She picked up a camera and thought to herself, "I could keep doing this".
It was 2006; a teenage part-time barista was recruited to work as a picture intern in an online newsroom. "I can't witness this 'child-labour thing' going on anymore," said the regular customer to the baby-faced Ya Ting, "Come work with us, you just need to crop some photos". Ya Ting didn't think much of it then, the new job pays more and demands less labour, so she did. It was the first step towards her journey in photography.
This new stint required Ya Ting to create picture galleries for a daily section and upload photos accompanying breaking new stories. Each day of work was a visual feast for the then-film-student, who consistently browsed through an endless tide of photographs from wire agencies across the world. With each photo gallery she created, Ya Ting lived her own experience of the event. She felt the trauma of the Sichuan earthquake, the tragedy of the Fukushima disaster, the glamour of the Beijing Olympics, the turmoil during the Bangkok rallies... During these five years, from a polytechnic student to an undergraduate majoring in photography in NTU's School of Art, Design Media, she has always been mesmerised by the power of visual storytelling.
Sometime within this period, she picked up a camera and thought to herself, "I could keep doing this".
Ya Ting has a diploma in Film, Sound, Video and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. In 2012, she was awarded the Emerging Photographer Scholarship in the Santa Fe Photography Workshops and came in third in the Kwek Leng Joo Excellence in Still Photography Award. Her works have been shown in major art exhibitions and galleries in Singapore, London and China and in numerous private collections. Thus far, Ya Ting has amassed 10 years of experience in freelance photography and three years in commercial video production. She is also a collaborator with The Migrant Ecologies Project, an umbrella for art practice-led inquiries into questions of culture and nature in Southeast Asia.