Snaps of the world

Le­ica in Sin­ga­pore opens a new gallery ded­i­cated to pho­tog­ra­phers and their art.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Art -

THE new Le­ica Ga­lerie un­veiled at The Fuller­ton Ho­tel in Sin­ga­pore last month will show­case lo­cal and over­seas pho­tog­ra­phers, with the aim of bring­ing out the artists be­hind the cam­era.

Karin Rehn-Kauf­mann, art di­rec­tor and chief rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Le­ica Gal­leries In­ter­na­tional, who cu­rates 17 Le­ica gal­leries around the world, says: “I look for good, mov­ing pic­tures that say some­thing. The eye be­hind is im­por­tant. I don’t like it when the pho­tos are heav­ily edited us­ing Light­room or Pho­to­shop.”

Rehn-Kauf­mann, 60, who has been cu­rat­ing the works that go into Le­ica gal­leries for the past nine years, also hopes to dis­play the wide reper­toire of Le­ica pho­tog­ra­phers.

“I want to show the whole an­gle of what is pos­si­ble, from ar­chi­tec­ture and nudes to fash­ion and doc­u­men­taries. Le­ica is not just a cam­era, but also an in­stru­ment that brings out the per­son be­hind the cam­era,” she says.

Dubbed the “Rolls-Royce” of cam­era brands, Le­ica Cam­era AG is the Ger­man brand be­hind the world’s first suc­cess­ful 35mm portable, com­pact and light­weight cam­era. It was in­vented by Oskar Bar­nack in 1914 and pre­sented to the public in 1925.

The new gallery in Sin­ga­pore re­places the one at Raf­fles Ho­tel, where the brand has held ex­hi­bi­tions for the past five years.

Rehn-Kauf­mann ex­plained how Le­ica pho­tos are dif­fer­ent be­cause of the lenses that bring out dif­fer­ent lay­ers in pho­tos, giv­ing it a 3D ef­fect. Well-known for its long his­tory, Le­ica cam­eras have been used by pho­to­jour­nal­ists to doc­u­ment his­tor­i­cal events such as WWII and the Viet­nam War.

“Pho­tog­ra­phy plays a big role in our lives. The pic­ture does the talk­ing and, to­day, we of­ten talk in the form of pic­tures in­stead of writ­ing,” says RehnKauf­mann.

The open­ing ex­hi­bi­tion for Le­ica Ga­lerie at Fuller­ton is Mem­o­ries Of Is­tan­bul by Ara Guler, 89, a Turk­ish pho­to­jour­nal­ist who has cap­tured the every­day life of Is­tan­bul’s in­hab­i­tants for more than 60 years.

Apart from works from in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed names, pic­tures from lo­cal Le­ica pho­tog­ra­phers such as Al­wyn Chong, Justin Ong and Ros­alynn Tay have been fea­tured in Le­ica Gallery Sin­ga­pore.

“We want to give an op­por­tu­nity to lo­cal and re­gional artists to present their works,” says Su­nil Kaul, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Le­ica Cam­era Asia Pa­cific.

“What mat­ters is how to make Sin­ga­pore more cul­tur­ally and ar­tis­ti­cally ori­ented. How do we get them to talk more about pho­tog­ra­phy? We want our gallery to be a des­ti­na­tion for like-minded peo­ple to gather and talk about this art form.”

Le­ica Gallery Sin­ga­pore show­cases six to 10 ex­hi­bi­tions a year and also con­ducts pho­tog­ra­phy work­shops at all lev­els.

“With the smart­phone, ev­ery­one can take pic­tures, some even last­ing a few mo­ments. But for me, a pic­ture is only a pic­ture when it is printed out – the rest is data. On print, you can see the true qual­ity of the photo taken,” says Rehn-Kauf­mann.

“At an ex­hi­bi­tion, you can look at the pic­tures for as long as you like, from dif­fer­ent dis­tances and an­gles. Noth­ing beats the printed photo,” she adds. – The Straits Times/Asia News Net­work

Turk­ish pho­tog­ra­pher Ara Guler’s ex­hi­bi­tion Mem­o­ries Of Is­tan­bul is sched­uled to run in Le­ica Ga­lerie Sin­ga­pore till the end of July. — ARA GULER

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