Singapore International Photography Festival 2020

It’s no cliché when they say that a picture speaks a thousand words. And with so much that has happened this year, why not slow down and reflect with the Singapore International Photography Festival 2020 (SIPF) – one frame at a time?

Rekindling the arts scene in Singapore both online and offline with plenty of unique exhibitions, this year’s SIPF can be appreciated regardless of your background. From 5th November 2020 – 30th January 2021, look out for the poignant themed exhibits, self-portrait murals and a roving photo booth truck, as well as engaging talks, online virtual tours and discussions by various artists.

Here’s what’s coming your way:

1. Think out-of-the-box when it comes to photography projects

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When one usually thinks of photography projects, you’ll envision a solitary person holding a camera, capturing landscapes, portraits or the minutiae of life. Yet, if you want to attain senpai level, consider taking a leaf from Inside Out Singapore, which explores unconventional ways of capturing photos to tell stories.

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The roving photo booth truck
Image credit: SIPF

This global art project of epic proportions is the brainchild of an anonymous French artist known mysteriously as JR has made its way onto our island’s shores, Inside Out Singapore has two parts to it. 

First, catch the roving photo booth truck and have your portrait taken – the truck will be making its way across multiple locations. Next, spot your portrait in one of the many black and white murals that will be displayed across public buildings island-wide. 

The underlying message: every single one of us has a story to tell, but together, we form a unique collective identity. 

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Image credit: SIPF

A thousand faces in black-and-white portraits make for an imposing sight, so be part of this experimental project and have your portrait taken! Find out where the photo booth truck will be heading next on SIPF website.

Inside Out Singapore
Date: 30th October 2020 – 30th January 2021

Public display exhibitions to be up at: 

  • DECK, The Substation, 120A Prinsep Street, Singapore 187937
  • Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, 80 Bencoolen Street, Singapore 189655
  • 37 Emerald Hill, Singapore 229313
  • Tekka Centre, 665 Buffalo Road, Singapore 210665

Note: Public display exhibitions can already be found at DECK, The Substation and at 37 Emerald Hill.

2. Get inspired by 31 overseas photographers on how to tell powerful narratives

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Every photo tells a story, and seeing life through the lens of another is a process that leaves us both intrigued and in awe. Step into the shoes of your fellow photographers with SIPF’s Open Call Showcase, a photography exhibition featuring the works of 31 artists from around the world.

The overarching theme for the festival is “Departing and Arriving”, a retrospective look into our pasts and how that led to who we are today.

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Image credit: Miti Ruangkritya. A Convenient Sunset | A Convenient Holdup.

From collages of 7-Eleven stores that depict store robberies alongside that of the same store during the golden hour, to the largest illegal dump site in Japan, the works ranging from Thailand to Russia will amaze you with narratives not limited to Singapore alone.

SIPF 2020

Open Call Showcase
Date: 5th November 2020 – 30th January 2021
37 Emerald Hill (Main exhibition) | 6 Downtown Line MRT stations (Public exhibition, 20th Nov – 19th Dec)

Find out more about the Open Call Showcase on the SIPF website.

3. Explore lesser-known and unusual topics as your subject

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Image credit: Achim Lippoth. I Want To Be Series.

Aside from the showcases, there are plenty of displays with unique subjects waiting to be explored. The Amazing ABC of Photography is a showcase that uses the alphabet sequence to reframe photography in a whole new lens, while Kurt Tong’s Combing for Ice and Jade exhibition located at Esplanade Tunnel depicts the Comb Sisters – a group of women from China who travelled for their own independence.

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Image credit: Kurt Tong. Combing for Ice and Jade series.

Learn about the full list of exhibitions and displays on the SIPF website.

4. Find out what makes a good photobook

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Image credit: Arguiñe Escandón & Yann Gross. Aya series.

You’ve probably flipped through a photobook at least once in your life at your local library or heartland bookstore. To help you appreciate this burgeoning medium for showcasing photography, the Photobook Showcase contains selected works from 24 artists for you to delve into.

Catch a glimpse of the restricted zone of Battleship Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site just off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. Once a densely populated city, the island is now a ghost town which comes alive through the vivid depictions in the Battleship Island photobook by Makiko. Else, thumb through Aya, an intriguing look at the Amazonian jungle that features both vintage photos and modern ones. 

Photobook Showcase
Date: 13th November 2020 – 30th January 2021
Location: 37 Emerald Hill, Singapore 229313

5. Learn from established local photographers through a virtual walk

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Robert Zhao
Image credit: SIPF

Budding photographers often look to street photographer prodigies from the likes of Aik Beng Chia when it comes to dabbling in the art of visual storytelling. 

If you’ve got a keen eye for captivating candids but are still trying to digest the manual of your new camera, you can give your morale and passion a boost with SIPF’s online photo walk sesh with the pros: Walking with Photographers.

From Little India to Joo Chiat, share a lens with the legendary Aik Beng Chia himself, along with Robert Zhao, Mindy Tan and others as they enlighten you on how to wrap Singapore’s elusive intricacies into a single frame. 

There are a total of five walks that’ll be conducted online so you don’t need to let your anxiety stop you from learning from the best.

Walking with Photographers
Date: TBC
Location: Online
Price: $5/screening*

Find out more about Walking with Photographers on the SIPF website.

*The programme is a on-demand video which will let you join in the experience any time from your home.

Experience Singapore International Photography Festival 2020

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There’s still plenty more to do from 5th November 2020 – 30th January 2021 to round up your experience with the Singapore International Photography Festival 2020. 

Additionally, for an even more enriching experience, the SIPF’s curators Liana Yang, John Tung and Gwen Lee will be hosting curated tours ($10/ticket) of the exhibition at 37 Emerald Hill. There are also a myriad of talks, panel discussions and seminars conducted online by artists worldwide for you to learn more about their art.

Admissions to displays that are in public places and MRT stations are free of charge. For entry into 37 Emerald Hill, you can purchase a single-entry ticket for $15 or a multiple-entry pass for $20

Single-tickets to online talks and discussions start from $5, or you can get a pass for $80. Alternatively, get the full experience with an ultimate festival pass at $80 for multiple entries to the exhibitions as well as access to all online activities. 

Tickets are available for purchase on the Singapore International Photography Festival 2020 website. There’s plenty to do at the festival from 5th November 2020 – 30th January 2021, so stay updated with the festival through Facebook and Instagram

Find out more about the Singapore International Photography Festival 2020 here

This post was brought to you by the Singapore International Photography Festival.
Cover image adapted from: SIPF, @moe_matsui