Category Archives: Photography

Foreign Search Engine

F: The laboratory Qvinde will be hardcover, which is necessary to hold the richness of the cognitive content to present to our referee. One requirement is total submergence.

Who stole the veil?

J: This is the only question I can believe in right now.

D: I want to emphasize this is NOT a floor about China. Dorya is in Academy Award winner Oscar Wilde, cyberspace, Belgium, the hereafter, outer space and streams.

We have danced a tango.

Dorya Glenn seen from outside

image by Filip Naudts


>now, now

Cameras Are Keyboards

This post inspired by two thought-provoking articles; both about Snap/Snapchat. On February 13, 2017, the  New Yorker featured Why is Snap Calling Itself a Camera Company? a piece written by Om Malik. Snap Makes a Bet on the Cultural Supremacy of the Camera, written by Farhad Manjoo, appeared on The New York Times website on March 8, 2017.......... This 90 second video summarizes Snap/Snapchat:   ……………………… ‘Sexting,’ a word which originated in 2002, symbolizes the evolution of photo-based communication. First popularized by Snapchat, sexting exemplifies how  photography’s purpose has expanded beyond documentation. Photos are now components of digital conversations; the equivalent of words or phrases. Photo-based visual culture is transforming our relationship with the world, from the personal to the political. Cameras have become the new keyboards. Snapchat exemplifies the triumph and importance of  this new  photograph-based visual culture. This visual culture also includes  drones, emojis, selfies, QR codes, GIFS, very small action cameras, the role of cameras in self-driven vehicles, AR, VR, the possibilities that exist between photographs and search engines (such as Lens by Pinterest), and the relationship between photographs and products on smartphones. It’s understandable why cameras are being referred to as “third arms”. ………………………………. Snapchat’s recent IPO touched 24 million dollars and was the talk of Wall Street. Snapchat, or Snap as it now calls itself, has one hundred and fifty-eight million daily users generating 2. 5 billion snaps per day.  Its S.E.C. filing included the phrase that “images created by smartphone cameras contain more context and richer information than other forms of input like text entered on a keyboard.” Snap calls itself a camera company, but its first cameras, called Spectacles, were released in 2016, five years after the company began. Snapchat was initially known for allowing users to easily send photos that would soon disappear; ie. user-generated ephemeral content. Snapchat made its mark with sexting. Now, Snapchat is expanding into areas like content production, a promising development now that millennials have left cable. From  Farhad Manjoo’s NY times article, the following pieces of information -Gretchen McCulloch, a linguist, is writing a book on how the internet is changing language. -Phatic communication, a raison d’etre for emojis and more -  Oren Soffer: Snapchat brings us back to a time before the printing press/the mass usage of text and writing, when information was disseminated orally. Snapchat. Photography. Data. Search. VR. AR. Images. Ideograms. Kodak. About me: I am completing a business plan for an image-based VR startup.(WordPress seems to always mangle my nicely formatted posts. This  layout issue doesn't happen with my books...)

Year of the Rooster things to do

(image by David Severn) The Art/VR startup idea...the time is now! The  Tiong Bahru Mouth the book , the photos, the haikus,  the videos. The Tiong Bahru Market is closing for three months at the end of February. Seems like that would be a punctuation mark of some sort. The i ate tiong bahru audiobook is now being checked by Amazon. The iatb glasses were successfully crowdfunded. So was the design for the Tiong Bahru poster. I ate Tiong Bahru, the book itself, is due for a second printing...   priest painting the skyI Ate Tiong Bahru Audiobook Really...this could go live any day!ArtReview Asia review of IATBcover of Artreview AsiaVoicemaps I have Tiong Bahru mapped out... Bali Wave Ghost After three years+ of doing the starving artist thing,it's time to work on the net net and synergize so as to secure maximum ROI.(that was written last year also, on another blog post. Have not done marketing.. no sales action.)Bali Wave Ghost in a Periplus bookstoreSPOKEN I wrote the following last year, and it has received attention, should receive more... SPOKEN needs to increase its really is an incredible piece of work :a virtual gallery built by Eugene Soh and filled with contributions from an extremely diverse collection of artists and writers. two male avatars in a very red gallery And these two projects, carry overs from last year. Hopefully by midyear, they can be picked up again...INSEIN Last year, I  spent almost ten days in Yangon. I created images with a digital camera. I would like to exhibit them and create a book.The images use Yangon as a starting point...airline map sing to RangoonI Ate LaPhet Thoke Conceptual art meets culinary research. A booklet co-created with Sayuri Okayama.IMG_3604 la phet thoke in styrofoam w Joe 19th stBeach Road This 360VR movie will hopefully continue to attract viewers. 360 video still from Beach Road Towards a New Cinematography, the book, has been plodding along. I hope it will plod faster.AND I WANT TO SPEND TIME WITH MY MOM AND DAD AND BROTHER AND DAUGHTER!


You are probably here because you received a piece of paper from me.   HELLO   I am writing this on Thursday, November 24....  a very full day. Probably on Sunday I can come back and fill this page full of descriptions and links about my projects. For now... SPOKEN at this was created with Eugene Soh and is full of art and writing. It requires a 10 meg download, which is free. Beach Road You'll need a VR viewing device to see this short film which was featured at the 2015 Brisbane Film Festival and nominated for Best Experimental Film at the 2016 Las Vegas VR Fest. Descriptions of my books including videos and reviews. Please consider taking a look at my crowdfunding projects for a Tiong Bahru poster AND a book on the way that technology has affected cinematography. And, scattered throughout this blog are posts about art, post full of photography, short stories and posts about all kinds of things.   THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!   Stephen Black    

An Open Letter to Facebook Groups with an interest in Tiong Bahru (part 1)

Hello... My name is Stephen Black and I wrote a book called i ate tiong bahru. Regarding Facebook groups that have some type of connection with Tiong Bahru, I have been cautiously respectful. Too many posts about the book may look spammy; if I don't post at all, those genuinely interested in the topics in iatb may not discover it.This post will likely be the last one on this FB page for a while...until the launch party for tiong bahru mouth! A lot of exciting things are happening with iatb, as well as tiong bahru mouth,its soon-to-be-released follow up. BOTTOM LINE (almost): if you are interested in i ate tiong bahru, special offers and discounts, photographs, iatb T-shirts and/or glasses,and tiong bahru mouth please like the Stephen Black AUTHOR Facebook page. or follow this blog. or drop me an email. bookmerah16 AT marq THANK YOU... OK... for those who are interested in the ongoing, and often surprising, iatb experience. The most memorable "review" was from a woman who came up  to me and wanted two more copies. As nice as that was, she nearly made me cry when she said,"I read it to my children".... Asian Art Review wrote the following, three years after iatb was published! artreview-asia-review-of-iatb iatb has sold almost 2000 copies, qualifying it to be called "a Singaporean national bestseller". The follow up book, tiong bahru mouth, is very nearly done. iatb glassified information!iatb-glass Following the trailblazing path of the Thumb Kway artworks, the iatb kopi glass confuses and delights with its simple functionality, its cultural ambiguity and  its postmodern yet nostalgic pop art sensibility. There will soon be a crowdfunding project to fund the production of a limited edition of these glasses, as well as an unlimited edition. However, I now have a number of the glasses, so do let me know if you are interested in getting one. I have already received orders from stores, so things will be interesting. new topic: STORIES..from you! From your relatives or friends! from Tiong Bahru residents who only speak Chinese or Malay or any other language... I would love to listen to you! In case of languages other than English, I will find a translator. PHOTOGRAPHS Besides writing, I'm also an artist/videomaker/gamemaker and photographer. I have a degree in Photographic Illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology and my works have been exhibited and collected in places like Tokyo, New York, Paris and  Hong Kong. I have been creating images from the second floor entrance of the market... I am testing a "print-on-demand" method of getting the prints to collectors and those interested in the work. To learn more about this and other iatb projects, click here for part 2.   THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST! sb  

The Exciting New Cemetery (casual presentations about photography by Stephen Black)

Who: Stephen Black
What: The Exciting New Cemetery
When: 3-9 PM, Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25.
Where: Isetan, Wisma Atria Level 1 (nearest MRT: Orchard)
Stephen Black will be:
- projecting images from his latest series, entitled Tiong Bahru Mouth. The lens-based images were recorded at the entrance to the second floor of the Tiong Bahru Market.
- discussing, and reading from, his nearly completed book, also entitled Tiong Bahru Mouth.
- discussing a prototype pop up gallery/shop called ay4ya. For this project at Isetan, printing is provided by Samuel Chia (Cacao Editions). Framehub is the official framer.
- presenting the i ate tiong bahru book, Tshirts and kopitiam glasses which are soon to be in a crowdfunding campaign hosted by Zingohub.
The title of this casual, two-day seminar refers to the fact that "Tiong" is the Chinese word for 'cemetery' and "Bahru" is the Malay word for 'new'.
Online papers about photography written by Stephen Black;
Stephen Black graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technogy with a BFA in Photographic Illustration. His photographs and videos have been shown and collected around the world. He works with musicians,most recently 3howBeach Road, his co-production with hiverlab, was featured in the 2015 Brisbane Film Festival and nominated for Best Experimental Film at the 2016 Las Vegas VR Fest.
SPOKEN, a virtual gallery collaboration with Eugene Soh, featured an international collection of artists and writers;curation by Stephen Black.
There will be other activities and presentations as well.
Questions? bookmerah16  at

Tiong Bahru Mouth (images)

This gallery contains 8 photos.

… will require time to write about these…

the exciting new cemetery (discussion of the fine art photography aspect)

A quick review... earlier this week I was given the opportunity to use a section Isetan's Level 1  to use. Located at Wisma Atria, the space is filled with some interesting popups, mainly fashion and lifestyle goods. I have named the space ay4ya. Ay4ya has three aspects.
  1. The Sudden VR Festival
  2. Networking and sharing. There is an open invitation to artists to present their works. Sales and pricing will be discussed and the approval of the organizers  is needed.The artist Rachel Jordan will be involved, for example.
  3. the exciting new cemetery
First, the title. The presentation centers around my book entitled i ate tiong bahru, as well as tshirts and a glass crowdfunding project that will soon be on zingohub. Tiong is a Chinese word meaning "cemetery", bahru is a Malay word meaning "new" and this event at Isetan is exciting! Photographs will be presented. The images that will be taped to the walls are from my series called Tiong Bahru Mouth. The images were recorded in the entrance to the Tiong Bahru Market, over a period of months. They are not meant to be documentary,which is all I can say for now. So... color printouts on the walls...and a laptop displaying the same images, plus more from  the series. I hope to be present to explain the images.  They are for sale... The printing will be done by Samuel Chia/Cacao Editions, whom I have known for quite some time. I considered him to be one of the best printers in Singapore years ago; he has become even more experienced and is always on top of technological advances, as well as  developments with paper and ink. The framing will be done by framehub. Samuel suggested them and from their client list of museums and galleries, I am very fortunate that they have agreed to support this experiment. Photography has always been a part of my life and I have a BFA degree in Photographic Illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology, with prints in private collections as well as in the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and Columbia University.  My first show in Singapore, Huge Perpetual World, occurred in 2004, at the Photographers Gallery. Depth took place at Domain Gallery, but that show featured appropriated photographs taken by commercial divers. I have been in involved with the Singapore Biennale, film festivals and online exhibitions, but not with photography. Exciting New Cemetery is an experiment, a workshop of sorts. I plan to invite those with a serious interest in photography. Not to sell to them,but to network and get their opinions. The traditional gallery system is based on social patterns from decades ago. I am very interested in new approaches to art like Arto. With this project, I hope to develop new ways to present work, starting with photographs. Earlier I mentioned that I could not fully explain the motivations and questions behind the Tiong Bahru Mouth series.Writing takes time. However, this collaboration with Mee-Young Arkim, as well as the resultant series of blog posts, provides some related information


ay4ya is space and time and exchange.

MegaJakarta 2

MegaJakarta 1 is here.
megaJakarta 2

megaJakarta 2

I have lived in and written about Bali. To live in Bali is to live amongst the tourist industry, the Balinese form of Hinduism and the battle between man and nature. The image above was created at the Jakarta Airport. Noise is the brushstroke of digital photography. Eight links... Tourism in Indonesia It seems to me an interesting idea: that is to say the idea that we live in the description of a place and not in the place itself, and in every vital sense we do. -Wallace Stevens This quote is used in the introduction to "Landscape, Writing and Photography" by Sarah Hill Enlightening Enounters: Photography in Italian Literature Traveller's Visions: French Literary Encounters With Japan 1881-2004 An Archaeology of Architecture: Photowriting the Built Environment Stephen Black video interview on the writing  of Bali Wave Ghost Henry Rollins on Noise and Wolf Eyes “People ask if, as a photographer, I try to relate pictures to particular pieces of music. In the case of Glenn’s albums, we were both concerned with creating a compelling image, without reference to a specific repertoire.”
Legendary photographer, Don Hunstein recalls collaborations with Glenn Gould