KHENG-LI WEE

Born 1971 in Singapore, Kheng-Li Wee studied photography at the International Center of Photography, New York, and Asian Studies and Fine Art at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. He has exhibited in Singapore and overseas. Currently based in Singapore, he teaches at the Temasek Polytechnic Design School and Objectifs: Centre for Photography and Filmmaking.

His work is represented in the permanent collections of the International Center of Photography, New York and the European House of Photography, Paris, as well as in private collections in Singapore and abroad. Clients include The Citigroup Private Bank, The Association of Banks in Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board, Bulgari, SKA Architects and Tiffany’s.

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Istanbul Series, 2006 |
click here to read Artist's Statement

IMAGE
ARTWORK DETAILS
PRICE



Kheng-Li Wee
Consulate Fence, Istanbul
2006

Silver Gelatin Print
28 X 35 cm
Edition of 5

S$750 unframed
S$850 framed


Kheng-Li Wee
Tangled Vines, Istanbul
2006
Silver Gelatin Print
28 X 35 cm
Edition of 5
S$750 unframed
S$850 framed


Kheng-Li Wee
Towards Asia, Istanbul
2006
Silver Gelatin Print
28 X 35 cm
Edition of 5
S$750 unframed
S$850 framed


Kheng-Li Wee
Willows, Istanbul
2006
Silver Gelatin Print
28 X 35 cm
Edition of 5
S$750 unframed
S$850 framed

Kheng-Li Wee
Male Torso II, Istanbul
2006
Silver Gelatin Print
28 X 35 cm
Edition of 5

S$750 unframed
S$850 framed
KHENG-LI WEE - Scotland Portfolio, 2001

click here to read about Field Trip to Glenlivet House, Scotland in 2001
IMAGE
ARTWORK DETAILS
PRICE


 

Kheng-Li Wee
Made Budhiana, Spynie Palace, Near Elgin
A/P 1/2
2001
Silver gelatin print28 x 35.5 cm w
S$750 framed
Kheng-Li Wee
Made Budhiana, Main Entrance, Glenlivet House
A/P 1/2
2001
Silver gelatin print
35.5 x 28 cm w
S$750 framed

artist statement | Istanbul series

There is no other city like it on earth. Between East and West, Asia and Europe, past and present, Islam and Christianity, water and land, the city rises as a massive virtual palimpsest, embodying all of these meanings, mysteries, and contradictions.

For a flaneur, that curious conception of a passionate observer who wanders and watches keenly, caught up in the endless fascinations of exploring the labyrinthine streets and delving into the infinity of details which creates and defines the unique character of a cityscape, Istanbul is, perhaps, the most intriguing of subjects.

I sought a particular state of mind in Istanbul: a sense of deep calm and peace amidst the dynamism of a teeming metropolis, a sense of timelessness and retreat from the banality of international modernity, a sense of being amongst layers upon layers of history, symbolism and paradoxes, a sense of uplifting urban and architectural greatness, a sense of haunting silences, shadows on timeworn stone, poetry in light and spaces.

After all, what is the exotic, but that which one hungers for in vain during the familiar routine of daily existence?

kheng-li wee, 2006


Field Trip to Glenlivet House, Scotland in 2001

For Kheng-Li Wee, the trip to Scotland was a photographic adventure.  He knew the Scottish highlands very well and all the changing moods.  He explains, "I chose to bring only black and white film because of my prior experience in Scotland.  The Scottish weather conditions are so changeable and so fickle that I knew if I brought colour film it would be a futile exercise in chasing the fleeting moments of sunshine.  With black and white film one is not restricted by the colour temperature of the light and one is at complete liberty to just use light in the composition.  Black and white photographs are about light and composition. 

"The light has a certain peculiarity because Scotland is so far north which means that you get a lot of very low angle light at all times of the day.  In Singapore the light is very even, the sun is always right above us and it's a challenge to get very soft, expressive light in Singapore.  It's possible but it's a challenge, whereas it's much easier in places like Scandinavia or Scotland.

"For me, Scotland is all about gloomy foreboding skies.  It wouldn't be Scotland if there was nice, cheery sunshine.  Scotland is allowed the rugged terrain, the gloomy skies, the rugged people.  At Cairngorm Mountain, the interesting thing was we didn't really stop to enjoy the view, we actually stopped to stretch our legs and then all of a sudden Marjorie started doing tai chi in the middle of nowhere with this foreboding sky.  I quickly dashed off a few frames, and then it started pouring with rain.  The landscape was so monochromatic, there was no vegetation, apart from heather and lichen, all low on the ground, and the outline of the mountain was very clear and very stark.

"The challenge for me on the trip to Scotland was meeting a group of strangers, and it was a wonderful exercise in portraiture: inflicting myself on strangers, sticking a camera in their faces.  I used very short lenses so I was very close to people most of the time.  I feel that if your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough.  People varied tremendously in how long it took them to get used to the camera; some people got used to me pretty quickly and some never got used to me, even right at the end.”

* Excerpt from Marjorie Chu, Understanding Contemporary Southeast Asian Art (Singapore: Art Forum, 2003)