Latest Posts

No, You’re Not Beautiful

I am going to tell you something, and you are not going to like it.

You’re not beautiful.

And constantly lying to yourself is a disempowering waste of your time.

Heck, not even all of us are beautiful on the inside.

Now, before you start drafting any hate mail, get off your high horse and hear me out.

T

he way I see it, the truth if simple. If you’re ugly, you’re ugly. If you’re fat, you’re fat. Is it supposed to be a cathartic thing to lie to others in a feeble attempt to be politically correct? Because I certainly didn’t get the memo.
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I’m Holding My Debut Solo Photo Exhibition “Facade: The Back Alley Collective”

I am very thrilled to announce that I’ll be holding my debut solo photo exhibition from the 7th of August to the 5th of November 2015.

Facade: The Back Alley Collective is a series of 13 photographs that aims to unwrap the all-is-well but superficial facade of contemporary Singapore, presenting a multi-layered examination that complicates the world’s perception of the city-state.

As the images explore local issues within a local context, I can’t think of a better place to exhibit than a hostel, where global audiences intersect, exchange stories, and explore our city-state. It will be held at Atelier@5footway.inn Project Bugis (10 Aliwal Street 199903, Nearest MRTs are Nicoll Highway & Bugis), and it’ll be open 24/7 for viewing.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

In a global city where most things lack singularity, the back alleys of Singapore are distinct. Often overlooked, these neighborhood microcosms each possess unique personalities and features; the iconic green bins, the worn-down exteriors, and the people who use the alleys for a myriad of reasons. This hidden world alternates  between the dense, chaotic activity of trade and urban expansion, along with the little moments of simplicity and daily life.

While Singapore’s back alleys are rarely seen by the greater world, they hold within them the authentic, working-class roots of a rapidly changing country. Facade: The Back Alley Collective aims to capture the soul and essence of these ‘roads less traveled’, presenting a multi-layered examination that complicates the world’s perception of contemporary Singapore.


[Update, 31st December 2015]

What Does The Press Say?

Grace Hong, ArtHop“Lhu’s photographs endear viewers to the spaces without over-romanticising its gritty, raw charm.”

A-List, National Arts Council, Singapore“(Lhu’s photographs) pays homage to the authentic working-class roots amidst a rapidly changing country.”

Moh Yuen, Former Lianhe Zaobao Journalist “There’s room for improvement with regards to the photos, but the writing  (picture captions) is absolutely superb.”

Justin Lai, Student Journalist“The back alleys in Lhu’s photographs each possess a personality unique to Singapore.”


OPENING RECEPTION

I will be holding a reception on the 7th of August, from 5.30 – 9pm. There’ll be chips, cakes from Melvados, and Arizona Iced Tea for guests and visitors to enjoy.

Whether you’ve been following my blog since Day One or one day ago, I would love to meet you and thank you for your support. It’s the start of the long weekend, so please feel free to drop by and hang out over desserts should ya’ll be in the area.

Prints from the exhibition will be on sale throughout its entire duration.

Do follow me on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates!

TL;DR

Who: Me, Lhu Wen Kai
What: Facade: The Back Alley Collective (my debut solo photo exhibition)
When: Saturday, 8th August – Thursday, 5th November 2015 (Open for viewing 24/7)
Opening Reception: Friday, 7th August, 5.30pm to 9pm
Where: 10 Aliwal Street 199903 (Atelier @ 5footway.inn Project Bugis)
Nearest MRT: Bugis (10 mins), Nicoll Highway (5 mins)

If you have any questions, please email enquiries@lhuwenkai.com. I respond to my emails fairly quickly.


It has been one heck of a journey thus far. On one hand, I made a lot of errors and learnt a lot, having to research and settle every aspect by myself; but on the other, the logistical nightmare and constant backlog of uncompleted tasks have been driving me crazy. Anyway, I’m glad the finishing line is within sight. The past few months had really taken its toll on me. I’m not exactly sure how I’ll proceed from here. Maybe I’ll take a long break from doing creative work. Maybe I’ll veer away from photography for awhile. Maybe I’ll come back to blogging. Who knows? Either way, I would like to thank ya’ll so much for being with me on this wonderful adventure for the past two years. Blogging has opened up many doors for me, and I look forward to greater things that await me.

For any advertising, photography/videography/graphic design assignments, sponsorships, or enquiries, please get in touch with me at collab@lhuwenkai.com


At the end of every month, I’ll be sending out a specially curated email to all my subscribers. Besides containing all of my latest posts and happenings, I’ll also share and feature content from around the web, including humor and jokes, local bands and artists, and personally handpicked articles that discuss a variety of topics among many other things!
It’s free, so let me know your email address below!

Little Texas, Singapore

After such a heavy post the last time round, I figured it’ll only be right if I blogged about something more positive this time round. I’m also frustrated with myself for being unable to write an article that doesn’t exceed the word limit I set for myself everytime. It bothers me a lot, so this time round, I’m going to try a more informal type of writing, let the pictures do the talking and see if it helps with the word count issue.

I recently (at the point of the first draft, which was two months ago) discovered this absolute gem nestled near the northern borders of Singapore. While Punggol Ranch isn’t exactly a downright doppelgänger of Texas, it does have many things in common, at least on a stereotypical level. With my ten-week semester break coming to an end, I got a bunch of friends (Imran, Aaron and ODS) together and stayed over at this gorgeous settlement for a night. Read More

Social Media Didn’t Connect Me With People, It Ruined My Life

// Photo by Thong Vo

I always wondered if people realise the irony when they call out advertising agencies and the oh-so-convenient “mainstream media” for their excessive use of Photoshop. We’re always talking about how unethical it is, how manipulative it is, how misleading it is. Perfect facial composition and fair skin encourage unrealistic comparison and pursuits of beauty, they say. Slim cover girls promote unhealthy body standards, they say. Topless models and scantily-clad clad ladies degrade women to being objects of sexual desire, they say. But the truth is, with the advent of social networking, almost everything around us has been Photoshopped, and it’s unsettling that many of us have not realised that.

I‘m not a heavy consumer of social networks. I mainly use them to promote my works and share major moments with my followers and potential clients. I do, of course, scroll through my various feeds to see what the world and my friends are up to. The Pet Society and Restaurant City days are over, and it has been quite some time since I clocked in over fifteen minutes a day. It was fun initially, but the novelty soon wore off after I realised how miserable social networks were making me feel. Read More

It’s Not My Moral Duty To Feel Sad At LKY’s Death

// Photo from The Straits Times

I find Singaporeans really superficial at times, and the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew just furthers my observation and opinion.

Maybe it’s the way we had been brought up, or maybe that’s how society has been like for awhile, but it seems as though there is this obligation to be self-righteous and follow the popular opinion on this small little island. It’s as if we’re born with a knee-jerk reaction of hatred when one expresses his stand on a certain matter, a stand that is unpopular, or one that isn’t deemed politically correct.

There are many people who have expressed glee, joy and a myriad of other emotions that lies on a different trajectory from sadness. Emotions that reflect, on a contextual level, negativity. Negativity on his methods, negativity on his reign, negativity on his thinking. And while a few of these are constructive, fellow Singaporeans have come in waves and swarmed these critics with “how dare you”s aplenty. Yes, how does one dare to speak ill of the dead. Yes, how does one dare to even point a finger at his supposed benevolent leadership. And yes, how does one be so cruel, be so inhumane, be so… unappreciative? Read More

Debunking The Economical Rice Myth

For my international readers who are not exactly acquainted with our local culture, Economical Rice, or what we locals like to call Cai Fan, is a dish where you pair a serving of steamed white rice with vegetables, meat and fish dishes of your choice. There is anywhere between 10 to 30 dishes to choose from, and they’re always displayed in a glass case or behind a transparent plastic board, making them one of the most recognisable and mildly iconic storefronts in Singapore. It is, like its name suggests, economical, as they’re usually the cheapest option for a complete meal in a food court or kopitiam (coffee shop).

If you’re a local, I’m sure you have stumbled upon the following picture that went viral several times over on social media: Order Cai Fan Like A Pro

Apparently, you can manipulate the person serving into giving you a larger portion. It seems simple enough to execute right? You just had to request for “more rice” instead of “add rice”, order the meat dishes instead of the vegetables next and then act really restless and indecisive, much like your MP during the Meet-the-MP session.

While the explanations seemed logical enough as to why the methods would apparently work, you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet.

Just ask CNN.

Anyway, to quench my curiosity, I decided to set up an experiment to see if the myth is, indeed, just a myth.

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