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article imageDying days: ailing photographer documents fellow patients

By AFP     Sep 20, 2017 in World

Looking frail in a wheelchair and breathing with the aid of an oxygen tank, photographer Alan Lee grasps the camera that he used to take pictures of his fellow patients at a Singapore hospice.

The 69-year-old former photojournalist suffers from lung disease and knows he is going to die -- but that has not stopped him pursuing his passion for photography.

He took black and white pictures of other patients at the Assisi Hospice happily involved in various activities, and put 19 of them on display in an exhibition.

This photograph taken on September 19  2017 shows a volunteer pushing 69-year-old former photojourna...
This photograph taken on September 19, 2017 shows a volunteer pushing 69-year-old former photojournalist Alan Lee in a wheelchair at Singapore's Assisi Hospice
ROSLAN RAHMAN, AFP

Lee said he wanted to send a message that there is no reason to give up on life even in your dying days.

"I didn't come here to die. I still want to take pictures, there is no reason for me to stop taking pictures," said Lee, dressed in a hospital gown, speaking softly and haltingly.

"People come with the mindset that when you go to a hospice, you're going to die. And I wanted to change that. The only way I can do it is through my pictures," he said.

Looking frail in a wheelchair and breathing with the aid of an oxygen tank  photographer Alan Lee gr...
Looking frail in a wheelchair and breathing with the aid of an oxygen tank, photographer Alan Lee grasps the camera that he used to take pictures of his fellow patients at a Singapore hospice
ROSLAN RAHMAN, AFP

Lee used to work for magazines in the city-state and in his younger days covered major news events in Southeast Asia.

He is facing the inevitable with calm.

"There's no point being afraid... If you're afraid to die, you're a sad man," said the divorced father of two sons.

He added that he hoped people would remember him as "a crazy old man".

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