the iron man

PhotographerBob Lee Keng Siang
PrizePortraiture / Culture
Entry Description

When I first met Uncle Latip, he appeared just like any other elderly uncle in the neighbourhood. Had it not been for this interview, I would have no clue he is in the advanced stage of cancer. We met at the HCA Day Hospice Centre. He was able to walk around unaided and participated enthusiastically in activities organised by the hospice staff, unlike other patients who were mostly wheelchair-bound. The spinal surgery limited Uncle Latip's mobility. He walked more slowly and he took a longer time to sit or stand upright as he had to allow the spinal disc implants to ease into position before he could straighten his back. Despite all the inconveniences, he was glad he went ahead with the surgery as it gave him more time to spend with his family.

About Photographer

Bob Lee Keng Siang is a photojournalist with a keen interest in people; his appreciation of the ordinary and his striking sense of empathy have enabled him to transform images of everyday life into insightful photographs. He has an acute sense for all things unusual. This trait -- honed over five years as a news photographer with the Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao and one and half years at my paper <<我报>> Singapore's first free chinese newspaper-- is apparent in his work. Bob's images have caught the attention of many. His work was picked as the top Jurors' Choice in the recent Singapore Art Awards 2005. During the "ClickArt: World Photojournalists Meet" held in Singapore in 2003, he beat 200 over top photojournalists from 32 countries to clinch the top award in the "Behind the Scenes" category. Bob's lens has illuminated numerous social issues that deserve our attention. In his most recent social documentary photographic exhibition " One Room Flat" held in December 2004, he offered an intimate look at the grim living conditions of one-room flat elderly dwellers, reminding Singaporeans of this group of poor, forgotten elderly living right within our community. In 2003, he trained his lens on two lesser-known communities in Singapore and produced a fascinating insight to the close-knit communities of the Sikhs and Jews. That was his first solo exhibition, entitled "Have a Little Faith". It was sponsored by the Central Singapore Community Development Council and was exhibited in the Singapore History Museum . He has since compiled selected works from the two above mentioned exhibitions and published two photography books.