Singapore lensman dies in his sleep in Nepal

SINGAPORE - For veteran Singapore photographer Bey Hua Heng, Nepal, a country which he had visited at least seven times, was a personal project.

But on Tuesday morning, the professional lensman, who enjoyed an illustrious 35-year career, died in his sleep on his latest expedition to the landlocked Buddhist nation. The 54-year-old devout Buddhist was on a trip to photograph its temples.

He died on the third day of his 10-day trip. It is not known exactly where or how he died, although it is understood that he had suffered from asthma previously. Mr Bey is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. His family has flown to Nepal and will return with his ashes next Thursday.

His love for Nepal started in 1994, and he told The Straits Times after his first trip there: "There's something unique about the pure simplicity and rusticity of that place, and I hope to capture it on camera."

He specialised in salon photography, a genre which focuses on aesthetically pleasing images. He was bestowed the National Arts Council Young Artist Award in 1993. He had also won 17 international photography titles and clinched trophies in more than 200 competitions here and abroad.

Mr Bey was also an active grassroots participant at the Boon Lay Community Centre and was an adviser to its photography club. Friends painted a picture of an active and amiable man who was "never hesitant to contribute to the community".

Safra Photographic Club chairman Victor Chick, 51, who had known Mr Bey for almost 30years, said: "He is one of the most friendly photographers around. He was never stingy in sharing his knowledge."

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