I have been invited by Lumenvisum at Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC), HK to exhibit my earlier work, “Chinese Muslims in Indonesia” (2007-2009). The show runs from 19 August to 23 September 2012.
For this exhibition, it is my honour to have HK photo historian Dr. Edwin Lai write a brief introduction to my work.
Photographs of the setup and exhibition:
Chinese Muslims in Indonesia (2007–2009)
Today, there are some 238 million people in Indonesia. The Chinese make up less than 1.2 percent and around 5.4 percent of them are Muslims. Clearly, Chinese Muslims are a minority within the minority. However, they have been living in the Nusantara for over 600 years old. Their histories, either deliberately or otherwise, have been forgotten for various reasons. Since the fall of Suharto in 1998, democracy has returned to Indonesia and the Chinese communities, including the Chinese Muslims, have been revitalized.
In order to approach the subject matter in a more systematic way, I have divided the work into three parts. In the first section, I have photographed the lives of the first and second-generation Chinese converts, so as to understand their motivations for conversion, and the way people around them have reacted to their decision. The second part features photographs of mosques, kramat (Islamic holy tombs) and villages related to the histories of the Chinese Muslims in Indonesia. The final section focuses on pribumi or “indigenous” Muslims who are willing to talk about their Chinese ancestry, thereby illustrating the long history of assimilation between the Chinese and the “local” peoples of the Nusantara.