Nguan – “the quiet hum of ordinary life”


Photographs ©Nguan

Nguan contacted me awhile back to share his series about post-9/11 Times Square called ‘These Times.’ I liked the series but had seen it on a few others blogs and didn’t want to be repetitive (more in this in a future post!), so we got to talking and he offered to shoot new work exclusively for LPV. Needless to say I was excited about the idea, so we chatted and came up with the loose idea that the theme would be ‘la pura vida.’

A tenth of a second. That’s about all it took to make these 10 photographs if you add up the respective shutter speeds I used for each image. Of course, in between there were hours and hours of walking and pacing in the oppressive Singapore heat. Photography is the art of waiting to be caught by surprise. But with any luck the sweat doesn’t show. What I hope comes through is the quiet hum of ordinary life and my curiosity about its protagonists. A lot has been written lately about the question of truth in photography, but one fact a photograph indisputably tells is its photographer existed at the same time as the person or object in the photograph. That may not sound like it amounts to much at all, but I like it. In my apartment there are cabinets of folders stuffed with evidence of brief encounters with people whose paths I crossed only once. I see their faces all the time.

  • Zak

    Happy to witness Singaporean work on an international photograph magazine like LPV. Great job Nguan!