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We will have been young – Fotoausstellung

An exhibition on youth and future in Southeast Asia, is the result of the Southeast Asian Photography Masterclass by J.Brüggemann and T.Kruse (Ostkreuz Photographers’ Agency) during the Obscura Festival of Photography 2016 and 2017 in Georgetown, Malaysia. After touring in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia in 2018 and Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Hanoi and HCMC in 2019, the exhibition is shown in Bangkok and Yangon in 2020.

we will have been young Photography Exhibition©CCTang_Obscura
Starting in 2016, the masterclass was designed as a long-term project aiming to enable young photographers from the region to work on important topics and series. The project turned out to be a holistic growth experience for the twelve participating photographers an enriching experience for the mentoring photographers. The participants of this regional project represent eight different Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Through workshops during the Obscura Festival and intensive exchange between the participating and the mentoring photographers, twelve photo series on youth and future in Southeast Asia were planned and realized.

Sea Masterclass © CCTang Obscura
The photo book was published by Calin Kruse, dienacht Publishing in Leipzig. Meanwhile, several artists have won international awards for their work, e.g. in Singapore, Turkey and Germany. Above all, the press and media have highlighted the social issues shown and dealt with in the exhibition, such as: the Edition.CNN

Photo Book WWHBY Fotobuch©Goethe Institut Photo Book WWHBY Fotobuch©Goethe Institut Photo Book WWHBY Fotobuch©Goethe Institut Photo Book WWHBY Fotobuch©Goethe Institut Photo Book WWHBY Fotobuch©Goethe Institut Photo Book WWHBY Fotobuch©Goethe Institut
The topics of the series range from online dating and relationships over mental health and illness to identity, creativity and the question of belonging. Each of the series uses a unique approach to the topics and give an insight into different aspects of being young as well as their own personal engagement with the topic.

In 2018 the group exhibition was shown in Singapore, Bandung, Jakarta, Manila and Kuala Lumpur within various supporting programs such as workshops, panels and lectures.

On 7 March 2019, the exhibition will be opened in Frankfurt am Main at basis e.V. All twelve photographers, the two mentors, Jörg Brüggemann and Tobias Kruse of Ostkreuz - Agentur der Fotografen, as well as the director of the Obscura Festival of Photography, Vignes Balasingam, will be present. The opening of the exhibition is the kick-off for a networking trip organized by the Goethe-Institut, which will also take the 12 Southeast Asian photographers to Berlin.

From May 31 to June 9, 2019, the photo exhibition will be on display in the Ostkreuzschule, Berlin

Ilham Gallery Images Ilham Gallery Images | © Vignes-Balasingam Ilham Gallery Images ©Vignes-Balasingam | Ilham Gallery Images Ilham Gallery Images | ©Vignes-Balasingam |
From the 6th - 15th March 2019, the 12 Southeast Asian artists of the photography exhibition We Will Have Been Young were invited to a networking trip to Frankfurt am Main and Berlin. Besides the exhibition itself, that was one of the main reasons for the trip, the possibility for the artists to network and get inspired by other kinds of art practices was another focus.

The opening of the We Will Have Been Young exhibition at Basis e.V. in Frankfurt am Main marked the beginning of the trip. In the following days, the artists visited several photography exhibitions and the well-known German Städel-Museum. Their time in Frankfurt am Main ended with a panel discussion during the exhibition period with the director of the Obscura-Festival of Photography Vignes Balasingam and Dr. Amanda Katherine Rath, a lecturer of art-history with a specialization in Southeast Asia at the Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main.

On the 11th of March 2019, the artists arrived in Berlin. After visiting several art galleries, the highlight of their Berlin stay was the 1-day visit to the Ostkreuz Schule für Fotografie. The photo exhibition We Will Have Been Young has also been exhibited from the 31st May – 9th June 2019. The sharing session with presentations included portfolio reviews, which the artists found very helpful in order to reflect on their own work. It was also a great possibility for all to deliberate the past three years of since the Southeast Asian Masterclass took place in Penang.
  • Networking Trip WWHBY © Amrita Chandradas

  • Networking Trip WWHBY © Lee Chang Ming

  • Networking Trip WWHBY © Khiev Kanel

  • Networking Trip WWHBY © Watsamon June Tri-yasakda

  • Networking Trip WWHBY © Watsamon June Tri-yasakda

  • Networking Trip WWHBY © Elliott Koon

Quotes from the participating photographers about the networking trip:

"I was really happy with the reception of our works. A lot more people were engaged especially with the whole talk. It felt like it was easier to explain our works and people were more interested to ask questions which made it really comforting." -Geric Cruz

"This trip is a good way to get inspired as an artist/photographer." - Muhammad Fadli

"It was inspiring to see how everyone had progressed since we last me. It was very insightful and personal."- Lee Chang Ming

"From a great opening, I felt more confident to open discussion on my work which push me more interesting in panel discussion which inspired me more." - Khiev Kanel

"Internally, being able to reconnect with everyone else felt very important. The session at Ostkreuzschule was a closed thing and it was moving to see how all of us (including Jörg and Tobi) have changed and grown in just a few years." - Dennese Victoria

"One of the best thing I like about the trip is able to connect to the people from the Basis Gallery, the Museums and Ostkreuz. Learn about their culture and how they run galleries and projects." - Elliott Koon

"It has been a wonderful experiences, I learn a lot form it. For example, I’ve learn that, there are different practices and methods in working with photography that I can explore more. It is more like, how will I use what I’ve learn from the program for my future works rather than looking back to my previous work." - Dwi Asrul Fajar

“During the trip to Frankfurt and Berlin, I had a chance to talk and discuss with many people who saw our works. Most people are from different background and live in different cultural context, it was a good opportunity for me to exchange idea and discuss with them.” - Watsamon June Tri-yasakda

“We became incredibly connected through this course of 2 years and have been inspired by each other. The programmes have allowed us to speak about our work many times in a public space and i think without us realizing it has grown our confidence and allowed us to own our work positively.” -Amrita Chandradas

The Photographers

Alvin Lau | Is This What Love Is? © Alvin Lau

Alvin Lau | Malaysia
Is This What Love Is?

Online dating has been a phenomenon since the early Millennium, making establishing connections amongst people more convenient.

Amrita Chandradas | All Is Not Lost © Amrita Chandradas

Amrita Chandradas | Singapur
All Is Not Lost

Is it her features? The way she talks, behaves or moves? Or is it the way her hair blows in the wind is what contributes to her femininity?

Vespa Warriors © Muhammad Fadli

Muhammad Fadli | Indonesien
Vespa Warriors

Since its birth in Florence in 1946, the Vespa has been nothing short of extraordinary. But for some, the Vespa has become a way of life.

Dennese Victoria | Days Spent With Pretend Family 1 © Dennese Victoria

Dennese Victoria | Philippinen
Days Spent With Pretend Family

In October 2016 I began working on what I had then called a fake family album. I was thinking very deeply about how easy it can be to fake intimacy.

Kanel Khiev | Before The Raze © Kanel Khiev

Kanel Khiev | Kambodscha
Before The Raze

The White Building, or the Bodeng as it is commonly known, is a municipal apartment built in 1963 located in the heart of Phnom Penh.

Dwi Asrul Fajar | A Stream Under The Table © Dwi Asrul Fajar

Dwi Asrul Fajar | Indonesien
A Stream Under The Table

In 2016, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a 74-page report Living in Hell: Abuses against People with Psychosocial Disabilities in Indonesia, on how people with mental illnesses in Indonesia are treated.

Elliott Koon | Sons Of The Soil © Elliott Koon

Elliott Koon | Malaysia
Sons Of The Soil

The Orang Asli, Malaysia’s native tribesmen, are a peaceful people who live in small communities, usually far from the cities, surrounded by nature.

Watsamon Tri-yasakda | 7465 © Watsamon Tri-yasakda

Watsamon Tri-yasakda | Thailand

One of the most asked questions is “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. But nobody ever asks “What do you want to be now?”.

Lee Chang Ming | Until Then © Lee Chang Ming

Lee Chang Ming | Singapur
Until Then

Until Then is an exploration of what it means to be young and queer in Singapore as seen through my personal experiences and encounters with those around me.

Geric Cruz | Eva © Geric Cruz

Geric Cruz | Philippinen

Eva began as catalogue of objects, people and memories surrounding the house of my grandmother, Eva’s in Bacolod, a city in the south of the Philippines, far away from the chaos of Manila.

Linh Pham | Behind Closed Doors © Linh Pham

Linh Pham | Vietnam
Behind Closed Doors

“Attention!” Once commanded, we lined up, stood still, and saluted the flag. Every Monday for twelve years, our weekly school assembly was just like that.

Yu Yu Myint Than | Memory Lane © Yu Yu Myint Than

Yu Yu Myint Than | Myanmar
Memory Lane

“I wanna go back home” are the words I frequently hear from San Kay Khine whenever I visited her in the hospital. San Kay Khine is a 17-year-old girl who spent five years as a tortured captive at a famous tailor shop in Yangon.