It’s not often that viral fame comes knocking on the door of a 51-year-old. But for Chuando, that was exactly what happened. In July, 2017, websites from China, Australia to America have wondered how a 51-year-old could have a face so well-preserved and a body so chiselled, Chuando was unexpectedly propelled into the world’s attention for being a real-life curious case of Benjamin Button, he has managed to defy the universal law that one’s looks must fade with time. Overnight, followers around the globe throng his Instagram account to marvel at his photos, his striking physique and youthful mien. The result of, he says, “eating right and living right”. Naturally, acting is the next step for Chuando, who is also starring in an upcoming film.
Born into an artistic family, Chuando grew up observing his father, the well-respected Singaporean artist and calligrapher Tan Tee Chie, paint his works. It was from being immersed in this creative environment that he eventually went into fashion photography, and enrolled in the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts to study photography and graphic design.
But he first started his illustrious 36-year career in front of the camera, having been scouted to be a model when he was 15. in 1990, Italian fashion house Verri Uomo brought him to Milan as their house model, and he went on to storm the runways of Europe and New York. He also became a Mandarin pop star and released an album in 1993, and an EP in 1994.
He later successfully switched to the other side of the lens to become an international fashion photographer, where he built a name for himself as one of the world’s top lensmen.
In 2006, Chuando started to collaborate with Frey Ow as a photographic team, together they share credits for their work, known as “Chuando and Frey”. The duo has shot for numerous campaigns for major fashion and jewellery houses including Chanel, Bvlgari and Louis Vuitton.
After they shot pop diva Janet Jackson for a Harper’s Bazaar Singapore cover, the charmed Janet requested for Chuando and Frey to shoot her iconic album cover in New York for her 10th studio release ‘Discipline’. The duo photographed homegrown Olympic gold medallist Joseph Schooling’s first fashion campaign with Hugo Boss, and a cadre of international stars including Shu Qi, Angelababy, Cecilia Cheung, Eddie Peng and Rita Ora.
Chuando is also an accomplished video director, having worked with Tom Ford and Vogue China to direct ad campaigns, among other clients.