The 2013 workshops ran from the 3rd – 7th of December 2013 under the tutelage of world renowned photographer, James Whitlow Delano. The participating photographers from Australia, Singapore and across Malaysia produced seven stories with a strong cultural, social and economic themes. The work you see here is an edit of 12 images each that paint a broad portrait of Klang.
A book publication with this work will be out in February 2013. Please join us on our Facebook page for updates on the book and the next masterclass.
James Whitlow Delano
A Bakuteh story – Kim Boon
A Bakuteh Story The Seng Huat Bakuteh Story (From Dawn to Dusk) This story is about John Lee’s Bakuteh Restaurant, a 71 years old business which was passed on from his grandfather to his father and eventually to him from his parents.
The restaurant is situated at Jalan Raya Timur which actually is on the same row with KTM Station. Known locally as “the restaurant under the bridge”, to be exact ‘Jambatan Tengku Musaddin’ bridge, which is also the logo that is being used by John for his Restaurant. The story also depict the behind the scenes, of all the works before most of us wakes up that is being done, such as preparation of the soup, the ingredients, getting the shop clean and ready for business.
It also captured some moments of John having his break – enjoying his pot of Green Tea and also some special moments spent with his clients.
Another important aspect in this story is about John’s delegation of work to his able staff as well as his effort to impart most of his skills and knowhow to one of his most reliable assistant, or rather ‘right hand man’. At the end of the day, there are still lots of work to be done, with his team of dedicated staff working tirelessly yet carefree and happy with cleaning up the shop, the floors, the utensils, not to mention all the preparation for the next day’s business again.
This series encompasses all the activities that happened all in another typical day for the owner John, his wife and his team of dedicated workers.
Its truly alife story from dawn to dusk.
Emporium Makan – Irvin Tan
When familiar faces and places come to pass, nostalgia often follows. The pursuit to encapsulate our heritage, our memories, all seems such a feeble attempt at delaying impermanence. Nonetheless, why should we not be allowed to indulge? Welcome to the Emporium Makan, where the memories of the previous generations soldier on defiantly.
The Afterlife Architect – Irene Yap Hui Sun
Human feelings of love and compassion is unconditional even for the deceased in the afterlife. The need to provide stuff for their loves one in the afterlife is one of a way to show love. These architects build for the people in the afterlife. It’s an almost dying profession as our local younger generation isn’t interested and dealing with the dead is considered a taboo.
Tukang Parang – Azri Zainul
The last traditional Parang maker of Kuala Selangor. Uncle Chan or Api started working at his Parang workshop since his youth. He inherited the business and craftsmanship from his late father. Uncle Chan is 75 years old now and none of his son would like to continue the trade.
Tanda Mati… – Hanif Maidin
Uncle Kua, 58 years old works with granite stone all his life. He start working when he was a school boy helping out his family business. It a hard work. Works involve cutting stone block form big rock and chisel it off to turn it into products. He produce various product such as mortar and pestler; lesong and the most sought after product muslim gravestone.
Muslim gravestone have a different shape for both man and women. Man shape are more rounder while for female shape are more flatter.
Malaysian muslim use two gravestone, It took him 4 to 5 days to complete a pair of this gravestone complete with jawi inscription.
He never get a formal education in jawi inscription, learn it from his customer mostly. The main problem with jawi is nowday is the writing are more to sound base rather than proper name in the Quran, comment uncle Kua. He said he have less trouble if the customer left jawi part to him to work with. There is time customer confuse which inscription to follow, uncle Kua ways to resolve this is to have both jawi and roman inscription together. He notice that Malay has stop using jawi inscription science 1970’s cause this problem.
Uncle Kua proud of his hand craft as it last for years. He refuse to accept other modern type of tomb stone as it won’t last. There even ‘made in china’ tomb stone in our market. Granite stone are the only suitable type of stone that can stand not only our weather but also suitable for all type of ground. Salty land (near the sea) will easily errode and break metal base for concrete and cement tomb stone explain uncle Kua. Lime stone can’t stand our weather. This has been proven to be true as visit to near by grave yard, i found almost all granite tomb stone still standing. Form the graving and design style, i can tell it all come from uncle Kua and his forefather.
Currently uncle Kua the last person in this line of business. With no apprentice in line, this business see no future and will be close after Uncle Kua time has pass. The end of 5 generations business are near.
Sara O’Brien Callow – This Too Shall Pass
Impermanency is a concept that is evident throughout our lives whether we are consciously aware of it or not. This project reveals the photographer’s own increasing awareness of, and navigation through, the transient nature of life as a result of her friend’s recent suicide. This Too Shall Pass is an exploration and expression of the complex and ever-changing cycle of emotions that Sara has experienced following the death of her friend. It represents the feelings that are constantly transforming, evolving and reforming within her and revealing the ultimate lesson from this life experience; that nothing is permanent in this world.
Street Sisters – KG Krishnan
Street Sisters attempts to look into the lives of a group of transgender sex workers in the city of Klang. The stories these womyn share are real and, at times, also those of ours; of love and family, ambition and personal identity.