Scattered throughout the Sulu Archipelago of the Philippines and Borneo live the Bajau people, also known as 'Orang Laut' or Sea People. As one of the last surviving sea nomads, the Bajau make a living through fishing, trading woven mats, shells and pearls. Known for being highly skilled free divers, they deliberately rupture their eardrums from a young age to cope with the pressure and not surprisingly, many of the older Bajau are hard of hearing. They live in temporary stilt houses with no running water or electricity. Without nationality or recognition from their neighbouring countries, these sea gypsies also happen to be living in one of the world's most dangerous waters, where pirates and insurgents frequently attack.
“It's hard to ignore the harsh living conditions, but yet I was struck by how they were surrounded by the most beautiful island paradise,” says Lin Gun. Captured with compassion and driven by their dignity, these portraits of the Bajau are striking yet personal, imposing yet inviting. The larger than life prints fill the walls of That Spare Room, confronting the viewer with the immediacy of being right there with them.
About The Photographer:
Sung Lin Gun is a Taiwan-born Singapore based photograher. He graduated from University of Washington with a BFA in Photography. He divides his time between Beijing and Singapore as a film producer and continues to find opportunities to go on photography pilgrimages in search of great stories. He has shot commercially for brands like Miele and DBS, and he has taken portraits of many local celebrities. He is excited to be named as one of Fujifilm X-Photographers and looks forward to pushing the boundaries with his craft. This is his first solo exhibition.