Philip Little (photo by Shanlung)

The ad industry and the photographic world lost a penetrating eye on Monday 1st October. Philip Little had piercing, twinkly blue eyes but they closed forever on that day when he died from injuries sustained a few days earlier during a motorcycle accident in Malaysia where he had been living for the past few years — a long way from England’s West Country where he grew up.

He was one of the leading photographers in Singapore in the 1970’s and worked on advertising campaigns for SIA and the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board (as it was titled then). Philip immersed himself in the Asian culture and took many photographs for his own pleasure depicting disappearing scenes in Singapore. Some of these appeared in a book which was published some years ago called ‘Singapore through the Back Door’. His parties, attracting his friends from the advertising and publishing worlds, were always anticipated with pleasure. However, with a new generation of creative people entering the ad industry, Philip slowly withdrew from the advertising scene and spent time on a kelong in Indonesia and a farm in Malaysia, still carrying his trusty camera.

Usually dressed in baggy khaki shorts and sporting a beard, longish hair and a sea tan, Philip epitomised the eccentric Englishman. He was often seen riding around on his ancient motorcycle that was never cleaned but continued to faithfully transport him to his favourite makan stalls or to the beach which he loved.

He will be missed by his many friends in Singapore and those now scattered around the world.

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