Black and White Category February 2021 Winner, taken in Kolkata, India, by Lim Swee Hoe, captioned “Good Morning”
As ASIAN Geographic’s annual Images of Asia (IOA) 2021 Photo/Videography Competition looms closer, submissions to our IOA Monthly competition – the precursor to our annual event – are pouring in. We have received stunning photos across the categories, and are now featuring our monthly winners in an exclusive interview!
Below is our interview with Lim Swee Hoe, the IOA Monthly February 2021 Winner in the Youth category.
AG: What is the story of your beginning and journey to creating great images?
It has always been a dream to kick-start my photography journey. Back in the 80’s, I was fascinated and wanted to learn by how beautiful photographs/postcards were taken but couldn’t afford to do so. It was 25 years later when I met my photography Guru, Adam Tan (founder of Adam Tan Photography Academy), who taught and gave me the guidance needed to embark in my photography journey.
AG: How would you define your style and concepts you enjoy exploring?
I personally like the concept of simplicity with emotions. Although simplicity may define “being simple”, but the concept itself is complex yet sophisticated which I find it intriguing. I also appreciate black and white as it creates an emphasis on the elements of the photo without color distraction. Lastly, I really like how the random objects in our surroundings can naturally form a unique set of elements that creates an aesthetically beautiful photo.
Thus, I have always believed that we are surrounded by wonderful elements in a beautiful world and that it is not the eyes that fool us if we can’t see it. It is the mind.
AG: What is great photography to you, and are there any photographers you would like to work with?
To me, great photography are photos that touch your heart and reach deep down into our emotions each time you look at it. It connects you and brings out the similar experiences and/or emotion from your heart, sometimes even you may or may not be able to express the feeling.
If given a chance, I would love to work with the great photojournalist, Sebastião Salgado and be in his long term photo project team. I am amazed with the works he has produced, especially the 8-year long “Genesis”.
AG: What is your preferred imaging gear to work with and why?
I currently own a DSLR and a mirror-less camera with a couple of lenses enough for me to shoot what I desire in a photo. In fact, I don’t really bother much on the camera and lenses that I’m using as long as it produces the photos I wanted. To me, a camera is just like a pen to a writer, but the content is King.
AG: What is the next Asian destination you’d like to explore and why?
Honestly with the travel restrictions, any places outside of Malaysia would be great, haha. To seriously name a few, Laos would be ranked first in the list. The last time I visited Laos was 9 years ago and it was a leisure trip with my family. There were many elements in Laos that attracted me e.g. their culture, people, rural villages and local food.
AG: Can you share more about your current and upcoming projects?
I’ve a long term environmental project in mind which I had started a few years back. Perhaps after traveling is allowed again, I would continue the project.