2021 - ongoing

the future is hyperreal

To create tension in blurring the lines between natural and unnatural, to arrive somewhere neither real nor unreal through the juxtaposition of nature as subject, and its distortion through digital process – this series is a response to hyperreality.

'the future is hyperreal' is a photo series inspired by Jean Baudrillard's 'Simulacra and Simulations' and Andy Stott's 'Never The Right Time'. These works provided me great relief during lockdown, the former providing a sense of cohesion to all that is unfolding and the latter a fitting soundtrack to our present dystopia.

Like many others, I became increasingly anxious and paranoid about the state of the world for much of 2020-2021. From fake news to the terrifying scale of social engineering born out of COVID, our dependence on an increasingly unreliable and incoherent media narrative to verify what is real began to severely distort my perception of reality.

I scoured through my archive of photographs, revisiting memories from the past and became drawn to images of nature. I altered these images as a form of creative therapy, subtly distorting representations of the natural world to match my mindscape and over time an aesthetic emerged – the images seemed to bind themselves together in a kind of "dark light". Guided by this instinct, I added photographs to create an elliptical narrative in response to this excerpt from Simulacra and Simulations.

"These would be the successive phases of the image:

1 It is the reflection of a basic reality.
2 It masks and perverts a basic reality.
3 It masks the absence of a basic reality.
4 It bears no relation to any reality whatever: it is its own pure simulacrum.

In the first case, the image is a good appearance: the representation is of the order of sacrament. In the second, it is an evil appearance: of the order of malefice. In the third, it plays at being an appearance: it is of the order of sorcery. In the fourth, it is no longer in the order of appearance at all, but of simulation."

Honorable Mention, Conceptual Category, Minimalist Photography Awards 2021
Der Greif, Guest Room: Willy Ndatira & Jack Stuart Mills, “Images for the Information Age” PhMuseum, Featured Project

ZERO.NINE, Top 10 Photo Stories of the Year, 2023

 venice beach, california | 2017

between salt blue and concrete

In Singapore, men aged typically between 18-23 are conscripted for two years.

I was invited to present my film during my service, and
attained permission to travel to Los Angeles. By that time, I had served a little over
a year in the military, which took a tremendous toll on my mental health. I needed to get away.

On the last day of my trip, with my return impending,
I drove out to Venice Beach for respite, and to ease myself into the transition
The sights and sounds of the ocean, the beach’s iconic skate park
and its vibrant characters stood in stark contrast to the grim reality I was returning to.

With my camera on hand, I set out to capture my last sensations of freedom, inner peace and a longing for youth lost.

chengdu, china | 2016


'hibiscus' was shot on my first trip to China, which is of particular significance to me – despite being born and raised in Singapore, I am of Chinese ancestry.

In Singapore, English is the main language, dialects are banned from mainstream media, and as a result, I grew up largely consuming Western media. Much of China's cultures and customs are foreign to me, and over the course of two months I found myself challenged by the tensions formed between my identity and ethnicity.

During this time, I captured moments which resonated, unconsciously constructing a narrative of the city. In doing so, I began to discover a Chinese experience that grew increasingly personal – through my encounters, visual motifs and metaphor.