Scripted from a conversation with Jason Yeo, Corporate Director at Capella Hotels, Singapore, who loves to capture time through his camera lens when he is not busy empowering talent in the corporate world.
“Ever since I was very young, I have felt deeply connected with the old and abandoned. My joy is in taking photographs of abandoned places and my aspiration is to build a haven for the old.
The first abandoned building I photographed set off my love affair with dilapidated buildings. I was seventeen years old, sneaking an added adventure into a day at the beach. The barren building with snaking vines, shadowy corridors and broken staircases intrigued me. The life it held within was mine to imagine and capture through my lens. Incidentally, life came a full circle as I found myself working at the very site that first captured me, now brought back to life as The Capella, Sentosa.
My ‘work life’ is spent bringing learning and development opportunities to people. I love engaging people, bringing new ways of thinking to them and seeing them grow to achieve more in their lives. It is a busy active life, forever thinking of new ideas and forever interacting with so many people.
And then comes the weekend, where I wander off in my solitude to find a building that will tell me its story. Each time I walk into a room it tells me a story with the light that falls into it just for that moment. It tells me stories of what it has witnessed. Like young army officers sleeping in their quarters, strolling in extended corridors as they reminisce about the cool weather back home; like royalty staying in their palatial home in the heart of Botanical Gardens in Singapore, walking away from it and banishing it to a forgotten world. With my old camera and untrained hands, I capture the story forever.
I have found interesting things everywhere, an old inscription, the frame of a door, mugs, shoes, all waiting to be the props of my personal photoshoot. But the one that stands above all was a newspaper left behind for so many years, from the day I was born, as if lying there just waiting for me to take it home.
My love of buildings extends to cemeteries as well. They are beautiful and peaceful and have their own stories to tell. Confucius’s descendants; Lee Kuan Yew’s grandfather; soldiers, tycoons, pioneers, I have met them all as they rest in peace, equal in all ways and separated only by the footsteps that mark the path to their graves.
What’s next for my photography? To continue doing what I do and to keep doing it for myself. Friends tell me I should start a blog, post pictures in a more structured way. But that is not my purpose, my purpose is within me and for now I don’t feel the urge to bring it to the world beyond my friends and family.
I love my work but it would just never be enough. I love photography but it would never be enough either. As the weekdays pass into weekends and I move from high energy interactions to quiet moments with my camera, there is the passing moment in the seesaw of my life when everything is in equilibrium.
That is the moment I wish a camera could capture forever!”
Metis Talent Management helps people and organisations find their best potential. If you are looking to discover your purpose or find ways to engage more with your passion and want to be supported by a professional coach in this journey, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
* All image credits belong to Jason Yeo, unless indicated otherwise.