John Clang – Being Together


Paris (and, projected, Singapore): Stephanie Chi-Weng Tsui; her mother, Alexia Wai-Chun Tye; Alexia’s partner, Pierre de Fouquet.


In this series, webcam was used to do live recording of families in Singapore. The recording was then transmitted via skype to countries where the main sitters are located and projected onto their living space. This is how families, dis(membered) through time and space, can be re(membered) and made whole again through the use of a third space, a site that is able to reassemble them together within the photographic space that we call a family portrait.

Drawing upon my own experiences of being separated from my family as a New York-based Singaporean, this work documents and examines our condition of new-wave diaspora – Singaporean families of various races and ethnicities grappling with the same predicament of separation through time and space.I also want this project to document and interpret a contemporary social-historical blueprint as it happens, allowing the future generations to reflect on it.

In addition, this is also an extension of one of the recurring theme of my works: the fascination with the expressions of time and space and how we negotiate our human existences within these two dimensions. this work specifically addresses the phenomenon of differing time zones, the different dimensions of our human representations, and how we can finally coexist, albeit in pixilated and two-dimensional forms.


Westport, Conn. (and Singapore): DeeDee Lim; her brother, BoonLeng Lim, and his wife, Yi Chen; their children, Eolantha and Bryan Lim; DeeDee’s mother, TiongHua Koh; DeeDee’s sister, MeiDee Lim, and her husband, Terence Oh; their children, Gavyn and Lenard Oh.




Tokyo (and Singapore): Ros Lee; her brother, Kelvin Lee, and his wife, Hazuki Lee Nakano; Ros’s mother and father, Tan Gek Kee and Lee Choong Kean; Ros’s sister, Melissa Lee.




New York (and Singapore): John Clang, the photographer for this project; his parents, Ang Ching Seong and NG Gek Choo; his brother, Joe Ang; and, in the chat window on the laptop at the bottom of the photo, John’s wife, Elin Tew.




Hong Kong (and Singapore): Back row: Brandon Wong and his wife, Belinda Leong; Belinda’s brother, Donald Leong; front row: Donald’s daughter, Jeanette Leong; Belinda’s mother and father, Helen Ang and Robert Leong; Belinda’s sister, Jessie Leong, and her daughter, Megan Marsh.




Bellevue, Wash. (and Singapore): Edwin Goh; his sisters Alvina Goh and Siew Lin Goh; their parents, Per Ching Goh and Pe Chou Sui; Edwin’s sister Alina Goh and her husband, Justin Woo.




London (and Singapore): Simon Milward and Jacqueline Lim (husband and wife) and their son, Oscar Milward; Jacqueline’s sister Gwendoline Lim; Jacqueline and Gwendoline’s parents, Irene Lim and Cheng Hoe Lim.




Seattle (and Singapore): Lee Siew Tin and Chua Ghim Sim, her son.


More images and other interesting projects on Clang’s website and a beautiful article about Being Together in NY Times. Clang is currently preparing for his solo exhibition and the complete series will be exhibited at the National Museum of Singapore in early 2013.

Clang is a photographer/visual artist born in Ang Choon Leng in Singapore, earned his moniker (nickname) in 1990 while in the National Service as his badge read C L Ang. In the early 90s, being a Singaporean was extremely difficult to secure meetings locally. However, when he introduced himself as Clang, people were more receptive to meet him, thinking that he was from Europe. It must have been a great disappointment when they met him. (Source)