BOOK CRITIQUE #1
Imagine you are completely soaked in salt water. exhausted, having plodded the shore in the wee hours of the morning, nevertheless, exhilarating looking forward to what you could possibly capture through your camera lens nature's stunning beauty.
Truly, it takes ordinary men and women with an extraordinary love for nature to do just that. For five years since 2001, Dr Chua Ee Kiam and his team of enthusiasts have been exploring and archiving the rich marine life along the shoreline of Singapore . Despite personal risks and sacrifices, they have committed themselves to a cause every Singaporean and nature lover should be proud of – studying and documenting the marine ecosystem along the city-state's 193km shoreline – in the hope their work would contribute towards the preservation of inter-tidal life.
Their perseverance, labours and perspiration have paid off. An important piece of work is finally published. Singapore's Splendour – Life on the Edge is a splendid book that inspires and astonishes. The images, gleaned from the numerous visits to the various spots, uncover never-before-seen close ups of marine creatures, flora and fauna. Some which are still being identified. Readers will be thrilled by the dazzling world of low tide expressed by this constellation of unusual habitats so delicately captured, and amazingly, without any underwater gear. The book serves not only as a significant record of Singapore 's rich biodiversity, it will delight the soul and mind of every reader.
A rare and luscious conservation book - a brilliant collection of Singapore 's marine treasure.
Tan Chin Kar, CEO, Armour Publishing (Jan 2007)
BOOK CRITIQUE #2
Saying It All Splendidly
Singapore's Splendour — Life On The Edge does not just describe the wealth of marine biodiversity around Singapore 's shores and reefs, it also speaks of the precarious survival of this precious, and dwindling, natural treasure. Long-time members of the Nature Society will remember its author, dentist Chua Ee Kiam, from his first publication on nature in Singapore titled Ours To Protect in 1993.
Deeply passionate about nature's fragile stance in Singapore , Chua photographically investigates our island republic's marine treasure trove, which lie mainly around the coasts around Singapore 's outlying islands. With his pictures, he takes us on an adventure through fragile and little understood ecosystems, and from common anemones and lowly sea slugs to many rare and little known life forms that inhabit the inter-tidal zone of our shores.
Through his writing, he paints us a picture of our shores past and present, and the urgent need for the conservation of the specialised habitats here. For those inclined to follow his adventures along the shores, he includes a chapter that advises on how to prepare yourself for a visit to the highly vulnerable ecosystems that surround our island and what can be done to protect it.
Five years in the making, Singapore 's Splendour — Life On The Edge is Chua's fourth and last book on Singapore 's remarkable natural diversity, and a worthy addition to any nature lover's bookshelf. The 184-page hardcover book retails for $65 at major bookstores.
Kim Lee, NatureNews (May-Jun 2007)
BOOK CRITIQUE #3
You won't believe just how much nature is there to see, in the surrounding islands of Singapore. Leaf through the pages of Singapore's Splendour and be charmed. Seriously. The colourful, close-up photos of marine flora and fauna are simply beautiful (taken painstakingly without underwater equipment). Some are rare, some are still being identified, and all are found near our sunny island. Yes, take a deep breath and explore the wonders of marine life while you slouch on your couch. This coffee-table book took 5 years to materialize, and is the combined effort of Chua Ee Kiam (a passionate photographer, champion of nature and a dentist) and his dedicated team of filming and film crew. Ee Kiam is donating proceeds from his book to RMBR
Leong Wai Kit, LIFESTYLE (May 2007)
BRINGING NATURE CLOSER TO YOU