Platform Ten: Ivan Tan

I was recently invited by Platform to nominate one emerging photographer in Singapore for its annual list of Platform Ten 2011. The final list of 10 was unveiled last night at their monthly session in Sinema.

My choice went to Ivan Tan, who is currently an undergraduate at where I came from, the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. His name came about after I tweeted for suggestions. Not only did people from the art/design world recommend him, my photojournalist friend did too. It turns out he has been practising photography for five years now. While learning the ropes of documentary work, he has also been photographing weddings for a living. His photos — including wedding ones — had a certain sensitivity to it, whether it was the colour or framing.

It was after a meeting with him that I felt he deserved the nomination. Talking to him and going through his older blog, I saw the trajectory Ivan has been trying to hurl himself towards for a few years now. It’s this hunger that most impressed me, because I’ve seen how difficult it is to keep that alive here, so I hope this little nomination will go some way in pushing him to last a little longer.

This is what I wrote for his nomination:

“An emerging photographer shouldn’t be measured by what he has achieved, but what he can achieve. Ivan Tan can, because he is hungry. Since picking up photography five years ago, he has sought to master it, shooting with film and self-developing prints. He worked hard to find his voice, shooting fashion, portraits, weddings, and most recently, trying out photojournalism. These 10 photographs taken in the last two years show what drives Ivan’s photography today: a desire to make sense of his world, and to express how he feels about it — because Ivan is not just a photographer, but a person too.”

Check out his images on his website. I particularly liked fade, bedtime stories, wish and waiting. He put up some recent work too.

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