Tian Khee Siong
Tian Khee Siong
Click to explore
“I enjoyed the vastness of the landscape and the constant change of light when we were driving on the long straight roads of Route 1,” Tian Khee Siong recalls from his time in Iceland and stresses that the climate is to be taken seriously. “It would go from sunny and clear with a beautiful sky one minute to strong winds and hard icy showers the next. It reminds one to not underestimate Mother Nature.”
Tian was staying in Hornafjörður when the Covid-19 pandemic first hit Europe. He came there to document the collaborative work of his partner, Scottish textile designer Claire Anderson, and Iceland-based designer Hanna Dís Whitehead (represented by Åben gallery) – who have worked collaboratively for the past five years exploring Scottish and Icelandic craft tradition and identity. This was Tian's third, and Claire's fifth, visit to Iceland, and probably the most bizarre, due to the fact that for most of it they had to stay socially distant. They had planned to spend two days in Reykjavík before their flight back but, due to alarmingly bad weather, parts of Route 1 were closed. “We had to spend the night at Hanna's parents’ holiday cabin. The journey was quite an adventure!” Tian exclaims. In the end, they managed to get to the airport on time, and their flight was one of only a few on schedule that week, as air traffic dwindled rapidly to and from the island. Thankfully, they got back to London, safe and sound.
After studying fine art in Leeds and Carlisle, Tian lived in Glasgow and he continued drawing and image-making up until three years ago, when he moved to London. There, he works commercially as a still-life and reportage photographer and says he's primarily interested in documenting places and objects “and how photography changes the perception of a place or object.” Tian considers light and form to be the key elements when taking an image. “If either light or form isn't balanced, the image wouldn't normally work. However, I try not to restrict myself to these rules, as there are times where I discover surprises when revisiting an image I've taken, some time later.”