A month ago, Singapore was hailed as a successful model for handling the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the situation on the ground can’t be more different; local authorities are struggling to contain multiple clusters of infections that continue to rise, while Singaporeans live with strict social distancing measures including a two month-long lockdown, described as a “circuit breaker”.
Self-isolation hasn’t stopped the country’s young photographers from creating work, though. Partly inspired by Adrienne Salinger’s iconic 1995 book In My Room: Teenagers in Their Bedrooms and Ryan McGinley’s Mirror series, we asked five of Singapore’s young image-makers to take a self-portrait in their current residence and tell us a little about their experience as photographers under lockdown.
Finding comfort in their bedrooms and temporary home studios, they’ve come to terms with uncomfortable realities and even experienced some newfound revelations. “I’m in a transitional space currently as I was planning to relocate, but the virus has delayed my plans”, explained Charmaine Poh. “In presenting a self-portrait in this space, I want to acknowledge that not everyone is sheltered in safe spaces, and for some of us, our minds have to be the safest places we can retreat to.”