Ailing 69-year-old photographer spotlights life in a hospice with portrait exhibition on fellow patients

Photo: Assisi Hospice/Facebook

Assisi Hospice is currently showcasing an exhibition — the first of its kind to be initiated by a patient — by 69-year-old freelance photographer Alan Lee, who wishes to spotlight life in a hospice through his snapshots.

Spending his final days at the Thomson Road hospice, the former Singapore Press Holdings photographer suffers from end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a progressive respiratory disease that causes breathing difficulties, The Straits Times reported. Even conversing with people is exhausting for Lee, who was first diagnosed eight years ago — he requires an oxygen tank to help him breathe and a wheelchair to help him get around.

Lee’s exhibition, titled Come Walk With Me, features 19 black-and-white portraits of fellow patients interacting with caregivers and volunteers or engaged in activities like arts and crafts, mahjong or music. The final selected few were whittled down from 100 photos that Lee took over the course of a month.

Of his work, Lee told The Straits Times that “these are not sad pictures, not sob pictures”.

“They show there’s still a bit of life here and I hope people can see a bit of happiness here,” he added. “I fear the process of dying — that it will be painful and draggy. But there are happy moments here, like seeing old people having a good laugh or birthday celebrations.”

The exhibition will be held at the Assisi Hospice’s activity corner on the first level until the end of August.

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