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About The Artist

Ken Cheong (b. 1968) is a Singaporean professional and fine art photographer, curator and consultant in the art, culture and heritage fields. Occupying a specialist niche in these sectors, Cheong brings his experience in different contexts to hone his practice and has won accolades for his fine art work including the Discernment Award for ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu in 2014.

Singapore Chinese Street Opera | circa 1990s
By Ken Cheong
Print on Baryta Paper | Edition 1 of 3 | 20cm x 40cm | Unframed

In Time Present Time Past 台上·台下, Ken Cheong revisited his personal photo archives to unveil the fading presence of Chinese Street Opera in Singapore between 1989 to 2007, presenting 150 photographs and video footage from his extensive documentation. 

Ken’s documentation tells the story of the 1950s – 1960s Chinese Street Opera in Singapore with a declining appeal since its heydays. Although part of the collective memory of Singaporeans, few are aware of the current state of the Chinese Wayang, nor find significance in this aspect of Singapore's living culture. The existence of light made visible by shadow extends across the front stage with characters from Chinese history, myths and legends, and the backstage ere as ordinary people eke out another day’s living, performing their routine as opera performers and musicians. 

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