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Ongoing Form & Emptiness

August 31st, 2008

Ayutthaya 11, Victor Chin, 2008

Lee HL talking to a group at Kimi Gallery Cafe

Lucien de Guise’s review of the exhibition

The exhibition Form & Emptiness by Eric Peris and I will continue at Kimi Gallery Cafe, 80 Jln. Burhanuddin Helmi, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, tel 77225585, till middle of September. After that we have been invited to to give a talk about our photographs at the Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival 2008 in October, at Times Square. Later, the pictures will be shown at a Buddhist temple in Brickflelds in November.

Last Saturday, 23, we had a small gathering at Kimi to talk about some technical matters regarding printing digital black and white prints. Mr Lee HL from Applied Imaging gave a vary detailed and interesting talk about his company’s commitment to provide the most up to date and professional services available to photographers by his establishment. Thanks to Lee.

The photographs have been on show for a month now and we had a few write-ups in the local press and we like to share the one writen by Lucien de Guise from the New Sunday Times. His piece appeared on the Sunday 10 August. Eric and I thought that Lucien wrote knowledgeably about our photos and give us a view of his well-informed opinion. Thanks to Lucien.

Photographs has many uses, as we all know, and that is why it is growing in popularity world wide. Of course there is also talk that photographs are not trust worthy documents as sometime it may be made to suit a particular propaganda for its own purposes. Furthermore with digital capabilities today it can cut and past and manipulate images without limits.

But in our views photographs can show us how we have been in the past and perhaps inform us how best to we can use the insights from our history to live for the present.

Views at Beautiful Gate

August 19th, 2008

Philip Chong giving a hand to one of the disable participants

Eric Wong explaining the functions of the camera

Wilfred Tan giving some finer points about using the camera

A photographic workshop at Beautiful Gate

Last Saturday, 16 August, I invited Philip Chong to help me conduct a half day basic photographic workshop for 15 members of wheelchair user organisation, Beautiful Gate, in Petaling Jaya. Philip in turn invited three of his photographer friends (Eric Wong, Wilfred Tan, Mike) to join us.

Beautiful Gate is organising a national photographic competition and this event is open to everyone including a section for the disabled photographers. Those interested please click here for more information about the organisation and the competition.

Our aim was to provide some basic knowledge of the camera, to this disabled group, to enable them to take part in the photographic contest. Not everyone at the workshop has a camera but most of them has a hand phone with a camera and so we worked with whatever they brought along.

Within a few hours we showed them some sample pictures by the guest photographers, we got each of them to take some views of the compound at the Beautiful Gate, we went over some of their shots and make some remarks about how to improve their skills.

Just as there are many things in our daily life which are not disabled friendly, the cameras too  are not designed with the view of the disabled users. But they still make do and get by cheerfully clicking away with their camera at themselves and their environment.

The group photo of all the ASEAN deligates

Nurul at work with her mother Wairah

Seng Kit showing one of his line drawings with his mother Jenny

Art for All 2008 Thailand

This year, there were three ASEAN delegates, from each of the ten member countries in this region, invited to the event. One of the delegate, from each country, is a disabled person who has been chosen to represent their country in the art form they each excelled in.

Malaysia had the two artists at the camp. Tan Seng Kit was supported by his mother Jenny Soh and Nurulakmal was accompanied by her mother Wairah Marzuki. Seng Kit is good with his lines drawings and he makes his lines do intriguing designs on the paper. Nurul is accomplished in lines, shapes and colours and comes up with unexpected artworks occasionally.

Maman Sulaeman is a well known comic artist from Indonesia and he does his artworks from a wheelchair. Jesusa from the Philippines is an artist, singer, wheelchair table tennis player and a lawyer and she does mainly watercolours with great skill. Jushua Tang from Singapore is autistic but can do fantastic imaginative pictures. Pun Denh from Cambodia is a wheelchair dancer and a musician. (Just to name a few.)

The five days at the art camp was a crashed course in human relationship and cooperation through the media of art, music and dance.

The art of freindship

July 24th, 2008

Art for All 2008

The Art for All camp (16 to 20 July) for the disabled children had their annual outing this year at the Arayana Phupiman Resort, about three hours by road, northeast of Bangkok.  Like in the previous 12 camps, since 1997, there were about 150 kids gathered here with mixed disabilities from all over Thailand. There were also more then 300 volunteers and support staff to help run this fun-filled 5 days event.

All the participants are grouped into smaller groups of about 10 and each group is made up of one or two persons who is blind, deaf or with physical, mental disabilities and one who is without any obvious disability. There is an experienced leader assigned to each group and he or she leads them through out the 5 days from morning to night.

The concept of grouping the ten children with mixed disabilities is to get them to understand the art of friendship and the need for interdependence of each other during the camp and also later in life. The blind that cannot see may have the voice, the deaf who cannot hear may have the eyes, those without arms or legs may have the mental capabilities, the rest can all compensate for each other short comings and get along to create music, dance, and many forms and expressions of art.

What is in theory and what happens during their stay together may not always work out as expected, especially given such short time available. Nevertheless, many of the young people are experiencing camp life and the various art activities for the first time in their life in a luxurious scenic outdoor setting. For some this may be their first and last time in the company of some of their disabled mates and their memory and experiences at the camp are all they can take home with them.

Bowled Over

May 9th, 2008

Citi Hadijah, 25, from Johore, is one of the many tenpin bowlers competing for a medal in the 14th Paralympics in Kuala Lumpur (3 to 9 May). She is slow but she can sure swing the bowling ball over the pins. She has a personal style of holding the ball right up to her face, pause in concentration, before launching it.

The oldest bowler, Amaran B Bohri, 61, is from Kampong Paya Mebi, near Kuching, Sarawak. He is a veteran to this sport; he has won 3 gold medals and several other trophies, in individual and team events.

Amaran’s leg and back injuries were caused by an accident in his work place in 1995. That has not stop him from a happy family life and sports. He has six children and 20 grand children. Bowling is his favorite game.

Maizirah, 46, from Perak, is a first time bowler and she only started practicing two weeks before the games. She had just five bowling sessions at the Ipoh Parade Bowling Club before coming to this meet. She is a natural at the game and plays with a great deal of fun and enthusiasm.

She had a motor bike accident two weeks after her wedding and lost her right leg. At home she uses a pair of shoulder crutches to move about but she had to borrow a wheelchair to come to this venue. What she wishes for is a wheelchair so she can improve her mobility at home and at her sporting meets.

Maizirah’s contact no: 017 584 2639, (Please call her if you wish to donate a wheelchair).