Pandora’s Pulau Ubin Photo Exhibition – a Gift from the Gifted

She’s an unassuming young girl who just graduated from TP with a Diploma in Visual Communications (Photography Major). And before we talk about why we’re featuring her – yes, her name really is Pandora. We avoided any attempt at making a pun on “Pandora’s Box” here because we figured that she has heard THAT one all her life, though we bet you don’t know this one:

“My parents gave me that name. Pandora means gifted.”

And she is.

These are just some of the photos Pandora has taken of Pulau Ubin for her Final Year Project (FYP). A well-travelled person herself, Pandora’s main passion and focus is in natural photography. Considering that we’re most familiar with Singapore as a city landscape, Pulau Ubin caught Pandora by surprise.

“I was like, ‘Oh wow Singapore this sort of place?’ It was such a vast contrast to our concrete jungle.”

She seemed rather shy when we spoke to her about her work, but ask her about her experiences and feelings when she shot Pulau Ubin and her face lights up. She speaks excitedly, there’s a perpetual grin on her face and she gets more animated – telltale signs that she truly is passionate about the topic at hand.

When she was 9, she was given a disposable camera to be taken with her to the zoo and has been fascinated with photography ever since. She joined the Diploma in Visual Communications specifically to further her interest in photography, and this unrelenting pursuit of her passion has opened doors to an amazing opportunity.

During the Graduation Show held in Vivocity earlier this year, her showcase caught the eye of NParks who were amazed at her photo-showcase of Pulau Ubin. So amazed, in fact, that they got into talks with her and Visual Communications lecturers to organize an exhibition of her works in Pulau Ubin’s Volunteer Center Gallery. The photographs beautifully captured the quaint, idyllic nature of the island and NParks was eager for all visitors to see them.

I have always found photography to a fascinating – and moving – art form. It’s almost like the Robin Hood of Time – “stealing” beautiful moments to share with the world to see. And while we’re very proud of what Pandora has achieved, her work also humbled me – to think that there was something so beautiful right in our backyard… why did we not notice it earlier?

But perhaps that’s why, in life, we need people like Pandora – to show us that there’s more to life than it seems.

Pandora’s Pulau Ubin Exhibition will run from 4th June – 24th June, 2011 at the Pulau Ubin Volunteer Centre Gallery. For see some more of the shots we took while talking to Pandora (and a few other shots she took of Pulau Ubin), check out our Pandora Flickr Set.

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