It’s always a triumph when a local artist manages to succeed. Photographer Chan Wai Teik has won awards overseas for his work with cameras. Now, it’s time for his first solo gallery exhibit, held right here in Singapore.

Titled Evanescence, Chan’s new collection will explore the cultural impact of death and the intersection between traditional and modern practices. These photos feature one model, overlaid with motifs of fire and decorated with the bamboo paper used to create the offerings that many Chinese families burn for their relatives.

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Singapore straddles that fence between trying to maintain the past while constantly moving forward, which makes it the perfect stage for Chan’s solo exhibition debut. The interplay of colors and sharp angles in his photos create a striking visual foundation for his narrative.

With these photographs, Chan reimagines the Chinese tradition of venerating the dead through a more current abstraction. Generations of rituals relating to the deceased have been ingrained in all of us. It is the reason many of us do things for no other reason than that was the way we were taught to behave. Chan has taken the chance to really explore the emotionality behind this and the very human fear of evanescence – or the process of vanishing – all from his perspective.

Admission is free to Chan’s exhibition, which will be held at Visionairs Gallery Asia, from 18 August to 13 September.

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