An Hour @ The Museum: To Measure The Depth Of The Ocean at Deck

To Measure The Depth Of The Ocean is an exhibition that studies the style and works of five Singapore photographers - Loke Hong Seng, Tan Lip Seng, Chua Soo Bin, Foo Tee Jun and Yip Cheong Fun - to see how modernism in photography was influenced by the country's development between the 1950s and 1980s.


The Admirable Samsui Women, (1970/2015)

By Loke Hong Seng Digital print on archival cotton paper, 35.6x47.7cm


The Admirable Samsui Women, (1970/2015). PHOTO: LOKE HONG SENG

Loke, 72, sees himself as a "street photographer" who focuses on documenting society's progress and the lives and concerns of people affected by change. The weathered hands of the samsui woman in this shot "convey the hard work and sacrifices of these Chinese immigrant women in building Singapore from the 1920s to 1970s".


The Parade (1977)


The Parade (1977). PHOTO:  TAN LIP SENG

By Tan Lip Seng Archival inkjet print, 59.4x42cm

The Parade is a montage of high-contrast film with the original colour transparency layered together to create a bas-relief effect. The image was captured at the National Stadium during the opening of Youth Day celebrations.


Long John Silver's (1981)


Long John Silver's (1981). PHOTO: TAN LIP SENG

By Tan Lip Seng Archival inkjet print, 59.4x84.1cm

The artist, 73, used to go on overseas photography trips.

He captured this image at the Disneyland Park in California. It is a reflection of a Long John Silver attraction.


The Fisherman's Daughter (late 1950s)


The Fisherman's Daughter (late 1950s). PHOTO: YIP CHEONG FUN

By Yip Cheong Fun Archival inkjet print, 84.1x59.4cm

One of the late artist's greatest passions was photographing the sea and its coast. This translated into images, such as this work, of fishing folk near the Bedok Beach, Changi Coast and Tanjong Rhu areas.


Homeward Bound, (1960s)


Homeward Bound, (1960s). PHOTO: YIP CHEONG FUN

By Yip Cheong Fun Archival inkjet print, 84.1x59.4cm

This image depicts the back view of a woman carrying an umbrella as she heads home. Her gentle curves are contrasted with the ramrod-straight coconut trees swaying in the breeze. The use of infrared photography adds drama to the frame.


Lu Yanshao And Li Keran Engrossed In Cheerful Conversation (1984 to 1988)


Lu Yanshao And Li Keran Engrossed In Cheerful Conversation (1984 to 1988). PHOTO: CHUA SOO BIN

By Chua Soo Bin 35mm black-and-white film on inkjet print Epson art paper, mounted on a 4mm aluminium board, 70x50cm

This photograph was taken as part of a series of portraits on 14 Chinese ink painting and calligraphy practitioners.

It depicts Chinese ink masters Lu Yanshao (above left) and Li Keran (above right) engaged in conversation.

The harmony between the men belies the contrasting styles of Lu from the south and Li from the north.


Apartment Flats In Colour (1975)


Apartment Flats In Colour (1975). PHOTO: FOO TEE JUN

By Foo Tee Jun Archival inkjet print, 60x40cm

The artist, 80, spotted this HDB block near Chin Swee Road, adorned with National Day decorations. He decided to photograph the fluorescent paper that had been wrapped around corridor lights to evoke a festive atmosphere.


Dawn At A Coconut Plantation (1963)


Dawn At A Coconut Plantation (1963). PHOTO: FOO TEE JUN

By Foo Tee Jun Archival inkjet print, 60x40cm

This posed shot was taken during an outdoor photography lesson at a coastal village in what is present-day Changi. "The burning of seashells by villagers to make cement produced thick smoke and, as sunlight filtered through, I took a picture of these children to capture the idyllic kampung life," the artist recalls.


WHERE: Deck, 120A Prinsep Street

MRT: Bugis

WHEN: Till Dec 30, noon to 7pm (Tuesday to Saturday), noon to 5pm (Sunday), closed on Monday and public holiday

ADMISSION: Free

INFO: www.deck.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 11, 2015, with the headline 'Hour At The Museum'. Print Edition | Subscribe