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Title: The vanguard of imagination : a survey of photography in colonial Singapore
Authors: Ng, Shawn Shao-En
Keywords: Humanities::History::Asia::Singapore
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Ng, S. S. (2021). The vanguard of imagination : a survey of photography in colonial Singapore. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: The popularity of European photography from the late-nineteenth to early-twentieth century Singapore exemplifies the Western appetite for “scientific” enquiry and knowledge of an unfamiliar region known as the Orient. While the object of photography has often been studied through the representations of images, the context to which a photographic image is applied deserves equal attention in conceptualising photography’s capacity to facilitate the vision and imagination of the East. This study examines the vast application of the photographic practice in colonial Singapore, which substantiated the preconceived essentialities of the region’s diverse peoples. The research aims to problematise the “scenes of Singapore” portrayed in photographs as visual “evidence” susceptible to the varied imperial rhetoric of racial superiority, advantageous modernisation, and legitimate governance. A comparative survey between photographic mediums and relevant textual sources provides this study with an interpretive and comprehensive history of photography’s versatile application in the operations of colonial Singapore. This study diverts from earlier scholarship that investigates photography as a single medium as opposed to its application on multiple platforms of communication. It underlines the primacy of the photographic practice in colonial visual culture that corroborated and circulated ideas of empire.
Schools: School of Humanities 
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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