Personal Projects

Finding Naoko

"What we can't find is always the most beautiful."

For more than a decade, I have been obsessed with one personal mission – Finding Naoko. Armed with my trusted Leica rangefinder and mostly the standard 50mm lens, I have traversed the globe, going from one city to another in search of the illusive woman. Just exactly who is she? Do I even know how she looks like? Will I know it if I really meet her? Perhaps I don’t really want to succeed, for what we can’t find is always the most beautiful.

Your looks are laughable,
Unphotographable,
Yet you’re my favorite
work of art
My Funny Valentine
by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart

Unphotographable

Every artist has his own city. Mine is Singapore. That it is the city of my birth and that I have spent most of my life here have not made photographing it easier. In the constant struggle to decide between what’s exciting and what’s boring; what’s real and what’s fake; I have also been cursed with the burden of having to discern what is picturesque and what is unphotographable. How do I convince a man that his sunning of pillows along the corridor is worth recording, when he has been doing it for years? How do I explain to a commuter in her bright red stockings that her legs are a visual treat? There seems to be no immediate answers, only more questions. I shall continue to believe in photography and not words.