SINGAPORE - As we walk around the Agnes B. Snap Cardigan exhibition, Singapore photographer Leslie Kee points out one favourite photo after another. "There are a lot of great photographs here and I just think that they should really make this exhibition into a photobook," he says.
The Tokyo-based photographer flew down to Singapore specially for the Agnes B exhibition; Kee's photo is one of the most recent works at the exhibition. Hong Kong actress Karena Lam too, graced the event, in support of her photo for Agnes B.
Happening from now to September 14, 2013, at the main atrium of Paragon Shopping Centre, the exhibition showcases 71 photographs of the classic Agnes B. cardigan, as interpreted by artists and photographers since the exhibition's inception in 1986.
Before the Agnes B commission, Kee says that he "was already working on a new book with Benjamin Godfre", the Los Angeles model-photographer and porn star who is his photo subject for the Agnes B photo.
Kee wanted to feature a social media celebrity; someone who became a star thanks to the internet. To him, "someone like Benjamin Godfre is a 'new species', an icon."
"I flew Benjamin over from Los Angeles to Tokyo for the photoshoot," Kee shares. "But before that, we went to Kyoto to shoot with actress Rinko Kikuchi and we became very good friends. So instead of an icon that I wanted to photograph, he became a friend that I'm photographing."
When probed about his favourite photo at the exhibition, Kee asks if we could take a quick walk to view them; he has yet to see them all. He singles out a black and white portrait by Jeanloup Sieff. Kee loves the endearing photo of Sieff's children: "wow, see how they're sharing a cardigan? It's beautiful, huh. I love photos of children."
Along the way, we also stop for a look at director Royston Tan's photo, the only other work by a Singapore artist at this exhibition.
Kee notices the striking stylistic similarities in their photos. "It's such a coincidence," he exclaims. "And he's featuring a guy with a tattoo too." Tan is currently away for a work assignment in Shanghai. "It's a great pity" not to have met him, says Kee wistfully.