A peek into pandora’s box
Pandora Wong, who graduated from SIT-Glasgow School of Art (GSA) with a BA (Hons) in Communication Design earlier this year, has been consistently endorsed by Singapore’s advertising industry as an emerging creative talent. She was Moovemedia’s Creative Young Talent in 2011 and more recently in 2013, bronze prize winner of Crowbar Awards’ Documentary Photography contest.
Could you tell us more about ‘Reverie’?
PW: As a body of work, ‘Reverie’ is a response to the rapid development of urban spaces in Singapore. It hopes to capture the beauty and fragility of the space which we live in, one which is in constant change.
The project was originally one of many design briefs we had to do during our third year. The aim was to produce a set of unique images of Singapore’s landscape.
With my camera and a glass sheet, I set off to discover and photograph my own neighbourhood; to document the changing landscape of Pasir Ris. Thus, the initial title [of my series], ‘Suburban Reverie’, as I was photographing the neighbourhood. This evolved and became ‘Reverie’ since I moved on to shooting spaces beyond the neighbourhood; as the project progressed, I started to photograph [the various] urban spaces in Singapore. I wanted to explore the transitory spaces in which we live.
‘Reverie’ seems to have a focus on absence and layers. What do you want to show through the series?
PW: ‘Reverie’ presents an alternate perspective to our usual points of view. [It is about] another layer of complexity, one which forces us to think twice about
our surroundings. It captures the interactions between people and urban spaces.
How has this cross-cultural experience at GSA changed you?
PW: The GSA programme encouraged us to explore and go beyond our comfort zone. There’s this struggle [we have] as designers and photographers often think about their end products first. But at GSA, we were constantly told to trust the design ‘process’; to just go out and discover new things and experiment.
Do you think there is any downside to studying in a cross-cultural environment?
PW: The lecturers who came down from Glasgow were really helpful; they were very encouraging and interesting to talk to. The only downside to this is their short stay here. It would be nice if they were here longer.
Which artist do you admire most?
PW: One photographer I really admire is Sebastio Salgado, who is one of the most respected photojournalists in the world. He’s known for his stunning black-and-white images. I first chanced upon his work, ‘Africa’, which pays homage to Africa, its landscapes and people.
What kinds of works can we expect to see from you in the future?
PW: At the moment, I am working on a couple of projects. I have always been interested in space so it would be something along the lines of the urban exploration of space. Another are photographs created through the wet plate collodion process.