On a sunny Thursday afternoon, Artist-Architect – Choo Meng
Foo, share about how he expresses himself in photography, painting, writing and
He started photography during his schooling years, before he
went for his National Service. Shooting events for schools provided to be good
training. Meng Foo also enjoy taking snippet of daily life, as the meaning of
these images will deepen after many years; this is especially so in
ever-changing Singapore. He chose to take up an Architecture degree after his National Service, because
the school of Architecture has Darkroom. Hence he can further pursue his
interest in photography.
“But of course, it was during my degree course that I was exposed to Art theory
& History. Also I have to learn to draw as part of the curriculum. All these helps
in my professional job and also my artistic expression.” Meng Foo said with a
“Philosophy” Meng Foo highlighted, is what everyone should look into, to keep
challenging how they can make things better. Human are always repeating history
– by deconstructing & constructing.
“In Art, it’s good to have proper training or learn about the rules. But you
would need to break away because there is nothing special if you keep to the
Eric Lim, Artitute’s Photographer, asked “What changes did you see over the
passed 30 years in Photography?”
Meng Foo replied “In the past, photographers would have more emphasis on technique.
They try to be technically perfect. Try to get close-up of subject, to try to
show it as real as possible. We would use fixed focal prime lenses, instead of
the big zoom lenses people carry around now. Current trend are “distorted
images” such as use of “Fish-Eye” Lens. Also going digital, people are spending
more time on post-processing. Photographers now aim for perfecting their
“So what do you think of the local creative industry?” I asked.
“Singapore needs to grow the local creative industry, for value-adding. Take
for example, “Orange Thimble” the café we are at. It integrate “Arts” as part
of its value-add. Being an Art gallery at the same time.”
“So how do we grow this industry?” I add on to the question.
“Education, to provide talents to the creative industry. However, the Singapore
Schools need to allow more non-conventional curriculum. Also be mindful that
being “Creative” has a price to pay, it might take a very long time to reap the
benefits. Parents has to give their children creative spaces; and also take
interest to teach their children about things outside of school.” He replied
with a smile.
“By the way” Meng Foo continue “We have to break away from the concept that
Artists have to be poor.”
Mr Choo Meng Foo’s works are on display at: Orange
Thimble, 56 Eng Hoon Street till this Sunday (29 July)
You can look up on Mr Choo Meng Foo’s works at his webpage: www.dimagehunter.com
Or drop him an email: [email protected]
Editor’s note: Words by Chee Wei teck, photos taken by Eric Lim