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My interest in animals was nurtured while growing up in my grandmother's kampung in 1980's Singapore -- a very different time and place from today's concrete jungle. As my boyhood ended, I left that life behind, but rediscovered my passion for animals when I worked on The Fish Book. Photographing fish was a real eye-opener. I found each of them to be different, and not just in terms of shape, size and species. My encounter with each was different, and I came to know them as individuals. Some were livelier than others, some were more camera-shy, but all had facial expressions of some form–elated, grumpy, excited or confused. From behind the camera, they seemed to be showing a gamut of emotions. Since the publication of The Fish Book, I've photographed orang-utans in the forests of Sumatra and come face-to-face with snakes in the home of a reptile researcher. The experience made me realize how our perception of animals could be changed simply by getting to know them as individuals.