Photography is the art of reduction: Pulling out a simple beauty from a complex world

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The Malaysian travel photographer Chee Keong Lim was annouced “B&W CHILD PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2015” and won the Grand Prize of $1000. He is an artist guided by a clear vision: to present nature and human nature with all honesty.

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“Going Home” was taken in Myanmar during Chee’s third visit to this country. Its rustic beauty and simplicity makes it the top of his travel list.

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“Playing” was shot during his family vacation to Bali, the tour guide took him to this place. When they arrived, there were a few children playing with water and they looked like they were having a great time. “I did not do too much of arrangements I only asked them to keep some distance between each other. I allowed them to continue playing and splashing water. Then I was waiting for the perfect moment and finally I got this shoot,” Chee said.

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1ST PLACE | LIFESTYLE CATEGORY - "Praying" - Chee Keon Lim, Malaysia

He did not attend any formal photography course or school, but reading or online self-study. Sharing, analyzing and discussing work with friends helped him a lot. “I think the real benefit is from outting together with other photographer. Willingness to share their knowledge with me, constructive criticism is the biggest reason for my improvement.”

What captures the viewer’s attention when looking at Chee’s photographs for the first time is a sense of natural beauty, purity and powerful energy. We see they are carefully calculated and what makes them so powerful is the beautiful combination of visual and artistic elements, available light, subject, composition, story...Dynamicity and stillness, fearlessness and candor are just two sets of opposites magnificently featured in Chee Keong Lim’s art.

Chee’s photographs are complex, yet simple, they speak clearly and loudly. They are “busy” yet calming. His way to balance all this is by reminding himself “THINK BEFORE YOU SHOOT”! Either about the composition or just the light condition. Before he starts, he scouts the surroundings and the light condition. “Better you prepare, the easier is to photograph.”


(All photographs by Chee Keong Lim.)


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