Through the lens of cancer
Thirteen students from KE Vision, the photography arm of King Edward VII Hall at NUS, have organised a roaming photography exhibition showcasing the inspirational stories of cancer survivors and healthcare workers in Singapore in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the National Cancer Institute of Singapore (NCIS).
The exhibition seeks to raise awareness of the difficulties of living with cancer, while delivering a message of hope and perseverance through the personal narratives of everyday individuals affected by the disease.
Spearheaded by KE Vision Head and Year 2 NUS Nursing student Tang Yang Yew, the team wanted to engage with the wider community and drew inspiration from a similar overseas project titled “Flashes of Hope” which looked into the lives of children with cancer.
“We wanted to focus on the positivity and strength of those who fight bravely in the face of terrible illness so as to hopefully instill a similar fighting spirit in others, be they patients or the general public. We also wanted to highlight the dedication of healthcare personnel who work tirelessly, sometimes thanklessly, playing an essential role in improving the wellbeing of patients,” said Yang Yew.
The team contacted NCIS and was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Institute was already planning a photography exhibition for its 10th anniversary, hence the timely collaboration.
The students spent about a month capturing the photographs. Said Year 2 NUS Mechanical Engineering student Teh Zhi Da, “Capturing the essence of our subjects was always our highest priority, which meant that we had to make them feel comfortable with opening up about themselves.” They finally narrowed the collection to 20 stunning photographs — 10 each of the cancer survivors and healthcare workers.
Year 2 NUS Psychology student Gabriella Cressida Boone initially took part in the initiative to enhance her technical skills, but walked away with so much more. “Through the conversations we had with the clinical staff, we developed a deeper understanding about their line of work and a greater appreciation of the service they provide for patients. It was truly eye-opening, especially for those who, like me, intend to join the healthcare industry in the future,” she said.
The team also hopes that the collection will remind others to treasure the simpler, yet invaluable, things in life — health, family and friends.
The photography exhibition will run throughout the year at various locations including National University Hospital, Pioneer Polyclinic, Choa Chu Kang Polyclinic, Bukit Merah Public Library, Jurong Green Community Club and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. Thereafter, it will be part of a permanent display at the clinics at NCIS.