One photographer visited the back alleys of Singapore to capture 'hidden doors'

Sometimes in the rush of exploring a new city, it’s easy to forget to stop and appreciate the smaller details. Now this photographer is shining a light on the hidden parts of Singapore.

A door in the Chinatown area. Ricky said this photo was the one that drew him into the project.
A door in the Chinatown area. Ricky said this photo was the one that drew him into the Hidden Doors project. Image by Ricky Gui

Ricky Gui started with a project called ‘Illumination’, focusing on street lighting design. His interest soon turned from the ‘front’ of the city to what lies in the hidden alleys. “This part of the street is a place where most people are less likely to venture into. It was only usually myself or, seeing the kitchen workers resting”

Part of the Hidden Doors project.
A door in the Little India area. Image by Ricky Gui

He started to be drawn to the various doors of the alleys, and the possibility of the unique stories behind them. The result is the 'Hidden Doors' collection. “Each door is unique; the variation of colours, type of design, material of the door, the environment around the door, the lines, the combination of a modern Singapore but retaining a certain rustic charm in some doors.”

A door in the Chinatown area.
A door in the Chinatown area. Image by Ricky Gui

Ricky found he was surprised by the huge variety of things to shoot in Singapore. “I read from local forums, and friends commented that Singapore is too small, there is nothing interesting to shoot, is mundane etc. However, I realised this is not true. There are numerous hidden gems sitting quietly around us.”

A door in the Little India area.
A door in the Little India area. Image by Ricky Gui

Ricky is not the only photographer to be fascinated by what lies behind hidden doors. André Vicente Gonçalves has documented doors in England, Portugal, Romania and Spain and turned them into spectacular collages. It follows his previous project documenting the windows of the world.

A door in the Little India area.
A door in the Little India area.

For Ricky, he is busy exploring many places in western Singapore, as well as working on a project documenting the light shows in the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. He doesn’t think he’s finished with back alleys just yet though. “I  would love to go back again to the back alleys in future to document the scenes in other ways. At least there is a goal to reach so I can keep moving forward. I enjoyed these long tedious processes, more feeling put into it will produce a series of interesting results.”

A door in the Changi road area.
A door in the Changi road area. Image by Ricky Gui