6.9 million is the magic number predicted to be the total population of Singapore in the year 2030. 6.9, very simply addresses […]
THE PORTRAIT PROJECT
“There are a lot of stories out there, some probably written and stored with old photographs in shoeboxes in attics.”
As most photographs are kept in family albums and personal ‘archives’, this project calls for participants willing to contribute and share not only images but also memories and anecdotes that accompany the photograph. ‘The Portrait Project’ (2014) will now look at the practice of portraiture as a wider tradition.
‘The Portrait Project’ is an independent project established as part of the author’s doctoral thesis (The Production of Portraiture under the Patronage of the Straits Chinese in Colonial Singapore). A large aspect of the author’s doctoral work addresses theoretical issues on private and institutional archives and the importance in documenting the ‘life biographies’ of portraits. As colonial Singapore cannot be talked about separate from the Straits Settlements (Singapore, Malacca, Penang) and other colonies, the author also draws material from other colonial constructions, with some references to the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), Victorian England and Imperial China. However, nominating Singapore as a locus and geographical point of reference.
This project hopes to eventually form a register of memoirs with an accompanying archive of photographs from personal family albums not only to contribute to the study of portrait photography but also provide insight into the histories of collecting, and the life biographies of the photographs told by their present day ‘guardians’.
This project hopes to form a digital database of containing ‘visual narratives of the past’, a collection of ‘living chronicles’.
As most photographs are kept in family albums and personal ‘archives’, this project calls for participants to contribute not only images but also short anecdotes to accompany the photograph. While this projects hopes to eventually form a register of memoirs and photographs from family albums in Singapore and all over the world, it also hopes to motivate people to think twice about discarding old photographs, which are essentially precious and irreplaceable family archives.
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