Heider Ismail is a photographer and designer whose work I first noticed after coming across outtakes from his solo photography show – You’re Standing On Our Streets sponsored by Carlsberg and Converse. Along with the ability to land a beer sponsor for a photo show (nice going dood), I think he’s got a great eye for composition and knows how to use his surroundings to full effect. Click on for a Q&A with Heider on his work, school, and the BMX scene in Singapore.
Your name, age, what you do.
My name’s Heider Ismail, 20 and I’m currently pursuing a diploma in communications design whilst in-midst of becoming a professional farmer. (nah kidding about the last part haha.)
Why the decision to study communications design?
My dad got me into it when I was around 10. I used to help him with installations and stuff like that. This kinda got me ready for the hard work involved in this field but yeah Im still enjoying it and going somewhere too!
Lasalle is a pretty new school, how do you find it there?
Heaps fun! Ain’t ghetto like the secondary school I was from. haha. We’ve got people from around the world and Phunk studios, a pretty dialed design company is based in our school too! Also, the school’s a big black post-modern box that sits right in the middle of Singapore. The school’s downright amazing for sure. Our school’s the only that has a cafe/bar that sells beer!
Your post-processing and lighting skills are on-point. Where did you pick them up?
I didn’t really read up much on photography just did alot of trial and error. My dad’s had a bowens gemini kit and I pretty much played around with it.
Singapore has had one park for the longest time – a prefab in the middle of the city. But now that the island has gotten a proper concrete park, how do you think its changed the riding scene in Singapore?
It’s getting intense over here. The competition vibe is building up but all’s good. Everyone’s really progressing fast these days for example a good friend of mine, Marcus, he’s only 17 and he’s making a name out of himself! Marcus Tay FTW!
The BMX scene in Singapore is very tight-knit and I’ve been stoked on the arts and culture side of it that has followed as a result. Why do you think it’s grown to such a healthy state?
I guess Singapore’s way too small thus everyone needs one another. haha.
Singapore has great street spots but is humid and densely populated, so most riders there prefer to ride at night than in the day. Has this affected the way you shoot riding photos?
Yeah, to a certain extent. Everyone usually comes out after 7 to ride. I still prefer day shots though. I can’t dude street shots in the day cause there’s way too many people around and nosy people will start taking pictures of us and they’ll post it on this annoying website called STOMP.
Who are your artistic influences?
My Dad, he used to be a sculpture artist when he was younger. Amy Stein. N.A.M collective from Japan. Burning Celluloid, local skate photography crew. David Lang hahahah sick photography la dude and yes Chris Hill Scott! My design works are pretty much based on Swiss and Japanese graphic design. Kenya Hara,the owner of Muji was in my school a couple of days back for talk!
What is Backyard Clothing and do you have any plans to get that on the road soon? Will you ship worldwide?
Backyard Clothing was created by my friend Blue Eyes. He got it all started up for the fun of it and I joined the bandwagon abit later. We dont really have a concept. Its our backyard. We do whatever we want. haha. We’ll no plans on hitting the road at this point of time due to most of us having other commitments like school and work. Well, hopefully we’ll might be able to ship worldwide cause our works are all DIY.
You enjoy traveling. What countries have you visited recently and which would you recommend others to go to?
Thailand man. Amazing place. I’ll recommend people to visit Singapore actually. There’s more than what meets the eye. Alot of people have said that theyve seen every nook and cranny of this little island but there are tons of islands around Singapore. VISIT TEKONG – NATIONAL SERVICE GALORE. hahah. I’m also in the midst of making a visual collective with two of my friends. It’s still in its foundation right now.
What do you plan to do after you graduate?
NATIONAL SERVICE. well I plan to pursue my BA in Graphic design and also Sociology. Travel,travel and travel. I have plans to visit Montreal,San Fran and London!
Where can we see more of your work?
I don’t really have a proper site running right now. But yeah you can visit my blog for updates! heypowerpopstar
“Just Whack Only” – local singlish quote for “Give all you can”.
For more heypowerpopstar, be sure to follow Heider on twitter!