Singaporean artist and photographer Chua Chye Teck perhaps got more than he bargained for when he turned to hiking. Initially a way for him to increase physical activity, hiking provided an opportunity to observe and appreciate the composition of a forest — not the obviously beautiful landscapes, mind you, but the way the trees are connected to form an expansive body. This is all thanks to his training as a sculptor, in which he is most attentive to lines, form, and structure.
Enthralled by the splendor, Chua, 43, took photos of trees as he perceived them. The result of the two-year photography sessions in the forested domains is his recently released first book, “Beyond Wilderness.” At first glance, many of the black-and-white photos look like ones of freely applied paint rather than trees.
Chua is adamant in his belief that the wilderness possesses codes waiting to be deciphered.
“There is a visual language to the wilderness that, just like English or Chinese, we have to learn to understand,” he told The Straits Times (via Star2).
“These are things we consider untidy, that we think should be more systematically organized. But this is the way nature organizes itself,” he continued.
Chua will take part in the exhibition “Native Revisions,” happening at Lasalle’s Institute of Contemporary Art in Singapore from Feb. 11 to April 9.