Singapore Contemporary Young Artists

Playing With & For The Community

Benedict Chen – Featured Artist for October

Benedict Chen takes photographs of the mundane to translate a scene into picture. It is this primordial desire that compels him to trigger the shutter.


Of the pictures of the mundane and everyday

There is nothing newsworthy… An editor will delete them. They don’t even serve as documents of contemporary lives. We have CCTVs and millions of cell phones to do that.

Of capturing the moment

I’m often stared at and it lingers until I’m out of their sight; curse words are fairly common with the older men. Teenagers react in two ways: either with a big cheesy smile or they behave as though I am just about to molest them. Kids smile back, wave or run to their parents. Some ask a question but then they never really bother to listen. Some pose like they know that is really what I want. Some talk about me as if I’m not there. Oh just ask if you are curious! I used to be afraid and often took pictures of people’s back facing the camera. I used to look away from their eyes. Now I stare back cheekily. I hope that my pictures be enjoyed as little stories or poems.


Bus 804, Yishun Bus interchange

Divided by the door and windows, both center and right.

The sky is dark, and the only light was from the bus illuminating rain drops on the window. People of all ages, different genders, were boarding the bus; a single hand placed against the door.

Less crowded was the centre- a vague space where eyes are closed and faces remain blurred. Only the girl on the extreme right had a face of true expression. Other faces obscured, she was, for a moment, alone.


Clarke Quay

On the left is a private conversation of two. In the foreground, the backs turned to the camera waiting or perhaps, listening. Ambiguity indeed.

A man in a dark suit holds a cigarette, hands expressing what neither he nor words seemed able to recount fully. Hands raised and open, legs bowed, he swayed with the weight of his own tales. In all they were waiting in a corner, though whether to leave or enter is unknown. The only certainty is that they were together.


Bus Stop Sembawang

He leans on the rails. She sits on the rails. She clings to the pole. She plays with her earphone. They looked out beyond the frame. It is a frame of verticals and horizontals.


HDB Void Deck 1 and 2


Benedict Chen aspires to be a documentary photographer.

About scyablog

Singapore Contemporary Young Artists Project (SCYA) is a non-profit Art Society that highlights Contemporary Art by Young Artists in Singapore through several platforms in exhibitions, websites, talks, workshops & commissioned services. SCYA was initiated by Jacquelyn Soo who is an artist, curator and director for SCYA. SCYA has over 10 members in the society contributing ideas, activities to support the organisation. SCYA represents up to 70 Singaporean/PR Artists in their works. SCYA launched their first project in Nov 2008 with a website collaboration with FIVEFOOTWAY that featured 23 Contemporary Young Artists Portfolios on an interactive website. Since then, SCYA have had several collaborations and events organised with corporations, government institutions, NGOS and education institutions, Please visit our website for more details: Like us on Facebook! Thank you!

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This entry was posted on October 14, 2010 by in Featured Artists.

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