The Urban Development of Singapore

This is a project from 2015, the same year of Singapore’s 50th birthday after independence from its neighbour MalaySia. The images show the fast development of some of Singapore’s most famous buildings and typical scenery. 


Introduction:

“Before becoming an independent republic Singapore has belonged to the sultanate of Johor Bahru, been under Dutch control, part of the British Strait Settlements, occupied by the Japanese and been back to Malaysia until voted into independency in 1965. In 1990 the population of the city-state has been counted by three million citizens. While today, in 2015, the population doubled within 25 years to nearly six million people with more than 70 percent Chinese origin.  

Especially interesting is the fast development of the Singaporean scenery. What would be a comparison of a few hundred years of now and then in european cities like London, Paris or Rome has been moved in Singapore within a few decades. Looking at the pictures of Fullerton Hotel near Raffles Place it shows the hotel without being surrounded by buildings which present the magnificent skyline of Singapore today. Most of the buildings have been built in early 20th century.”


© Lisa Wlaschek 2017


Lisa Wlaschek is a German photographer who travelled around and worked in Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai and across Europe on photography and art projects. She focusses mostly on film photography and paintings and hosted her first exhibition with photographs and illustrations in Tokyo in 2017.


Why I love Shooting Film In Singapore

We all know that light and therefore weather affects the way we take our photographs. The ISO sensitivity plays an important role for those who choose to take their photographs with film.

Singapore is a great place for shooting film! The weather is very consistent (27° almost every day) and light insensitivity is strong as h… 

I come from a place that is very wechselhaft, meaning the weather is changing a few times a day, especially during spring and autumn - not easy to prepare for if you want to take photos outside with film that has a fixed ISO.


Why Singapore is a treat for your film camera:

#1 Singapore’s light insensitivity doesn’t change a lot during the day. It’s uber easy to prepare for and shoot street photography.

#2 The sun goes up and down almost the same time every day. As a comparison: While the sun doesn’t seem to go down during the summer, the sun in West Europe rises at 10am during the winter and says good night at around 5pm, leaving us few hours sunlight if at all, since the sky is expected to be a grey-ish mush of clouds half of the days anyways (even worse in the Nordic countries). Planning your photoshoots could not be easier!

#3 Singapore’s streets, trains and beaches are (yes, 98%) clean. Free of chewing gums and other disturbing rubbish that crumbles around at the streets and other places.

#4 Singapore has a great selection of local stores which sell film cameras. Among them:

- Lomography is still alive in the city of Singapore and opens its doors in Chinatown.

- 8storeytree with its “first toy camera boutique” (according to their website) is run by lovely people that will explain you everything you need to know about film cameras and even stop you if you want to buy wrong accessories (whups..!). Noreen and Jimmy are not only selling cameras, but are also local designers.

- Camera Hospital in Singapore is a (very) small shop with a great heart. The guy at Bencoolen Street repairs old film cameras and sells them too. I totally recommend!

#5 In Singapore, different cultures come to live. Since the 52-years old history of Singapore (yah.. yah.. I will not give you a history lesson) immigrants came to Singapore from various places. These people are today summed-up under the CMIO model: Chinese-Malay-Indian-and-others. The CMIO model is a different discussion, but what I want to say is that once in Singapore you can take the train from one place to another and be in Little India 10 minutes after departing from (a very interesting yet touristy) Chinatown. Definitely a plus for your street photography shoots!

#6 Singapore’s architecture is colourful. This is a very personal point of view, but I prefer my scenery and cityscapes to be strong in its colour.

#7 For those who are new to Singapore, everything is easy to use since Singapore’s sons and daughters are growing up with social media. Additionally everybody speaks English, even those you don’t understand.


I admit this sounds a bit pro-Singapore. Now, look at the other sides:

#1 Shooting is prohibited in some places as you will find restrictions of almost everything somewhere. Just be careful what and who you’re taking pictures of and, please, be respectful. 

#2 Singapore is small, you might want to look around Singapore and take one of the great and cheap travel opportunities to go the surrounding countries like Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines… do I need to go on?

#3 Chewing gum on the street, monotonous architecture and the change of weather can, of course, add a very interesting effect to your images. It’s different cultures, different looks. You certainly will need a change of scenery after shooting in Singapore for a longer time. 


Now go to Singapore and shoot some film!


Lisa Wlaschek is a German photographer who travelled around and worked in Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai and across Europe on photography and art projects. She focusses mostly on film photography and paintings and hosted her first exhibition with photographs and illustrations in Tokyo in 2017.

Alley in Chinatown, Singapore

Colourful houses in Singapore

…and a Singapore x London Layover

© Lisa Wlaschek 2017


Your Own Art/Photography Exhibition In Japan

Hosting your photography/art exhibition in a foreign city does not seem to be easy at first. I’ve had my first exhibition in Japan this year and it was a challenging and a fun experience!

Here are tips how you can start hosting your own exhibition in Japan!


Why you should open an exhibition in Japan:

- Japan is very open to new artists and offers a lot of possibilities for exhibitions or sales. You can experiment on your own style whether it’s about the exhibition space or what you want to display

- Galleries in Japan are always very interested in foreign artist 

- Spaces are not cheap but definitely affordable (even for students!). You can usually rent everything from the white wall on the toilet up to huge exhibition spaces

- Tokyo is a city with a strong focus on the creative market which means you can buy all kinds of  photography and art supplies which makes your preparation easier 


Step 1: How to get the exhibition started

Make a list of possible exhibition spaces, compare the prices, choose one and apply with your tumblr, website or whatever proof you have of your own work, pay the fees and get your airplane ticket! Sounds easy? It is.

Galleries in Tokyo to check out are:

- Design Festa Gallery 原宿 in Harajuku and its twice-a-year event, the Design Festa

- Lucite Gallery which is also an cafe

- G/P Gallery, a photography-focussed gallery

- Gallery Conceal in Shibuya

Don’t be afraid of language barriers. Even though I speak Japanese myself, at the gallery where I had my exhibition was at least one English speaking staff who was indeed very helpful and friendly (which Japanese usually are).


Step 2: Get to Tokyo and start with preparations

Apart from having the great opportunity to do a lot of street photography and get a huge boost from Tokyo’s creative bubble it’s easy to prepare your exhibition in Tokyo.

Focus also on advertising. As in most countries there are a lot of online printing services, like Printpac or Graphics, which also offer discount for new clients and should have a website in English. I printed Japanese format business cards (91 × 55mm), flyer and free postcards as a give-away for the exhibition.

Make a list of your costs, including everything from printing your images to the transportation to determine the price of your artwork and photographs.

On the day of the set-up, be extra careful with the transport of your artwork as the trains are very crowded and big frames might not be very handy in a full train. Alternatively galleries offer shipping before your exhibition starts.

…so go and be part of the creative skyline of Tokyo!!


Places to visit during your stay in Tokyo:

- Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku and Akihabara are the biggest stores of this electronic giant to buy film and other things

- Photobook Megutama with its impressive collection of 5000+ photo books which you can enjoy by homemade Japanese lunch or sweets

- SO BOOKS, a wonderful shop with hand-selected second hand photography and art-themed books for very good prices

- Japan Camera Hunter aka. Bellamy and his blog

- Popeye Camera, a camera shop in Jiyûgaoka, Tokyo

…and last but not least, of course, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography


Lisa Wlaschek is a German photographer who travelled around and worked in Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai and across Europe on photography and art projects. She focusses mostly on film photography and paintings and hosted her first exhibition with photographs and illustrations in Tokyo in 2017.

Tokyo - Coming to Live at Sundown

Tokyo Night Life

Shinjuku at Night

Photobook Megutama - Left View

Photobook Megutama - Right View

© Lisa Wlaschek 2017

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