Individual Curation
Andrew John Lim

Individual curation

The first image I have chosen is a piece taken by street photographer Danny Santos in Singapore. It is very much characteristic of the culture we live in today — self-centred, worrisome and caught up with the stress of life. People in this picture are seen either deep in their personal bubble of thought or on their phones. The monochrome scheme of the piece emphasises the monotony of Singaporeans’ daily grind, further illustrated by the strong shadows on all the subjects’ faces. The reflection of light against the glass window of the mrt create a sense of transience — a feeling that these people are living lives without embracing the full vigour and vibrance of it.

In contrast, the next image I came across was another street photography piece by Martin Santoso, of a child being fascinated by lights. This piece struck me as it portrayed childhood innocence that most of us slowly lose as we grow into adulthood. The focus of the picture is on the boy, who is enamoured by the display of lights that illuminate his face. All around him there are legs of grown-ups who are oblivious to this and detached, which is shown by the absence of any other faces, which all the more draws us to him (although he is positioned at the last third of the picture, our attention is still drawn to him as he is the only subject that is bending over and the only face we can see, indicating the singular, small but significant joy singaporeans should find in life) Similar to the first picture, the adults’ bodies are somewhat blurred because of the reflection on the glass, but it could also be implied movement/ the suggestion that these adults are not interested enough to stop and look — suggesting the fast pace of living which we all get caught up in.

The final piece I have is a commentary on how our lives are controlled by the demands of society. Long monologue aside, I find the kind of shots used very effective in conveying the message of the video. Alot of hyperlapse is used, as well as montage shots. All this makes people (around 1:22) look like mindless clones (there are several shots where only their backs can be seen). There are close-up shots of material possessions which are cued when the narrator talks about rewards for the mindless work that is put in — A new TV, or bags and shoes you could not afford the day before. Where there are Medium shots of people, all of them look single-minded in purpose — dressed in suits and ties. While this is a western society depicted here, many traits of their city life are relatable to the culture of Singapore’s CBD.