Photographers selling prints to help coronavirus-hit migrant workers

Mr Darren Soh (above) is working with Objectifs on an online sale of prints of his and seven fellow photographers' old works to raise money for virus-hit migrant workers. Right: Myriad Island, Rochor Centre, 2013, is a work by photographer Tham Kok L
(Above) Myriad Island, Rochor Centre, 2013, is a work by photographer Tham Kok Leong, one of the eight taking part in the initiative. PHOTO: THAM KOK LEONG
Mr Darren Soh (above) is working with Objectifs on an online sale of prints of his and seven fellow photographers' old works to raise money for virus-hit migrant workers. Right: Myriad Island, Rochor Centre, 2013, is a work by photographer Tham Kok L
Mr Darren Soh (above) is working with Objectifs on an online sale of prints of his and seven fellow photographers' old works to raise money for virus-hit migrant workers. PHOTO: CY KONG

Eight Singaporean photographers are selling prints of their old works to raise funds for migrant workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This will augment existing efforts to deliver them food, support their mental health, and give them employment-related help.

All proceeds will go to the Covid Migrant Support Coalition - made up of non-government organisations Migrant x Me, Itsrainingraincoats, Citizen Adventures and Singapore Migrant Friends - as well as the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home).

The online sale was initiated by photographer Darren Soh and done in collaboration with Objectifs - Centre For Photography And Film.

People can buy prints from Objectifs' online store and collect them in person from May 19 - provided the social distancing measures in place at that time permit this.

The prints - by Mr Soh, Mr AikBeng Chia, Mr Gareth Phua, Mr James Tan, Mr Jimmy Sng, Ms Mindy Tan, Mr Nicky Loh and Mr Tham Kok Leong - cost between $80 and $500. Printing costs have been sponsored by AVS.

Mr Soh, 44, who is known for his photos of local architecture, said: "I've always been very aware of migrant workers' work and how they live. I do come into contact with them, especially when I do construction photography. They are not invisible to me."

One of his works is a surreal shot of S11 Dormitory @ Punggol, taken in 2014. This foreign workers' dormitory was recently declared an isolation area after a spike in coronavirus cases there. "When all this is done and dusted, hopefully this will be a wake-up call on how we treat migrant workers," he added.

Mr Soh has been mostly home-bound since the start of the circuit breaker period. While the morning light has been "great", he is resisting the urge to go out for photo walks, opting to play his part in helping to curb the outbreak.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2020, with the headline Photographers selling prints to help coronavirus-hit migrant workers. Subscribe