Huiying Ore

6x6 Southeast Asia and Oceania Talent:
Huiying Ore, Singapore

"Huiying Ore possesses a strong craft in documentary photography and long term storytelling. With a deliberate approach to visual construction, and often working with archival materials, her works present a critical, in depth landscape of progression in Southeast Asian societies." - Sarker Protick, photographer, visual artist and 6x6 nominator, Bangladesh

Huiying Ore’s practice revolves around storytelling, which she believes is basic to human beings. Ore received the Invisible Photographer Asia Documentary Award 2018, was named one of the 10 Platform Emerging Photographers in Singapore in 2010 and was selected to participate in the 1st Asian Women Photographers’ Showcase in Angkor Photo Festival. She was nominated for the Sagamihara Photo City’s Asia Prize (Japan) and received a Select Award in the Kuala Lumpur International Photo Award.

Mekong, Mother of Rivers

The Mekong River is home to the world's largest inland fishery and hosts a treasure trove of biodiversity. The 12th longest river in the world is also known as Mother of Rivers in Laos. Like a gigantic serpent, the river winds across China, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is an important nexus for people, culture and goods, linking communities in the region. Over 50 million people in the Lower Mekong region depend on the river for their food security and livelihood. However, that is under threat from the rising demands for hydropower. Landlocked Laos is constructing the first hydropower dam on mainstream Lower Mekong River, despite strong opposition from neighbouring Vietnam and Cambodia. The Xayaburi dam is expected to provide much needed export earnings for Laos, one of the poorest countries in the world. Environmental experts warn that the project would cause significant and irreversible damages to the river's ecosystems and affect the lives of riparian communities, which include many of the region’s poorest people. In portraying the villagers daily routines, Huiying seeks to highlight the subsistence relationship they have with the river, a delicate connection that could soon be destroyed.

We Are Farmers

“I come from a family of farmers. My great-grandfather started a coconut plantation in Singapore in the 1960s, with his seven sons working alongside him. When the area was slated for redevelopment in the late 1970s, they moved to another neighbourhood and started a pig farm. I grew up there, where a hundred of my extended family lived and worked. My days of chasing piglets and exploring monsoon rains ended in the late 1980s, when the government decided to phase out pig farming. Subsequently, my eldest Uncle decided to venture into hydroponics farming so that the family could continue living and working together. After 27 years of hard work, the farm is still running and the family is still together. When I started photography, I didn’t consider my family worth documenting. A life-changing experience changed my view. In 2008, I contracted meningitis and was in a critical coma. It was only when I regained consciousness that I realised what had happened; how my mom found me having a seizure, that the doctor prepared my parents for the worst, and the guilt and pain that my mom felt. I reflected on my life then, and realised if I had passed on, I had no regrets except that I was disconnected from my parents. While busy pursuing my dreams, I had alienated them. They didn’t understand what I was doing with my life, yet they quietly supported me.” - Huiying Ore