29 May 2013: Convergence

This book examines how people’s ways of life are shaped by the socio-political landscape of the places they live.

convergenceConvergence proves that there is nothing more sublimely interpretive than capturing life’s subtle moments though the lens of a camera. Through carefully composed and thoughtfully compiled photographs, photographer Wei Leng Tan breathes life into difficult topics like diaspora, identity and the effects of cultural displacement. Resembling an attractive personal photo album, Convergence is filled with images of the everyday lives of Singaporean folk in startlingly real situations ­– at home, at work and in public. Descriptive titles like Eldest Aunt’s Bedroom and Ah Lan & Daughter connote hints of familiarity and intimacy, even if we might not know them. Each photograph is an exploration and answer of what it means to be Chinese in contemporary Singapore. As with all superb photography, the reader is effortlessly transported into the lives of these people.

Convergence-2Leng Tan’s photographic forté is in wordlessly examining how people’s relationships and priorities are shaped by the places they live. There are no annotations to clutter the photos, save for an introduction, some names and a few interviews in the back pages. The book is based on a 2012 exhibition, also titled Convergence, which showcased the same photographs and theme. She has exhibited her work at various venues in Bandung, Bangkok and Kosovo, participated at festivals in Leipzig, the Netherlands, Rome and Delhi and has photographed for Time, Fortune and New York Times magazines. Convergence is a limited edition book, with only 500 copies in print.