The Salvation Army and imaginem Collaborate on Making the Invisible, Visible

Company: Make it Simple
Jukka Mannio, Creative Director | Jarkko Tuuri, Creative Director | Pia Eiro, Account Director | Anton Sucksdorff, Photographer | Kirsi Pärni, Producer 

The Salvation Army and photography social startup imaginem have joined hands for a brand new campaign. Titled ‘Making the Invisible, Visible’, the campaign zooms in on hidden poverty by highlighting the struggles of the poor in Singapore through the medium of black and white photography.

Ms Nichol Ng, Co-Founder of The Food Bank Singapore. Photo Credit: Aik Beng Chia & imaginem

The photographs will include portraits of well-known personalities taken at the homes or frequented locations of The Salvation Army’s beneficiaries, each one inspired by true stories of needy beneficiaries. All photographs are taken by renowned photographer Mr Aik Beng Chia (‘ABC’), the official photographer for the ‘Making the Invisible, Visible’ campaign, best known for capturing vivid and gritty images of moments and people. Through this campaign, The Salvation Army Singapore hopes to raise awareness and S$150,000 to transform the lives of their beneficiaries through their social programmes and services.

Says Major Hary Haran, Territorial Secretary for Personnel, The Salvation Army Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar Territory: “The Salvation Army participated in this project proposed by imaginem with the belief that the campaigns’ thought-provoking visuals will help to shed light on the plight of the unseen in the community. These black and white photographs evoke empathy and bring a new level of social awareness of the hardships faced by the less fortunate in Singapore society. Through our programmes and services, we want to continue making a positive impact on the lives of our beneficiaries.”

Mr Louis Ng, Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC, Founder of ACRES. Photo Credit: Aik Beng Chia & imaginem

The project was initially inspired by a similar campaign done by The Salvation Army Finland, which featured famous individuals such as Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka and former Finnish president Tarja Halonen posing as homeless people. Vesterbecka himself was present as part of the launch, and explains: “When I learned that JiaQuan had a similar interest in black and white photography, I shared with him an exciting photography project that I participated in previously by The Salvation Army in Finland. Since then, I was very happy to learn that imaginem and The Salvation Army Singapore took the initiative to start a conversation about poverty in Singapore through the ‘Making the Invisible, Visible’ campaign, raising greater awareness about those who have less than us.”

Some of the personalities featured in these photos include MP and ACRES Founder Mr Louis Ng, Food Bank Singapore Co-Founder Ms Nichol Ng, actress Ms Cynthia Lee MacQuarrie, and World Toilet Organisation founder Mr Jack Sim. With their portraits taken at the beneficiaries’ homes and places they frequent, each personality hopes to use this campaign as a platform to raise social awareness of the hardships faced by society’s invisible individuals, and show the public the true living conditions of the less fortunate in our society.

Photo credit: imaginem and Aik Beng Chia

Says imaginem co-founder Lu JiaQuan: “imaginem was founded with the goal of challenging society to think deeper about social issues. Through the medium of black and white photography, compelling stories about the lives of others can be shared with many. imaginem is proud to have partnered The Salvation Army Singapore in this groundbreaking campaign. Together with the generous support of well-known Singaporean personalities who have lent their support to this campaign, we can make the stories of the invisible in our society known.”

The public can make their donations to the ‘Making the Invisible, Visible’ campaign via their page

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