until 17 Nov 2012.