Born and raised in Singapore, Nguan went to film school at Northwestern University in Illinois in the US. He originally started taking photos as a way of note-taking for screenplays that were left unwritten. Since then, his projects range all over the world from Tokyo to Coney Island. His distinctive eye captures hypnotic and gentle images that let the viewer linger on moments in-between daily life.
Some of Nguan’s projects include urban cityscapes, holidays at the beach, Singapore’s brothel district, Tiananmen during the Olympics, and more. Loneliness, isolation, yearning, and beauty in the ordinary are consistent themes.
His method of shooting with a large, medium-format camera and fixed lens to produce his images seems at odds with the voyeuristic quality of his work. However, Nguan’s approach is about making connections with strangers and documenting “the decisive glance”. “True voyeurs aim to escape notice; my preference is to be caught in the act of looking”.