How did you pick up photography, and what do you like most about it?
I had a great photography lecturer back in art school. She picked a photograph I shot, developed and enlarged it for the seasonal school exhibition. I put a pin in it to give analogue photography a shot after that.
What is the most challenging/rewarding shoot you’ve done?
Generally, most of my documentary work where I’ve had to travel, as I’m quite unfamiliar with travelling. Even more so when travelling alone, but the things I was privy to during my trips were pretty amazing. People were incredibly hospitable and would welcome me like family into their homes. I can’t express how lucky I felt. My only hope when I do have the guts to finalise the work is that I’ve done it justice.
What is your most cherished camera and why?
That would have to be my main camera, my Leica M6. I had picked up some street photography ideals, where you never leave the house without a camera on you. Since then, I’ve had this camera strapped on me perpetually for the last few years. It has witnessed everything and it helps that Leica offered to engrave it personally to me, so it’s also incredibly sentimental.
A personality you would love to be able to photograph, and why?
I have quite a few people on my ever-growing bucket list. But before my work slowed and the borders closed, I really wanted to turn my camera towards Korean culture and the extremely explosive scene there.
You co-founded Misc Management, a young digital and street-casting agency based in Singapore. What was the inspiration behind Misc, and how did you put together the current models on the roster?
I think it just came naturally as I was already looking for unique personalities around Asia, so the move to create a brand around a similar genre felt strangely comfortable. It’s funny because in my documentary work I never really regarded an individual by their looks, more by their story and personality. I personally focused on that when thinking about people who fit into the agency, which does seem counter productive for a “modelling agency”. I let my more fashion-directed business partner, Wanjie, tell me what’s a look and what’s not.
What do you feel is the importance of Misc Management in Singapore?
Well, I don’t know if I’m qualified enough to give my opinion about modelling agencies in Singapore, but I do think it’s necessary to do things differently. It’s of extreme importance here, otherwise, how would passion be made possible?
What’s something your younger self would be surprised to learn about your current self?
How much work I’m willing to do. My teachers would be incredibly shocked that I’ve been so willing to study, be punctual, and ready to toss myself into this much work.
What’s a life lesson you had to learn the hard way?
Trust your gut.