Photo Project Workshop at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (5 to 10 Jun 2014)

First of all, I wish to thank Jebat for giving me a reason to visit Sabah. From what I have seen thus far, Sabah is an amazing place. It offers further evidence that Southeast Asia has always been the meeting place of different cultures, long before the advent of the word “globalisation”.

I have been running photo project workshops since 2008. Over the years, I have tweaked the structure of my workshops, incorporating input from previous participants. My relationship with the participants is a collaborative one.

For this edition in Kota Kinabalu, which runs from 5 to 10 June 2014, our home base is Arena Belia. This is where daily discussions with the participants are held. Arena Belia also has dorm beds for those of us who stayed there for the duration of the workshop. The talks are held on the first two days: the private session is at Arena Belia while the public session is at Yayasan Sabah College. For the rest of the days, participants work with me on an individual basis.

Most of the participants use the occasion to photograph the projects that they wish to pursue.

Paik Yin, on the other hand, uses the workshop to edit her ongoing work, examining the spaces where man-made nature converges with man-made urbanity. She also uses the occasion to formulate her forthcoming work. In her case, Paik Yin does not produce anything tangible during the workshop. Rather, she uses this as a process to think through her photographic practice.

Mark Chai, who volunteers in an NGO for the undocumented Suluks in KK, uses the workshop as an opportunity to make family portraits for the kids who come to his classes. As the issue of undocumented peoples is a highly sensitive one in Sabah, his photographs are not uploaded here. In his case, it is better to err on the side of caution.

The remaining projects are featured here.

On the last day of the workshop, an internal critique session is held, so that participants can receive feedback from one another. A short editing session rounds off the critique. The workshop closes with an Open House, which allows participants to share their work with the public. In this way, the Open House requires them to explain and defend their projects. The potluck marks the end of this six-day workshop.

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Kelvin Ah Kian uses the workshop to embark on his long-term work on the shoreline of Labuan. He sees the shoreline as a site to consider the history and evolution of the island. In this workshop, he switches from digital 35mm to the analogue medium-format to explore his approach for this project. This is the result of a sustained discussion with me over how he prefers to work and his temperament as a photographer.

Kelvin Ah Kian shares his experiences of attending this workshop here.

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This is the first time Muhammad Afif embarks on a documentary project. His work is about a newly established Maahad Tahfiz (Islamic boarding school) at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The work is partly inspired by Afif’s childhood memories of studying in an Islamic school. To continue the work, he will need to get closer to the students.

Zhuang Wubin archiveZhuang Wubin archiveZhuang Wubin archiveZhuang Wubin archive*

Abd El-Salam uses the workshop to unearth the history of the Japanese community in Tawau. To photograph something that has become obscured is always challenging. Al-Salam follows the footsteps of heritage lovers in Tawau in order to learn more about the pre-war Japanese community in the southeastern tip of Sabah. The next part of the project will require him to track down the descendents of the community.

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Mohd Shukur Jahar photographs his kids growing up from the vantage of a doting father. The photographs of his home contextualise the story. He uses the workshop to tweak the framework and structure of this ongoing work.

Zhuang Wubin archiveZhuang Wubin archiveZhuang Wubin archiveZhuang Wubin archiveZhuang Wubin archiveZhuang Wubin archiveZhuang wubin archiveZhuang wubin archive
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Razie Alfiedan uses the workshop to begin his documentation of his home village of Penampang Proper, a village that feeds off the river that runs through it. Like many places in the world, it is slowly changing in the name of “development”. Alfiedan uses his camera to collect stories from the families who have lived there for decades.

Zhuang Wubin archiveZhuang Wubin archiveZhuang wubin archiveZhuang Wubin archiveZhuang Wubin archiveZhuang Wubin archiveIMG_4368loZhuang wubin archiveZhuang Wubin archive*

Documentation of the workshop

KK, Sabah / 2 June 2014 Signing my "Chinese Muslims in Indonesia" photo book for Jebat at Bunibon Lodge, KK
KK, Sabah / 2 June 2014
Signing my “Chinese Muslims in Indonesia” photo book for Jebat at Bunibon Lodge, KK
Tanjung Aru, KK, Sabah / 4 June 2014 Courtesy Susan Orchid Bansin
Tanjung Aru, KK, Sabah / 4 June 2014
Courtesy Susan Orchid Bansin
KK, Sabah / 5 June 2014 Opening address of the workshop by Mohd Shukur, vice president of Jebat Photography Club, at Arena Belia
KK, Sabah / 5 June 2014
Opening address of the workshop by Mohd Shukur, vice president of Jebat Photography Club, at Arena Belia
KK, Sabah / 5 June 2014 Morning closed-door lecture
KK, Sabah / 5 June 2014
Morning closed-door lecture
KK, Sabah / 5 June 2014 Lunch at Grace Point
KK, Sabah / 5 June 2014
Lunch at Grace Point
KK, Sabah / 5 June 2014 Abd El-Salam explains his project about the legacy of the Japanese people in Tawau.
KK, Sabah / 5 June 2014
Abd El-Salam explains his project about the legacy of the Japanese people in Tawau.
KK, Sabah / 5 June 2014 Abd El-Salam goes through the research that he has done for his project concerning the legacy of the Japanese at Tawau. Courtesy of Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 5 June 2014
Abd El-Salam goes through the research that he has done for his project concerning the legacy of the Japanese at Tawau.
Courtesy of Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 5 June 2014 Kelvin Ah Kian tries his hands in developing 6x6 negatives, converting the toilet at Arena Belia into a temporary darkroom.
KK, Sabah / 5 June 2014
Kelvin Ah Kian tries his hands in developing 6×6 negatives, converting the toilet at Arena Belia into a temporary darkroom.
KK, Sabah / 5 June 2014 Kelvin Ah Kian tries his hands in developing 6x6 negatives, converting the toilet at Arena Belia into a temporary darkroom. Courtesy of Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 5 June 2014
Kelvin Ah Kian tries his hands in developing 6×6 negatives, converting the toilet at Arena Belia into a temporary darkroom.
Courtesy of Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014 Kelvin Ah Kian tries his hands in developing 6x6 negatives, converting the toilet at Arena Belia into a temporary darkroom.
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014
Kelvin Ah Kian tries his hands in developing 6×6 negatives, converting the toilet at Arena Belia into a temporary darkroom.
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014 Mark Chai drives us to my talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College.
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014
Mark Chai drives us to my talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College.
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014 Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014
Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College
Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014 Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014
Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College
Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014 Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014
Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College
Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014 Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College / Introducing Cambodian artist Vuth Lyno's work Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014
Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College / Introducing Cambodian artist Vuth Lyno’s work
Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014 Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College Q&A at the end of the first half of the talk. The first section deals with the development of modern and contemporary photography in Southeast Asia.
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014
Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College
Q&A at the end of the first half of the talk. The first section deals with the development of modern and contemporary photography in Southeast Asia.
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014 Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College / Sharing my experiences in making "Chinese Muslims in Indonesia" Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014
Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College / Sharing my experiences in making “Chinese Muslims in Indonesia”
Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014 Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014
Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College
Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014 Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College Q&A at the end of the second half of my talk. The second half concerns my photographic documentation of the Chinese communities of Southeast Asia. Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014
Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College
Q&A at the end of the second half of my talk. The second half concerns my photographic documentation of the Chinese communities of Southeast Asia.
Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014 Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College / Photo-taking after the workshop Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014
Talk at SAC3, Yayasan Sabah College / Photo-taking after the workshop
Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014 Kelvin Ah Kian conceptualises a new project using family photographs.
KK, Sabah / 6 June 2014
Kelvin Ah Kian conceptualises a new project using family photographs.
KK, Sabah / 8 June 2014 Photographer Alip Chan Abd Rahman from Tawau pays a visit to the workshop. Courtesy of Razie Alfiedan
KK, Sabah / 8 June 2014
Photographer Alip Chan Abd Rahman from Tawau pays a visit to the workshop.
Courtesy of Razie Alfiedan
KK, Sabah / 8 June 2014 Jebat (participant of my 2013 workshop in Penang) edits his work of an old-school barbershop along Gaya Street.
KK, Sabah / 8 June 2014
Jebat (participant of my 2013 workshop in Penang) edits his work of an old-school barbershop along Gaya Street.
KK, Sabah / 8 June 2014 Mangoes from participant Mark Chai's garden.
KK, Sabah / 8 June 2014
Mangoes from participant Mark Chai’s garden.
KK, Sabah / 9 June 2014 Shio Soon Yi (participant from Penang workshop 2013) brings contact prints of his new work to KK.
KK, Sabah / 9 June 2014
Shio Soon Yi (participant from Penang workshop 2013) brings contact prints of his new work to KK.
KK, Sabah / 9 June 2014 Dinner at Centre Point Sabah
KK, Sabah / 9 June 2014
Dinner at Centre Point Sabah
KK, Sabah / 9 June 2014 Editing participant Mohd Shukur's ongoing work about his kids growing up. Courtesy Mohd Shukur Jahar
KK, Sabah / 9 June 2014
Editing participant Mohd Shukur’s ongoing work about his kids growing up.
Courtesy Mohd Shukur Jahar
KK, Sabah / 9 June 2014 After dinner, Mohd Shukur Jahar and I attempt to make a book edit of his ongoing work photographing his kids growing up.
KK, Sabah / 9 June 2014
After dinner, Mohd Shukur Jahar and I attempt to make a book edit of his ongoing work photographing his kids growing up.
KK, Sabah / 9 June 2014 After dinner, Mohd Shukur Jahar and I attempt to make a book edit of his ongoing work photographing his kids growing up.
KK, Sabah / 9 June 2014
After dinner, Mohd Shukur Jahar and I attempt to make a book edit of his ongoing work photographing his kids growing up.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Looking through Kelvin Ah Kian's negatives Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Looking through Kelvin Ah Kian’s negatives
Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Thanks to Chong SuChong's fine art printing company PROART in KK for helping the workshop participants realise their prints. Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Thanks to Chong SuChong’s fine art printing company PROART in KK for helping the workshop participants realise their prints.
Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Editing Muhammad Afif's work on an Islamic boarding school in KK, starting first with the standard five-picture edit
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Editing Muhammad Afif’s work on an Islamic boarding school in KK, starting first with the standard five-picture edit
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Participant Abd El-Salam edits his work on the history and legacy of the Japanese in Tawau, East Sabah.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Participant Abd El-Salam edits his work on the history and legacy of the Japanese in Tawau, East Sabah.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Participant Abd El-Salam edits his work on the history and legacy of the Japanese in Tawau, East Sabah.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Participant Abd El-Salam edits his work on the history and legacy of the Japanese in Tawau, East Sabah.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Critique session on the last day of the workshop, in which participants receive feedback from one another on their work.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Critique session on the last day of the workshop, in which participants receive feedback from one another on their work.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Critique session on the last day of the workshop, in which participants receive feedback from one another on their work.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Critique session on the last day of the workshop, in which participants receive feedback from one another on their work.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Critique session on the last day of the workshop, in which participants receive feedback from one another on their work.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Critique session on the last day of the workshop, in which participants receive feedback from one another on their work.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Critique session on the last day of the workshop, in which participants receive feedback from one another on their work.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Critique session on the last day of the workshop, in which participants receive feedback from one another on their work.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Editing exercise during the critique session Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Editing exercise during the critique session
Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Editing exercise during the critique session Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Editing exercise during the critique session
Courtesy Kelvin Ah Kian
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 The "open house" at the end of the workshop allows participants to share their work with the public, which requires them to explain and defend their projects.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
The “open house” at the end of the workshop allows participants to share their work with the public, which requires them to explain and defend their projects.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 The "open house" at the end of the workshop allows participants to share their work with the public, which requires them to explain and defend their projects. Participant Abd El-Salam hugs fellow photographer Yuzie Yusoff at the event.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
The “open house” at the end of the workshop allows participants to share their work with the public, which requires them to explain and defend their projects.
Participant Abd El-Salam hugs fellow photographer Yuzie Yusoff at the event.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 The "open house" at the end of the workshop allows participants to share their work with the public, which requires them to explain and defend their projects.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
The “open house” at the end of the workshop allows participants to share their work with the public, which requires them to explain and defend their projects.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 The "open house" at the end of the workshop allows participants to share their work with the public, which requires them to explain and defend their projects.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
The “open house” at the end of the workshop allows participants to share their work with the public, which requires them to explain and defend their projects.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 The "open house" at the end of the workshop allows participants to share their work with the public, which requires them to explain and defend their projects.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
The “open house” at the end of the workshop allows participants to share their work with the public, which requires them to explain and defend their projects.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Issuing certificates of participation to the participants during the "open house" event at the end of the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Issuing certificates of participation to the participants during the “open house” event at the end of the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Issuing certificates of participation to the participants during the "open house" event at the end of the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Issuing certificates of participation to the participants during the “open house” event at the end of the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Issuing certificates of participation to the participants during the "open house" event at the end of the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Issuing certificates of participation to the participants during the “open house” event at the end of the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Issuing certificates of participation to the participants during the "open house" event at the end of the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Issuing certificates of participation to the participants during the “open house” event at the end of the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Issuing certificates of participation to the participants during the "open house" event at the end of the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Issuing certificates of participation to the participants during the “open house” event at the end of the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Issuing certificates of participation to the participants during the "open house" event at the end of the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Issuing certificates of participation to the participants during the “open house” event at the end of the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Issuing certificates of participation to the participants during the "open house" event at the end of the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Issuing certificates of participation to the participants during the “open house” event at the end of the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Issuing certificates of participation to the participants during the "open house" event at the end of the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Issuing certificates of participation to the participants during the “open house” event at the end of the workshop

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KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Potluck dinner to conclude the "open house" and the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Potluck dinner to conclude the “open house” and the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Potluck dinner to conclude the "open house" and the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Potluck dinner to conclude the “open house” and the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Potluck dinner to conclude the "open house" and the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Potluck dinner to conclude the “open house” and the workshop
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014 Group photograph at the end of the workshop. Thanks to Jebat Photography Club for hosting this six-day workshop.
KK, Sabah / 10 June 2014
Group photograph at the end of the workshop. Thanks to Jebat Photography Club for hosting this six-day workshop.
The workshop made it to the local news. "Utusan Borneo", 16 June 2014, A7
The workshop made it to the local news.
“Utusan Borneo”, 16 June 2014, A7
KK, Sabah / 11 June 2014 After the "open house", when all the guests have left, participants who stay at Arena Belia continue to experiment and play with the edits of their work, deep into the night.
KK, Sabah / 11 June 2014
After the “open house”, when all the guests have left, participants who stay at Arena Belia continue to experiment and play with the edits of their work, deep into the night.
KK, Sabah / 19 June 2014 TT Session at Sri Kawang, KK Catch-up with friends of Jebat Photography Club
KK, Sabah / 19 June 2014
TT Session at Sri Kawang, KK
Catch-up with friends of Jebat Photography Club

 

 

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