Monday, June 9, 2008

Two playful kampong girls circa 1950s

Kampong life is colourful, to say the least, but it is never complete without the images of playful children. The photographer's forte is child portraiture. He was made famous by his many images of children, some dark, some compelling, some uncannily exhilarating, others still reserved, impenetrable. Again, this range of photography is attributed to the number of hours he spent each time, seeking out the local kampong population, if not focusng entirely on children, whatever they were doing. His photographs of children do not so much show his technical skill in developing black and white photos, as his true nature. That soul, an inner yearning, to think all the thoughts in the world and dream all the possibilities unbound. The depth of Yip's perception is as much about the children as it is about himself. If we read a burden of anxiety upon a face, we understand full well that Yip's childhood was not an unblemished one. If we read the light of innocence and imagination upon a face, then we know Yip's experences bore the same if not as a child himself. If we catch the outbreak of happiness through smiles and laughter, we know that this kind of joy is not limited to heady childhood but lives on well into old age. ( *Bibliography: NLB publication - An ingenious reverie: The Photography of Yip Cheong Fun)

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