Photo of Holeng


"Every difficult moment had an awesome end."

Main details

Year graduated 2013
Department Sociology

"Having graduated from my BA in Graphic Communications and worked as a brand consultant in Asia, I never expected to find myself studying a full time post-graduate degree in the UK! I was a trained photojournalist with a local newspaper (The Straits Times) in 2007, and subsequently founded my own company to do commercial work while lecturing part time in a media design school. However, the work has burnt me out.

Although I had some experience in exhibiting my photography, I’d discovered that I lacked the sufficient critical understanding to advocate for my work. The MA in Photography & Urban Cultures allowed me to examine the context of my visual portfolio and begin the process of being able to champion what I had achieved. 

The  gave me the opportunity to be nefariously open-minded, and to explore many aspects of ideology, theory and philosophy. The course also improved my writing skills. The core modules and seminars offered a brilliant array of contemporary ideas, existential knowledge, constructive criticism and debates; they were highly informative and useful.

I was very much enlightened by my multi-national classmates during our seminar discussions, and our coffee breaks outside of the University! Although we all had different academic backgrounds, we shared a common agenda, questioning photography's relevance as a visual medium in today's society. In addition to the curriculum, the workshops that I took part in were taught by interesting and inspirational staff members who made it their personal business to polish our photographic techniques.

I would like to recognize the help and sound editorial advice of my course convenor, Mr. Paul Halliday, who was of great assistance in encouraging me to curate my first photographic exhibition (An ‘Urban’ Analogue held during the 2013 IVSA conference) in the University, and to set a new career path. I was selected for a two-month curatorial residency in Vienna and Budapest. My colleagues and I have started a new blog titled 7x8curators, writing about our engagements in the contemporary art world between the two cities. As the number of readers grows by the day, 7by8 curators become a brand, which shed new light on the much discussed socio-political scene in Hungarian art.

Thanks for providing me with the opportunity to study my Masters degree at Goldsmiths. It was a challenging and demanding year, but the satisfaction was immense; every difficult moment had an awesome end."

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