A Social Portrait of Singapore: The Critical Years (Loke Hong Seng)
03 July - 06 September 2015

In concurrence with Singapore’s 50th National Day, “A Social Portrait of Singapore: The Critical Years” aims to introduce you to the impactful works of Loke Hong Seng. Notably recognised for his creative engagement in street photography during 1963 and 1985, the selection of works depict a culmination of 20 previously unpublished works. An active member of the Pioneer Generation whose work features as an insight into Singapore’s historical beginnings, this exhibition encourages a new reading of early photography at a time when photography struggled to establish itself as a viable medium. Other than its former uses in documentaries and archives, this selection exemplifies the crudeness of 20th century life. 


Through an engaging and motivated effort to illustrate the transgressive progression of Singapore in a time of international establishment, the essence of daily life manifests. Capturing the emergence of a new republic in contrast with vernacular architecture and colonial buildings, the modern notion of familiarity is contextualised. HDB flats, which define Singapore’s distinctive cityscape, the reliance on water trade, and specifically the heroines of Singapore’s national growth - commonly known as Samsui women - are all aspects to be considered when referring to cultural significance. 


Loke Hong Seng’s photographs are not merely nostalgic reminders of the past but rather  reminders of the sacrifices made in the name of progress.


A limited edition catalogue has been produced for the exhibition, chronicling 80 images of the artist's work.‚Äč The catalogue encompasses the following: An introduction on the historical context of the artist and his work by Audrey Yeo and essays by Gael Newton (formerly Senior Curator of Australian and International Photography, National Gallery of Australia), Zhuang Wubin (writer, curator, educator and photographer) and Gilles Massot (lecturer, LASALLE College of the Arts and NTU). To view the catalogue, please click here.


To download the press release, please click here. 

To download the list of works on display, please click here.


Friday 3 July 2015, 6 - 9pm

Exhibition Opening

Friday 3 July 2015, 8 - 9pm

Book signing of limited edition artist's book