Learning Time: Public Lecture by John Clang

Got to know about John Clang‘s public lectures through Facebook shared by Sis.

Signed up for both his events at The National Museum of Singapore, without having a single bit of background of him and his art works. My knowledge of him and his artwork was ZERO.

It’s how amazing one can get so inspired by a ‘stranger’ (although he is famous, he was then a stranger to me, till I attended his event)! Now I have the excuses to claim that my loving for paper and pens, talking to myself, and find wear sunglasses indoor helps to ‘beautify’ the colors is due to my artistic flare  :X

Seriously, I am so glad that I had signed up these two events! To me, the ‘public lecture’ sound more like a sharing between friends.

There are a lot of things I never thought of which he actually bring me to see, and there are also some things I believed in/like which ‘general public’ will frown upon which he indirectly give me the affirmation that it’s alright. I especially love him sharing that even though we might earn our living by doing various jobs, as long as we have the passion for photography, we can label ourselves as photographer (ok, I admit I twist this a bit, but this is the message I got from him, and I so love it!)

After attending the “The Process and Inspiration – Beyond the Technique” event on 24th Jan, I was reminded how important it is to pause and think in our life. Participants who signed up got to attend the exhibition for free during the ‘lecture dates’. Other than appreciating his artwork and nice video of the process he took while shooting for the ‘Being together’ series, I was especially touched by the 10 Chinese characters which I believe he wrote them himself:“父母在,不远游,游必有方。”

Initially I am not too sure what they means, wondering if he is referring that we shall not “travel afar” when our parents are still alive, and if we want to, there’s other means to travel instead of leaving them physically to overseas… went home surfed and found the answer on 沪江部落:

孔子曰:“父母在,不远游,游必有方。”(《论语·里仁》) 意思是说,父母在世的时候,不出远门去求学、做官,万一要出远门,必须有一定的去处。 在这里,孔子所着重的,是子女对父母的责任:不远游的前提是“父母在”。对孔子而言,父母健在时,子女的义务,便是在家陪伴父母,与父母共同生活。这里的在家或不远游可以有多重意义:或是以农耕赡养父母,或是照顾父母的起居,或是避免父母因子女远游而担心,等等。如果子女出远门而又没有一定的去处,那么父母的牵挂之情势必更甚,所以孔子特别强调“游必有方”。其重点是对父母尽责。

Reminded me of the poem I learnt when I was a kid:


On his event “Philosophy and Poetry of Lighting” on 29th Jan, he shared some views and tips on lighting and temperature. I went home and happened to dig up some old old photos taken more than 10 years ago taken in New Zealand.

My defect ‘art work’ 11 years ago… :X

I suddenly remembered that I used to think that the perfect photos are the ‘postcard’ style which have no person nor shadow inside. It is only till these 2-3 years when I get to learn photography, then I begin to understand that people in the photos actually tell us a lot of stories, and a photo which can tell us a story, if is not a ‘good’ photo, will at least be a meaningful photos.

Suddenly I became obsessed with looking at all my photos and hunt for every photos which have shadows and check through them, realised they are all still far away from ‘stirring feeling’. but they bring me back so much memories!

[unedited] Taken in room @ 2012 on super hot & stuffy morning
Was taking photos of gift by EA and suddenly notice the dust in room + the shadow give me a dreamy feeling


[unedited] Taken while cross road to take bus @ 2012 on super hot & stuffy morning
Meant to create the fake feeling that I was in a ‘ang mo’ country


[unedited] Taken at Taiwan 2012
Meant to project danbo feel emotional during autumn

Love learning from different photographers, whether professional or just passionate on photography, everyday we can learn so much from others… I am so so so lucky to be able to meet and learn from so many people, hope I can take better photos everyday.

p/s: Oh yeah! I really admire John’s wife – Elin, she so proof the saying of behind every successful man, there is a woman.

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