Shooting electronic music events is much more than just shooting some epic lights on a smoky stage with a big crowd of ravers. Like any cultural gathering, there is a reflection of society, politics, culture and traditions happening underneath the surface of loud music, dancing and drinking.
When we entered Zouk Singapore for their Halloween Party 2015 it was my 3rd time shooting in the club after having spent more than 10 months in Singapore in the last 2 years. My main job was to get some promotional images for Fujifilm Japan on the pre-production X-Pro2, so my shooting was a bit more frantic than normal, I had to make something happen. Fortunately Zouk Singapore is almost more like a theme park than a nightclub and offering a lot of scenes and scenery to shoot, even more so on a Halloween night with amazing set design and costumes.
I know the electronic music scene in my home town of Copenhagen very well, and as such I feel I at times manage to capture the layers of society reflected underneath all the obvious coating. It is different when shooting in a place like Zouk Singapore. But something interesting has happened this 3rd time around. I think I am on an instinctive level starting to recognise and shoot elements of Singapore. Charlene points this out to me in my pictures from Zouk, and being Singaporean she has an understanding of what I have captured, what I saw. An understanding that I do not have, I know something caught my eye and I captured it for a reason, but it is like a dream you cannot quite recall, it remains just out of reach. I see that I am just starting to capture…something…deeper in the images. But I have yet to comprehend what. It will surely take a lot more time, Singapore is a complex society and culture and extremely different to my home country.
I am sure I will end up shooting many more events in Singapore, and I will be very interested to see when/how/if I start to gain a further understanding of what my eye capture on instinct but my mind still quite cannot make sense off.
For now, here is a bigger photo set from the Zouk Singapore Halloween party 2015. All images shot on a pre-production Fujifilm X-Pro2 using Fujinon 16mm F1.4 and 35mm F1.4 lenses. A big thank you to Zouk Singapore for the access.
Recommended reading and viewing
The brilliant book, How Music Works, by David Byrne. The Land That Techno Forgot – The Survival of Singapore’s Club Scene on the excellent ElectronicBeats.net. And watch Real Scenes from Resident Advisor.
…and a not so hidden plug: my own ebook, Get In The Loop – How To Make Great Music Images.