On 10 May 2022, His Excellency Mr Marc Abensour, Ambassador of France to Singapore, conferred the title of « Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres » on Mrs Gwen Lee, Director of the DECK and Director of the Singapore International Photography Festival.
In his speech during the ceremony, HE Mr Marc Abensour said: “By inviting French photographers to participate in several editions of the Singapore International Photography Festival, Mrs Gwen Lee participated in the international or translocal effort to have cultures dialogue, and to help the audience visualise topics important to our times”.
Graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Mrs Gwen Lee started her professional career in the arts with the National Heritage Board of Singapore as an assistant curator. After six years of experience in the museum industry, she went on to pursue your first love, photography, as the co-founder of the 2902 Gallery and the Singapore International Photography Festival in 2008. In 2013, achieving institutional recognition, the festival received grants from the National Arts Council to further develop public photography education in Singapore.
In 2014, she helmed the creation of DECK, an art space that would become central to the Singaporean and Southeast Asian photography scene.
In 2020, for the 7th Singapore International Photography Festival and in partnership with the vOilah! France Singapore Festival, Mrs Gwen Lee invited the “Inside Out” project by JR. Taking portraits of Singaporeans and displaying them printed on the city facades, the project helped create a vivid picture of the diversity of the Singaporean society today.
Mrs Gwen Lee has curated and organised over 60 photography exhibitions both in Singapore and overseas. She have served as a jury member and portfolio reviewer on various platforms including one of the most famous international photography festivals, Les Rencontres d’Arles. She has been playing a meaningful role to promote Singaporean photographers internationally such as, in 2021, at the seventh edition of the Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival which is an annual collaborative photography festival between France and China.