RIP David Cheung

Image by Drew Wong

For many underwater image-makers, traveling to and from many Asian destinations involves transiting through or via Singapore. This is often an opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city and until yesterday, for many of us, it was also an opportunity to catch up with David Cheung.

David aka Cheungy, owned Scubacam, a stuffed-to-the-gunwales emporium of underwater imaging equipment. An inveterate tinkerer, inventor and engineer, if David didn’t have what you needed in stock, he could almost always figure out a way of making one. David frequently took stock products and refined them, sometimes with unpredicted results!

He loved to embrace new ideas and technology. The electric skateboard “incident” put him on crutches for a while.

His first experience of flying a drone resulted in some very bemused Singaporeans watching Tony Wu, David, and myself throw sticks at the drone that had “landed” in a tree. A later amphibious version seems to fly perfectly…sideways! It scattered Singaporean residents as they enjoyed their Sunday perambulations during his tests.

By contrast perhaps, David also designed, built, and modified cinema housings that were used by production companies on major productions, and supplied, serviced, and maintained camera equipment used by some of the world’s best-known underwater image-makers.

I was fortunate enough to spend quite a lot of time with David over the years and discovered fairly quickly that when we met up, I had to employ time management devices. An innocuous imaging-related question could result in hours of discussion and debate. David loved to chat and debate ideas and projects and was incredibly generous in sharing his time and knowledge with those around him. He helped vast numbers of image-makers from all over the world to achieve their goals over the years, by providing an amazing sounding board and inspiration for ideas.

For many years, David and Drew Wong hosted the Wetpixel/ADEX party. David was notorious for finding a secluded corner, away from the limelight, and getting involved in meaty discussions. The flavor of these seemed to vary (decline?) according to alcohol intake.

David has sadly passed away after a battle with cancer. Trips via Singapore and to the ADEX Show will no longer be as much fun. Our thoughts go out to his family and to the huge community of his friends around the globe. For those in Singapore, there is a wake being held this Sunday (20 March) until 1.30 pm. Please feel free to add memories and thoughts about David to this thread, which perhaps fittingly reminds of us his infamous skateboarding career too!

He will remain in our thoughts and memories forever. Rest in peace. Hamba Kahle.