RICHARD SEAH unabashedly calls himself a man of “many interests, many talents”,
Besides being a photographic artist, he is a writer, journalist and web designer. Working free lance, he has produced books, newsletters and websites for large corporations as well as private individuals.
Richard Seah is also a teacher of natural health and macrobiotics. From 1989 - 1997, he self-publish a newsletter on natural health called The Good Life. As one of Singapore's most active advocates of natural health and alternative medicine, he actively contributes to public debates in the newspaper forum pages on health matters.
Between 1996 and 2001, Richard also ran an audiophile hifi business called The Soul of Music. He continues to help market an excellent Singapore-made valve amplifier called DIVA.
His most active period was in the 1980s, when he worked as a journalist with the Business Times and the job gave him ample opportunities to travel.
He went crazy. He would buy 30 or more rolls of film for each trip and use them all up.
Then, in the early 90s, Richard stopped. His camera and lenses accumulated dust, dirt, molds and grease. It was only in 2004 that he was ‘re-born’ as a photographer.
Thus, Richard Seah has two distinct sets of photographs – those taken up till the early 1990s, and those taken after 2004.
“My most memorable trip was to Burma (today Myanmar) in 1983,” Richard recalls. “I was so charmed by the country that I made a scrapbook and showed it to a publisher to propose a coffee table book. The publisher said some of my pictures were ‘nice’, but the book concept was ‘too personal’.
“Discouraged, I gave up my dream of having my pictures published – until 2002 when I published them on my personal website.
In 2005, ‘fate’ intervened. In April that year, Richard Seah joined a web marketing programme called SiteBuildIt, which teaches how to build effective websites that attract traffic.
His natural inclination was to do a site on natural health, because that is his area of expertise. But his keyword research told him that such a site might not succeed, as there are too many sites on the topic. (He has since discovered that it is not so. It's a matter of finding the right set of keywords. And so Richard has started a new, natural health website, www.natural-cancer-cures.com.)
Richard Seah was on the verge of giving up when he keyed in ‘art photograph’.
He recalls: “When my keyword research results came in, my eyes lit up. It was a good keyword! So I developed a this photography website and I began to take myself more seriously as a photographer.”
RICHARD SEAH never studied photography.
“I am therefore weak in the technical aspects and sometimes I cannot create the images that I want,” he admits. “I divide photographers into two categories: those who capture and those who create. I am good at capturing, but poor at creating.
“To me, the key to taking brilliant photographs is having the eye – and the mind – to see possibilities. I am drawn to alternative viewpoints – as evidenced in my interest in natural health and alternative medicine.
“My best pictures are related to prayer,” Richard Seah adds. “And I focus a lot on the hands (and sometimes the feet too). Asian Photography magazine featured my work in its April 2006 edition with a headline that I felt was appropriate: Spiritual Photographer.
“I am also very much drawn to close up views. My friend Lee Hin Mun, who is well-respected in Singapore’s photography circles, came up with a description of my photographic style that, I thought, was really apt: Uptight, short for “close-up / tight-cropping”.
That makes Richard an uptight, spritual photographer! It’s as good a label as any other.
Click here to view Photographs of Hands by Richard Seah.