Visitors coming to a show at KLPac, not everyone was there for our photos.
We took down ‘EXITS’ our one month long exhibition at KLPac, 13 Sept, Sunday night. It was four weeks of being in attendance at the display at weekends. We met and talked to many visitors and friends. Not everyone who walked pass our show was into seeing or contemplating a difficult subject – life and death.
What was most rewarding was to have a partner Peter Tan and his wife Wuan to join in with me to commemorate our mothers exits. Peter and Wuan didn’t quite know what they were into at first, putting up an exhibition of photographs of grief, but they both warmed up and finally we all enjoyed the experience.
Our mothers, where ever they might be, would have been proud of us (or may be not) we’ll never know. But on our part, arranging and selecting the pictures of our mothers, and sharing it to a larger public was like opening the doors of our intimate self to others. Photography was the path. Love was the key.
How these pictures were received or read was also a vary individual matter too. Many wrote in our visitors book that they were moved and shared our openness and regard of our mothers.
Thanks to Numpueng, Seenum for their support (being dragged there by me)
Some visitors at the exhibition
Wuan and Peter Tan talking to some visitors
Me, Raymond, Lee (from Applied Imaging that supported this project) and Tuan
Stephano signing in the visitor’s book, Peter Crook chatting with Peter Tan
This join exhbition with Peter Tan & Wuan is a revisiting of the momories of our mother’s death and our grief. But it is not only that, to some visitors this show acts as a reminder to them that death is a mystery and it can happen to anyone at anytime. Some said that after looking at our presentation, they hope that their own children will one day do something like what we have done for our mother, for them when they are gone. There are a few who happened to be there, at the KLPac, but haven’t come to see our project and they would not look at the pictures at all and walk straight pass. Of course many are surprised by what we are showing. We hope this display will open minds to an eternal truth about our human condition – death. How shall we prepare for it?
The exhibition at the KLPac
Peter and Wuan with their presentations
Me with some of my photographs
Our group photograhpic exhibition is now on at the KLPac and thanks to KLPac the show has been extended from 17 August to 13 September. With this extension, it will also co inside with Shakespeare’s play Hamlet ,which also explores the ideas of death, at the KLPac directed by Chris Ling.
We simply wanted to share our private photographs of our grief with a public and hope that this encounter might initiate important dialogue about life and death, and explore the relation between the two. We know this sort of private experiences of lost are seldom seen in the open, like what we are doing with our pictures, but we hope this show will open up often closed doors of our sorrows.
Peter Tan had his story in his blog.
The Sin Chew and the Star newspapers had also helped with the publicity of our exhibition. Thanks to the editors and staff.
Peter Tan with his mother.
Relatives and friends at Peter Tan’s mother funeral.
Peter Tan and his wife Wuan and I will be having a exhibition of photos from 17 to 30 August 2009 at the KLPac.
My pictures of my mother going into hospital and then she ‘disappeared’ there.
What is death? This is a question that confronts everyone as it is at the heart of humanity. There are those who believe that after death, there is nothing, and there are those who believe it is the exit to another life. But the real answer is finally unknowable – for no one has been there and come back to tell us what it is.
What may survive after death are memories, some of which are concretized in photographs. Photography has a tremendous power to preserve private memories and perpetuate the ‘life’ of a departed one. They record moments and emotions that can be revisited by the person looking at them.
At wherever your soul may be there will be people who will remember you and your family and love ones. There will always be those who will remember your work (though cut short by you sudden unexplained death) and will continue where you have left off.
You will always be one of the many true sons (past, present & future) of Malaysia.