Ngee Ann Photographer of the Year 2016: Mr Teo Yong Kang

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2016 Ngee Ann Photographer of the Year – Mr Teo Yong Kang

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FSCPS, FPFM, FPSP, FRPS, FRPST, FPVS, FPSNY, FSEAPS, Hon.FSCPS, Hon.ESCPS,Hon.FPSP, Hon.FPSM, Hon.FPSS, Hon.FPVS, Hon.FBSC, Hon.ECPA, Hon.EPAS, Hon.EPSNY, Hon.ECYMCAPSHK, SE.SCPS, AE.PSP, ME.PSP, ACPA, APSK, APSS, JPCPBSC, ADCC, SAWIEP, ABLPC, Hon. FSAFRAPC, MFIAP, ESFIAP, PSA DIAMOND STAR(PPD), PID-C Galaxy 2, MPSA

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Mr Teo Yong Kang’s first acquaintance with photography was in 1978 when he enrolled in the Black-and-White Darkroom Photo Printing Course at the Singapore Colour Photographic Society (SCPS).  In the same year, he participated in his first photography competition organised by Radin Mas Community Centre and won the first prize of $300 cash.  This affirmation ignited his passion for photography, marking the start of his lifelong career in this genre of visual arts.

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Born in 1954 of Hakka descent, Teo has always been an inquisitive child, constantly learning and exploring new and interesting ideas.  Teo is a regular fixture in regional and international photography exhibitions and salons and is also often invited be part of the judging or advisory panel for various competitions.  Over the years, Teo has won multiple photography awards and accolades, such as being selected as one of the Top 10 International Photographers by the Photographic Society of America (PSA), and won the Diamond Award for the Colour Photo Category at PSA’s 1998 Salon.  Teo has also been inducted as a Fellow of The Royal Photographic Society (FRPS), Master of the Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique (MFIAP), Fellow of Singapore Colour Photographic Society (FSCPS), Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society of Thailand (FRPST) and many other photographic bodies.

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Teo’s proficiency of photography was acquired through sheer hard work and dedication.  He explored and experimented with the different techniques of photography and post-production process and has since accumulated a world of knowledge of this art.  To Teo, a photographer’s skills and techniques are more important in capturing a good photograph, than just expensive cameras and equipment.

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Fueled by his passion for the art, Teo gave up his job as a salesman to devote himself to colour photo processing service.  His skills in the post-production process are widely known among the photography enthusiasts and many professional photographers flocked to seek his expertise in producing their competition works.

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Like the rest of the world, photography technology is fast advancing and digital photography has become increasingly popular in the late 90’s.  To keep up with the times and demands, it was imperative for Teo to pick up the technicalities of digital photography and digital darkroom image processing.  Since 2000, Teo has started using digital cameras and learning the process of digital post-production techniques.  Through the combination of his photography skill, traditional darkroom image developing and digital darkroom processing, Teo was amazed by the different ways of presenting a photograph.  Be it traditional or digitalised photo process, Teo’s approach to photography has always been the same – dedication, perseverance and the constant pursuit  of progress.

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Teo’s lifelong passion for photography has made him see the world in a different light and that anything can become his photographic subject.  With the knowledge and expertise he has accumulated over the years, Teo has developed his personal brand of photography.  From composition, light, colour, shadow to the scenery and objects, each shot is meticulously planned out, right to the moment that he presses the shutter.  When he encounters a creativity block, he takes the opportunity to slow down and gain inspiration by admiring and observing the works of his fellow photographers, while adhering to his personal goals. 

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Teo believes that one should be observant, be curious, and keep practicing one’s photography skill as much as possible.  Photography is about transpiring the beauty of the world, through the spectrum of lights and colours and sharing it with the world.  Awards and accolades are merely forms of affirmation.  The most important success is the ability to breakthrough personal limits.

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With his rich experience in the field of photography, Teo is always sharing his knowledge and expertise with anyone who is keen to learn.  He often encourages young or new photographers to participate in various photography competitions and exhibitions to gain experience and to keep setting new goals to pursue constant breakthroughs.  He also advises them to observe and learn from fellow photographers and to develop their personal photography style.

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For more than 30 years, photography has allowed him to experience and capture fleeting moments of life that can never be replicated.  It has also allowed him to experience the ups and downs of life which honed his perseverance.  As Teo said, “Each photo is the result of the photographer’s dedication and hard work.  I believe a good photograph shows a fresh theme, taken with a high level of photography skill and most importantly, is able to evoke emotions in the viewer.  To me, beauty is subjective.”

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Selective Awards

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Travel Category

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2015      Photographic Society of Singapore (PSS)
               62nd Singapore International Photography Awards 2015  
               PSA Gold Medal

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2015      Photo-Art Association of Singapore (PAS)
                 23rd Singapore Photo-Art International 2015
               Mr S Rajaratnam Gold Medal and Local Best

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2015      The Photographic Society of Negeri Sembilan (PSNS), Malaysia
               3rd Negeri Sembilan International Salon of Photography
               PSNS Gold Medal

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 2015      Singapore Colour Photographic Society (SCPS)
                23rd SCPS International Salon
               FIAP Gold and Local Best

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Creative Category

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2014       Photographic Society of Taichung (PSTC), Taiwan
                4th Taichung International Exhibition of Photography 2014, Taiwan
                 PSTC Silver Medal

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2014      Jodhana Photojournalist Society (JPS), India
               3rd JPS International Salon 2014
               FIAP Gold (Colour Experimental Section)

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2013      Maitland International Salon of Photography Australia
               PSA Silver Medal

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2013      The Image Colleague Society (ICS), USA
               3rd ICS International Digital Circuit 2013
               PSA Gold Medal

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Black-and-White Category

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2014       Photovivo.com, Singapore
                 2nd PhotoVivo Singapore International Photography Award (PIPA) 2014
                FIAP Silver and Local Best

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2014       Sunrise Photography Association (SPA), USA
                 3rd SPA International Digital Salon 2014
                SPA Gold Medal

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2013       The Image Colleague Society (ICS), USA
                 3rd ICS International Digital Circuit 2013
                PSA Silver Medal

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Nature Category

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2014      Yuanlin Community College Photographers (YCCP) Taiwan
                 2014 Yuanlin International Exhibition of Photography
                YCCP Gold Medal

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2014      New Camera Club, Switzerland
               International Salon of Photography “PHOTO ARTIST 2014” NCC Bronze,
               NCC

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2014      Maitland International Salon of Photography Australia
               RPS Gold Medal (Selector Choice)

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2013      Wildlife Photography Association of India (WPAI)
                SAM Circuit 2013
                Silver Medal

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2013      The Photographic Society of Macao (PSM)
                 17th Macao International Salon of Photography 2013
                PSM Gold Medal

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Achievements    

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1986

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Hon.FSCPS  

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Honorary Fellowship of Singapore Colour Photographic Society

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1987

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FSCPS

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Fellowship of Singapore Colour Photographic Society

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FPSNY

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Fellowship of The Photographic Society of New York

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1992

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Hon.FPSP

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 Honorary Fellowship of The Photographic Society of Penang

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APSK

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Associateship of The Photographic Society of Kaohsiung

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PSA.DIAMOND STAR (PPD)

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Diamond Star (Large Color Print) of The Photographic Society of America

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FPSM

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Fellowship of The Photographic Society of Malaysia

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FSEAPS

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 Fellowship of The South East Asia Photographic Society of Singapore

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2003

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FPSP

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Fellowship of The Photographic Society of Penang

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FRPST

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Fellowship of The Royal Photographic Society of Thailand

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2007

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Hon.FPSM

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Honorary Fellowship of The Photographic Society of Malaysia

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2012

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FRPS

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Fellowship of The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain

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MFIAP

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Master of International Federation of Photographic Art

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2014

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MPSA – MASTER

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Master Distinction of The Photographic Society of America

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2015

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PID-C GALAXY 2  

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Projected Image Division Color Class Galaxy 2 of The Photographic Society of America

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