Form & Emptiness

Sukhothai 1, Eric Peris, 1990, Digital print on photographic paper. 50x40cm.

Ayutthaya 1, Victor chin, 2006, Digital print on photographic paper, 40x50cm.

Photographic exhibition by Eric Peris and Victor Chin

28 July to 10 August, 2008, at Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center (KLPac).

Sunday 3 August, 3pm. Open discussion, with photographers at KLPac,

Please click here to read more.

Eric’s photographs, taken on several trips in the 1990s, take you on a visual trip into the ruined compounds and remains of Thailand’s first major capital, Sukhothai. His pictures captured what is left in decay of the ‘old city’ and gives a glimpse of the many impressive monuments and religious structures in its ‘golden age’ built in the 13 & 14 century. What his photos suggest is perhaps the Buddhist idea of ‘impermanence’ of all forms and things in life.

Victor’s images, taken between 2006 & 8, present fragments and close-ups of the desecrated Buddhist statues found in Ayutthaya’s ancient sites. It was the second capital of Thailand, flourishing from 14 to 18 century and because of its wealth and success, it was constantly attacked by its neighbours. 400 years ago, the invading Burmese soldiers and subsequent looters left the city in ‘emptiness’.

These 25 pictures are not just about personal memories of places visited and preserved as photographs. The art in these photographs are obvious in their compositions, lines, shapes and tonal values. Many may find these images intriguing and with unusual points of view. Hopefully these visuals can now continue to stimulate other photographer’s interest to tell their stories of other places and faces about the human condition – the destructive and survival instinct in ourselves and our fellow beings.

Contact: Eric Peris, , Victor Chin, email:

Sri KDU reaching out to the disabled

In the Face of Disability on display at Sri KDU

The IB Business students and members of the Sri KDU Secondary School’s Reaching Out Club, together with their teacher and advisor, Muhammad Azhar, invited me to exhibit my photographs ‘In the Face of Disability’ and to give a talk at their school in Kota Damansara. The exhibition is from 28 July to 1 August at the school’s foyer. I gave a talk ‘ The Arts and social responsibility’ this morning, to the club members

This is the first time any school has requested to display the collection  to show to thier students, what one  small but often neglected group of our community, does for sports, in the Malaysian Paralympics. This set of pictures ‘bring’ these disabled athletes into the school and the students get to ‘meet’ them, and to know about them, perhaps not in person but in spirit.

One of the remarks I over heard as I was putting up the pictures with the help of some of the students, ‘Look over there did you see that person who can swim without his legs?’. Or ‘Do you see that they can lift weights?’ Hearing just one or two whispers among the young people make all the effort of documenting and touring these images of these athletes worthwhile.

Hopefully this exhibition and the talk will stimulate some of the students to think and look outside their classroom and their school gates.

Thanks to all of you from Sri KDU.

Photography and Disability

Photographs of Art for All

In the last three years, I have been exhibiting my photographs at the art camp. This year I showed 50 black and white pictures which I made the year before, of the camp. These photos are simply hung out on lines along certain passage ways and sometimes they are moved from one location to another within the camp area, for everyone, who care to look at them.

My main aim is to provide the campers and visitors with some personal memories of the previous years events and put on record some of the more memorable moments and faces and happenings. Besides these images also tell a story of the daily life of the five days, showing the joys and pains encountered by some of the disabled artists, musicians, dancers etc.

Of course, from the blind boy’s broad smiling face, painted with a flower by a fellow-camper, it is easy to tell that he is really happy participating and doing things with friends. At some point I wished I could imagine what he sees in his mind and what is his own idea of his own handsome and youthful face? His hearing is perfect and perhaps it would help to just describe his features to him in words rather then in picture. On the other hand, he may already know his face better then anyone can. Not surprising, he can see with the touch of his fingers better then any of us sighted can and also perhaps feel deeper in his darkness then many of us care to.

One of the other reason why me, my wife and son, who is just going to be five, are at the Art for All camp, for the last six years, was to volunteer (with no pay) as resource persons, helping out with the many tasks there.

Disability and ASEAN artists

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

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.