Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Featured Artist Series : Deanna Ng

Bali Pasar 07 series © Deanna Ng

My recent trip short trip to Singapore served as an introduction to me in various ways. I was to visit the Biennale, which I will post later. The other was to meet some photographers and galleries in the City; one, being freelance photographer Deanna Ng. (

I came across Deanna's work through her website whilst researching into the photography scene in the Island City. We met at Bugis MRT one evening, and talked about how she came into photography only some 3 years ago, and she now teaches basic photography classes at Objectifs, which we visited, a short walk away. Deanna shoots with a Rolleicord TLR camera and also a digital Nikon DSLR, and freelances commercially, working on medium term projects as well as fitting in with her love for travel. She told me she had just returned from Vietnam, and will be going to South India at the end of the week on a photo workshop.

She describes herself as a documentary photographer, specialising in people, portraits and offbeat travel images. This is a pretty accurate definition from what I can gather from her series on street markets in Singapore, Bali and Siem Reap. Her observational skills are impeccable whilst the 'off-centre' framing and sloping horizontals adds to her signature.

Padang, Indonesia 2006 © Deanna Ng

She eluded that it may be easier for a camera totting female to get more intimate shots than her male counterparts, especially in street markets where her non-threatening and approachable demeanor with her subjects takes on a friendly rapport. The 'hit and run' approach to street photography that so many of us often practice means little for Deanna, preferring the 'ask first, then shoot' philosophy

Jimmy, Singapore © Deanna Ng

By gaining the subject's confidence and connecting through conversation, this allows the photographer a new avenue of opportunity in obtaining different images, often, much more relaxed and unposed pictures as can be seen in her work and in many of the great documentary photographers that we know.

Pit, No.2. Moberly, Missouri © Deanna Ng

In 2006, Deanna was selected to participate in the prestigious Missouri Photo Workshop as an International Participant. Her photo-essay project 'Pit' covered a typical American pastime...stockcar racing on a Saturday night, photographing families in trailers, racing cars and the local enthusiasts. Undoubtedly, she has gained from that experience, as a documentary photographer. By immersing herself within the life story, her pictures are worth more than those taken by a mere visitor.

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