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The 9th France + Singapore Photographic Arts Award (FSPAA) is an international award presented by Alliance Française de Singapour which provides a platform for French and Singaporean photographic artists to showcase their creative talents to an international audience.

The award aims to raise awareness of the experimental and emerging styles of photographic art. It is also organised to promote the exchange of artistic knowledge, experiences and ideas between artists from France and Singapore.

Ten photographers shortlisted by a panel of juries present their creative interpretations of this year’s theme, “Interculturalism”. Their approach to photographing cross-cultural exchange underpins the value of inclusivity, with the spirit of promoting understanding and respect for cultural diversity.

It was an honor to be shortlisted as one of the top ten photographers to exhibit who gets to exhibit their work at the Gallery of Alliance Francaise de Singapour. I met so many talented individuals and photographers who have put their hearts into their photographs. Congratulations to the winner!!  

Here are the photos that I have selected and I will share with you what the theme Interculturalism means to me.

Portrait, exhibition, street, photography, singapore, sri lanka, negombo,
Portrait exhibition street photography singapore
Portrait exhibition street photography singapore

Interculturalism to me is the is where diversity is accepted and respected in different cultures, different religion and coming from different origins. It is also having a deeper level of understanding for one another and bringing people closer together.

I enjoy backpacking around the world and taking the path less travelled. This brings me to explore the unknown facades of foreign lands and documenting the different ways of life that reflect diversity in cultures. I would love to carry that heart and draw beauty out of every photograph I capture because I believe behind every photograph and portrait, there is a story to be told. 

I have travelled to places where English or French are not their main language and the language barrier comes as a challenge. However, I believe that determination and being genuine in what you do transcends all obstacles, even language barriers. Putting your heart and soul into what you are passionate about will be felt by others even as complete strangers.

This brings me to this collection of photos that I have carefully selected and they are taken from different photo series around the world. I specifically chose these photos as they tell of great stories that are close to my heart and most importantly, speaks the essence of Interculturalism.

An example would be photographing the Haenyeo divers in Jeju Island, wasn’t an easy task initially because of the language barrier. But I knew that it will not stop me from capturing their lives and their passions. I repeatedly visited them for days, communicating through hand signs before the women warmed up to me and were agreeable to let me capture images of them. 

Therefore, I was thankful for this platform to bring the topic of Interculturalism to people’s attention where having a deep understanding and respect for all cultures is important. There is so much positivity that we can spread through precious stories and photographs. I would like to showcase a beautiful world where people’s stories matter no matter where you are from. 

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