I am sorry to all my followers for not having been blogging here. But most of all, I think I owe myself the greatest apology for such inconsistence and for giving up.
A lot has been happening in my life especially inside of me that made me become reclusive. But overall, I think it's for the better.
When I look back at my blog posts in the past years since I started blogging, it's like looking at my diary. I am reminded of the feelings, the experiences and even to the details of my five senses of each different photos I posted, what I was going through at that time, and how I thought and felt. This is a good reminder that a visual diary can be more powerful than a written one sometimes.
Overall, I think I matured (not that I am willing to give up the child in me). I matured in knowing that the greatest regret one could possibly have at the time of death could be NOT HAVING BEEN TRUE TO ONESELF all those years. If I have to put up a pretense all my life, I think it's better to be dead.
I've always believed that our photographs that we take represent us. We are all attracted to capture what interests and draws us. And often, that which draws us are things that are closest to our hearts, things that are deep within us, things that we long for, things that we are angry at, things that we are still struggling to overcome, things that we miss.
But the unfortunate(or fortunate) thing in this world is most people don't look at a photograph long enough to understand it, or interpret it. It's at the same time fortunate because we can still have our little secrets hidden in our photographs that only we ourselves know what it's all about.
That keeps us shooting, even with the lack of appreciative audience, the lack of understanding from others.
After all, we have to ask ourselves. Do we shoot for others or do we shoot for ourselves? If it's my personal visual diary, I don't shoot for anyone else but myself.
If you are still reading till here, you probably understand at least half of what I have said. If you aren't, you belong to the common crowd out there who's probably more interested in other stuff in life.
So, photography should go beyond what's right and wrong (as long as you are technically competent in achieving what you want). Photography is NOT about shooting to please others (of course you can't do that to your clients).
If no one ever put a "like" on your photos, will you still continue to shoot and share?
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Thursday, May 09, 2013
It's not about politics. It's about standing up for what is right. It's about values we want to pass down to our next generation. It's about honesty, integrity, accountability, fairness and justice. Today as a Singaporean residing in Malaysia for the last 10 years, I witnessed Malaysians' unity. We (I am a Malaysia resident who pays tax to the government too) gather and unite for the same cause, which is standing up for what is right!
Malaysians have lived with corruption all these years, and at many times corruption offering as an "avenue of convenience" to escape being "punished" by the law when they break it. But now, it seems that Malaysians finally had enough of what the government has to offer. Many values have been integrated into the society for years, like "paying unofficial taxes" in businesses and etc.
Just a brief outline of what living in Malaysia is all about:
Like many who opt for private schools (many ministers did the same for their children), I send my son who is a Malaysian to a private home school schooling program instead of a government school. Why? The Malaysians will know the reason.
I have worked with NGOs and witnessed the Orang Asli people (original native people of Malaysia) being marginalized as well as injustice in many other areas. Having lived here for 10 years now, I have personally experienced my images being stolen and used for commercial purposes, my name being defamed by an unreasonable client whom I refused to refund the deposit for a last minute cancellation of job. I have also witnessed good friends who worked hard for a so-called established and award-winning wedding photographer but never get paid till today, amounting up to more than RM30K. All these people never get punished. That was when I started to think, is there a different culture in this country I must learn to accept and live with? (Coming from a law-abiding country like Singapore, you should know what I mean)
At the same time, I am also very proud of fellow Malaysian friends who don't throw their rubbish everywhere, pick up a tissue if they drop one, keep all their rubbish in their car instead of unwinding their car windows and dump them out there. They don't spit on the floor, they don't usually beat red lights unless "necessary" :p, they don't bribe the police when the police stop them and hint for "coffee money"... They are the same good friends who "counsel" me when I keep biting on some issues like I have been mistreated by someone somewhere, suffering injustice. They are the same friends who buy me coffee and food when I don't have money, "poisoned" me with more cameras and bicycles for hobby.
I have never felt so much warmth and sincerity when I was in Singapore. Maybe I was just unlucky, or maybe most Singaporeans are just too stressed up to be warm and sincere. It is in Malaysia where people really mean it when they call you up for teh tarik/yum cha (tea time). In my ex-job as a Singapore Airlines flight steward, it was the contrary. The common sentence you would hear after each flight was "Thanks for the flight! Keep in touch ya?" But it never happened. Till now, I still miss some of my ex-colleagues (if you read it, send me a message), but it somehow just isn't the culture in Singapore to "keep-in-touch". I am guilty of it too.
It hasn't been easy living in Malaysia for the past 10 years, but it's my Malaysian friends who have helped me most in adapting here. They include different races, so it's not just Chinese. Najib made the most irresponsible statement calling the recent election results "Chinese Tsunami". It's far from what I saw tonight.
I have not written my thoughts and feelings for a long long time. But this time, I must thank my Malaysian friends for showing me what's unity and a sense of belonging to a country means. May justice prevails in Malaysia!