A glimpse through the lens of Dr Chua Ee Kiam’s camera into his passion for photography and philanthropy. Read more about the launch of his latest book -
Her Opera, Her Life – Joanna.
1. Throughout your years in NDCS, have there been any needy patients who have left a strong impression on you? Why?
I have a young adult patient who was physically abused until he lost a few anterior teeth. A dental bridge was planned for him although he lacked the financial resources. A fixed prostheses will restore part of his self-esteem but I know he is still reeling from his trauma. The availability of financial resources for such cases is important so that their quality of life is not further compromised.
2. How did you get into photography? What are subjects that interest you, and why?
I am an adventurous person and surrounded by a plethora of things that overwhelms my senses. Photography is a medium that allows me to explore my world and interprets what I see. Back then, I could only afford a camera set after I graduated. Working on analogue films can be quite trying and it was an exacting process. The lack of options and instant gratification made us photographers, at that time an uncommon breed. Wildlife is my main focus and I am constantly reminded how fragile Planet Earth is. I produced some books on the beauty and importance of the flora and fauna. Basically, it was to share what I saw when I trekked deep into the forest, day and night. I am constantly looking for a better way to photograph what I see. I am on the research team looking at stick insects and even have one named after me, the
Neoasceles rayi (after my baptised name, Ray). I am also involved in documenting Chinese Opera which I find, just as fascinating if not more colourful. As it is a dying art, I am even more eager to want to do my part to resurrect it as it is a part of my cultural heritage. Hence,
Flying Sleeves – the Grandeur of Chinese Opera was born. The book won the most accolades (four awards and four finalists’ recognition).
3. What made you decide to be the artistic consultant of the book – Her Opera, Her Life, Joanna?
I have been involved in the writing, photographing and designing my last nine coffee-table books. This latest book,
Her Opera, Her Life – Joanna was most difficult to conceptualise but I was prepared for the challenge. The author, Ms Choo Mui Eng had helped me in a number of my books and Joanna Wong gave unconditional help for my book ‘Flying Sleeves’. So, I guess it is payback time for me for both of them. And
Her Opera, Her Life – Joanna will soon be a reality.
4. What inspired you to support NDCS Tooth Fairy Fund as part of your book launch?
NDCS is practically my second home. I grew up with my classmates and friends whilst working there. I learnt most, working at NDCS and the Centre provided me with many opportunities for my career. When I was approached to contribute to the NDCS Tooth Fairy Fund, it is only natural that I support it as a gesture of my gratitude to the Centre. And this is not the first time that I am involved in the Fund.
Cl A/Prof Chua Ee Kiam is a Senior Consultant at the Prosthodontic Unit, Department of Restorative Dentistry. He has been practising at NDCS for 23 years. As a prosthodontist, he restores missing teeth with implants and bridges and works on fractured and cracked teeth with crowns. When he is not in the dentist room, he loves to explore wildlife and has won many awards for this book and photography works.
You can show your support by making a minimum donation of
$30 towards the
NDCS Tooth Fairy Fund* and receive Her Opera, Her Life – Joanna as a token of appreciation. You can also donate a minimum of
$68 and receive a copy each of Her Opera, Her Life – Joanna and Flying Sleeves: The Grandeur of Chinese Opera as a token of appreciation. All donations will go towards the NDCS Tooth Fairy Fund.
You can also be part of the fundraising community! If you have any ideas on how you can raise funds for Tooth Fairy Fund, please drop us an email at
*NDCS Tooth Fairy Fund is managed by SingHealth Fund (UEN 201624016E), an Institution of Public Character.
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