From The Community

Committee Picks: Youth Category

Rachel Seah

Back when the bustling cities were blasting festive songs on the loudspeakers ubiquitously, worry free. multitudes scurrying to make their final purchase before the annual lunar new year. this year’s celebration was especially early dating on the twenty fifth of January, my parents were initially worried about not being able to prepare the necessary decor and food items in time but thankfully everything went as planned by being the kiasu singaporean in us and making early purchases. I really hope everyone can play their part so that we will be able to witness this joy next year and the many more years to come.


  • Tell us more about what inspired your entry?
    My family and i were on our way to purchase more decorations for the upcoming chinese new year celebration and while we were waiting for the elevator, I looked down and saw various families having their reunion meal with one another, shouting our blessing for the year while doing their lou hei and this brought about delight knowing that people like us were enjoying themselves and traditions as such will be able to continue on.

  • How does your entry connect to you personally to the theme This Is My Story?
    As a teenager, I have seen many articles stating that cultural traditions evolve over time; some manage to survive, but others fade and die. I personally do not agree with this statement as there are many of us who are trying our best to learn from our parents and doing our very best to keep certain customs alive.

  • How did you conceptualise your shot? Did you use any specific techniques to achieve certain effects in your shot?
    Initially, prior to capturing that shot, I didn't have any intentions or desire to capture anything on my night out. However, I was then inspired to capture the festivity of the occasion. I wanted to express the abstractness of the vibes and atmosphere I felt during the time I took the photo.

    As an amateur photography enthusiast, I did not possess any specific techniques and just shot the shot based on my own aesthetics outlook. In terms of the further editing on the shot, I simply used an application on my phone to enhance the vibrancy I witnessed first hand when I took the shot.

  • Was there any external inspiration behind your shot that you have used as reference?
    I was inspired by famous artists like Andy Warhol, how he uses vibrant colours in his work in pop art as well as abstract expressionism. Therefore, in my current work, I decided to throw on a filter so as to increase the vibrancy of the shot so that it will be able to pop out to the audiences when they view my work. Also, the lack of a focus in my work helps to bring out the abstract expressionism that I was aiming for.

  • Obviously you are a photographer whose creative vision is not limited by your gear. Any advice for those starting out?
    Initially, I stumbled onto photography after being trained by my sisters to take holiday shots for them, so definitely taking pictures for your family is definitely a good way to start your interest and to perfect your ability to frame shots and go about expressing your intentions.

  • How did the use of post-processing enhance the storytelling ability of your entries?
    As mentioned above, I threw on a filter so as to enhance the vibrancy of the picture itself. When the photo was shot, the lighting was not accurately doing justice for what I wanted to portray. Therefore, the dim lighting had to be corrected with a filter.

  • If you had the chance to retake your shot(s), what would you do differently?
    I am contented with the shot because it is indeed what I would like to express in accordance to the whole abstract expressionism thing alongside with the injection of cultural aspects due to the festivity of the Lunar new year.

About the Photographer

  • When, how, and why did you get into photography?
    I started off as being the designated photographer for my sisters, taking holiday pictures as well as somewhat narcissistic shots of themselves during special occasions, that’s where I started to develop an interest in capturing candid shots and just trying to capture the atmosphere of the event itself. Be it a dinner with my grandparents, a ride to school, I feel that time is passing by so quickly, pictures are a great way to capture all these memories.

  • Do you define yourself by any particular style(s) of photography? If so, what are they and why?
    I do believe that as of now, I do not have a particular style of photography as I am still starting out, I used to be interested in taking portrait shots of my family members, however, I am more keen towards the abstract expressionism movement. I am very intrigued in how different audiences have different interpretations of a picture and I aspire to be able to provide thought provoking instances for anyone who views my work.

  • How has your photographic journey been affected by COVID-19? Are you more inspired to take more photos? Have the restrictions hindered, or conversely enhanced your creativity?
    I feel that in my opinion, we make memories everyday, regardless whether COVID-19 is here or not. Any occasion is still a good instance for me to capture down any memories, hence capturing the photos.

    In life, nothing is certain, and everything happens for a reason, I had the opportunity to spend more time with my family during the COVID season and captured many more memories together.

  • What are your photographic goals after Montage 2020?
    I hope to seek more opportunities to expose my works on different platforms, joining different competitions, receiving feedback and interpretations on my work. I do believe in the artist's freedom in choice of work, not limited to any societal expectations of how a photo must be shot and just languish in the beauty of photography.