Weng Yew: On Passion, Clouds and Self-Discovery

A dash of white and grey, feathers ruffling on the wings of a bird, rushing past the image. And beside it, its twin, except softer, the light less contrasted, less in a hurry. A bird reaching the shore and taking a moment to rest. ‘In your light I learn how to love’ – like a final sigh, a quote by Rumi completes the photograph.

After ten years of experimenting, Wong Weng Yew, 35, has found something in clouds that reflects the way he looks at life.

“Clouds make you think of the movement of time. They are there for one moment and they quickly disappear. It shows us that things are not permanent,” he says.

The idea behind his art is to make people pause. To make them look twice at reality. What do you see when you use a different lens, a different exposure button? This reflection also influences the way he looks at relationships.

“When you see both images, they’re actually the same cloud. Part of the idea of putting them together is that I want the viewers to experience this tension that exists between the images. They are the same, and yet they are different.”

There is a subtle unease, Weng Yew describes, in personal relationships when he rubs shoulders with someone who is too similar.

“If I am competitive and I see someone else who is very competitive, I will view that person as not very friendly. But then I realise, after taking such photos and putting them together, that perhaps the reason I don’t feel comfortable with them is because they are too much like me.”