Choo Meng Foo

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Artist Profile


The ‘Portraits of Nature’ is a life long project that I had set up to pursue. I was awed by their tiny world which had been unseen for a long time until the proliferation of digital camera and advance optical lenses. They are mesmerizing and beyond what I had seen for 48 years. They were the least explored when compared to the world of the four-legged animals, the birds and the aquatic animals, primarily because they are tiny and we are not able to see them in detail unless we magnified them. Blow them up many times their sizes and we will realize that they are as intriguing as the Dinosaur and as mystical as the phoenix we had never seen.

 

“Life, is but, an experiential journey. Portraits of Nature is one such journey of questioning and returning to nature. Nature has answers. We seek from her. Embrace her and we are humbled. In her grace we find peace.” 

 

The project intends to observe and present their natural world, and with the belief that all living things are members of this home we call ‘earth’, the arthropods are treated as subjects with respect, care and understanding.

They are treated as another fellow human being, rendered in their, sometimes colourful, at times monotonous and excruciatingly cruel, natural environment.

Being true to the spirit of being natural, the photographing process did not employ artificial lighting, as in fill-in flash, setting up of their habitat nor putting them in captivity. The photographing process tends to be less intrusive, but observatory. Moreover they are neither treated as specimens nor photographed in great depth of field, but they are treated as a live model, explored in different angles, given focus on selected areas of their beauty. By diminishing the photographer’s presence, all attentions are centred at making the minute large, in so doing, perhaps wish that the audience could gain interest and better appreciation of their world. Documenting them in their moment is the greatest aspiration of the project.

I hunt for the Arthropod armed with a 100mm or 60mm Macro lens, the Canon 350D initially (later with the 400D, the 7D and recently the G1 with the 35mm macro) and the Monopod.

I have to keep myself light and agile in order to track down the Arthropod and lessen the body load I carry. It allows me to concentrate on the subjects better carrying simple and little equipment. Tracking in the nature reserve or the garden, I always bring along my water bottle, which keeps me hydrated. Most of the photographs are shot in Singapore and a few in Malaysia. 

Artwork