Mindfulness and Digital Waste

Who among us hasn’t taken 12 shots of the same subject and then ended up choosing and using only two images?

Have we even bothered spending time to enjoy the beauty of the subject photographed or ponder on the meaning of the photo? Or are we just rushing to get the images uploaded on our social media platforms and then wait to see how many people will “like” and comment on the said posting(s)?

And who else among us spend our days mindlessly forwarding messages without stoping to ponder for a moment if the contents are true or even of value to its recipients?

On behalf of I, me and myself, the humble response is “guilty as charged.”

A photo and video exhibition by Madhvee Deb called Digital Waste: the Sweet Smell of Burning, is taking place in George Town and highlightsthe behavioural issues of taking excessive photographs and a disproportionate exchange of worthless information on social media.

The photographs and objects primarily use rejected images, the leftover images we discard when searching for the perfect photo to post online – showcasing the hypnotic effect of social media on the human mind in a subtle and humorous way.

Her exhibition is open to the public at OME Spacebar Coffee (Lorong Toh Aka in George Town) throughout the George Town Festival 2018.

Well done Madhvee, for the gentle reminder to be present in the moment and think again about spending endless hours on our smartphones and tablets daily and ignoring real people and our surroundings, because we are so caught up with/in the virtual world!

(Images of exhibition and exhibits courtesy of Madhvee Deb)

#gtf2018 #georgetownfestival #photography #digitalwaste #mindfulness #technology

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Susan’s mandala for the trees

A walk along the streets of George Town after dark is never dull with Susan.

She ‘sees’ things that the rest of us don’t and good naturedly laughs along with us when we poke fun at her ‘ghost’ sightings!

Susan’s love for nature, words, colours and forms (pun intended!) takes her along a multitude of paths.

When Susan Loone the journalist is not busy chasing headlines and bylines in Penang (and beyond), she draws and paints.

The self-taught artist pains in ink and acrylics, and has a fondness for painting abstract art of women and nature.

“Every painting comes from a deep sense of realisation that life cannot move forward without appreciating, protecting and loving women and nature,” she says.

“As a writer, I deal a lot with words, but there comes a time when words are lost, when there are too many words but no one listens anymore, so I turn to art.

“Art for me is not only therapeutic, but a creative process that is personal, private and yet political.”

In conjunction with this year’s George Town Festival which kicks off today, a window treat of Susan’s art awaits those pounding the streets of George Town.

From Aug 2 till Sept 2, Rang 8 Cafe along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling will showcase Susan’s painting called ‘A Mandala for Trees’ in its window.

Using the medium of ink and paper, the framed piece of work (priced at RM300), the artist channels a prayer for a greener and healthier world.

“It is my way of praying for trees to be honoured and loved as they are part of our lives, and they are alive,” Susan notes.

(All images but one courtesy of Susan Loone)

Artist contact: susanloone@gmail.com

Ode to Sa Pek

Some stories require minimal words, because the photos say it all, and do so in a compelling and articulate manner.

Welcome to George Town where the month of July seems to have taken off with features of photographers who are standing out as fascinating storytellers of a city and island steeped in colour, culture, nature, heritage and endless charm.

Visual artist, photographer and graphic designer Goh Hun Meng and three generations before him lived in the clan houses of the Khoo Kongsi (Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi) at Cannon Square, a George Town World Heritage site.

Pivotal to a photography exhibition he is presenting during the upcoming George Town Festival, is his 82 year old uncle and godfather, Goh Kong Chuan.

“Sa Pek” or Third Uncle as the elder Goh is referred to in the family, was an avid photographer and showered his nieces and nephews with much kindness when they were growing up.

He also served in the Reserve Army and gave ballroom dancing lessons.

He also used to capture milestones in his family’s lives and the laughter and tears punctuated in between, with his trusty camera.

“My late grandmother (born between 1910 and 1912) was a Khoo who had lived in the clanhouse since she was five, “ Hun Meng said.

“When we were growing up, Sa Pek used to give pocket money to my cousins and I and took many precious family photos.

“Today he is 82, suffers from dementia and lives in Pulau Tikus with his wife Lim Poh Geok. His memory is not as good as before.

“The exhibition showcasing his precious collection of photos is my tribute to a man who has always cared for his family.”

Hun Meng is also looking to raise funds for his aging uncle by selling the photographs on display and donating all the proceeds to Goh Senior.

The exhibition which runs from 9 Aug to 3 September, 2018 (from 11am-6pm daily) opens on Aug 11 at 10.30am @Jetty 35 located on the ground floor of 35, Pengkalan Weld, George Town, 10300 Penang.

(All images courtesy of Goh Hun Meng)

(Note: the 16 clan houses which flank the alleyway from the main entrance to the central Clan Temple and courtyard of the Khoo Kongsi where Hun Meng and family lived, have morphed in recent times, into a 43 guest roomed boutique hotel called Clans Kongsi George Town. The story is found in an earlier posting ‘Amazing Slices of History @ClansKongsiGeorgeTown’ in this same blog https://postcodegeorgetown.wordpress.com/2018/06/21/amazing-slices-of-history-clanskongsigeorgetown

#postcodegeorgetown #georgetownfestival2018 #photographyexhibition #photoessay #unescoworldheritage #gohhunmeng #khookongsi

Celebrating David Loh’s Homecoming

Journalist David ST Loh left Penang three decades ago to work for news organisations like Reuters, The Star and more recently, The Malaysian Insight.

The internationally-published Loh has spent 26 years in the media industry, of which 21 of them were as a photojournalist. He later moved on to became an editor at the award-winning photographic department of the Reuters Ltd news agency.

He left Reuters in 2016 as Editor-in-Charge (EIC) for the agency’s Global Pictures Desk and today works for The Malaysian Insight.

Previously based in cities like Kuala Lumpur, London and Singapore, Loh’s images have graced many global newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, UK Times and others. He was also part of a judging panel for the ChinaInternational Press Photo Contest 2016.

He has now come full circle and returned to Penang last year and calls this island home (again).

Since then, Loh has been exploring his home state with a revived passion, discovering new and interesting things to see and photograph, on land or from above.

(A 35m table laden with offerings during the Jade Emperor’s birthday celebration at the clan jetties in George Town, Penang)

Using a drone, he scours places that might hold interesting terrain, landmarks and features and he has not been disappointed with every deployment of the drone.

His aerial images will form a part of a curated collection of his work for an upcoming photography exhibition.

(A cruise ship at the Penang Port Cruise Terminal at dusk)

The ‘Over Penang Photography Exhibition’ is part of the George Town Festival 2018, will be held at the Eastern & Oriental (E&O) Hotel, Victory Annexe, 10 Lebuh Farquhar, George Town, Penang.

The exhibition runs from August 4 till Sept 2, 2018.

The homecoming exhibition is aimed at imparting a sense and fresh feel of how the city has changed, in tandem with the island maintaining its essence of combining heritage and progress .

Loh has been painstakingly and continuously documenting Penang Island as the island state tries to find a happy balance between progress and preservation.

(Mercurial lakes at Frog Hill, Tasek Gelugor, Seberang Prai, Penang)

“Penang,” Loh notes, “is such an amazing place where there seems to be non-stop events, activities, things to do, and places to go.

“If you are prepared to go out and look, you will never be bored in Penang.”

Welcome home, David Loh and keep “clicking” and continuing to share with us your amazing work of the Penang we all love!

(All images courtesy of David ST Loh)

Beauty Through Karyn’s Lenses

“Nama Saya: Karyn Leong, dari Melbourne, Australia. Boleh saya ambil foto anda?” (My name is Karyn Leong and I am from Melbourne, Australia. May I please take your photograph?)

This is the opening line that Karyn Coxall-Leong, the gentle visual artist, wife, mother, nurse, photographer and story teller uses when she pounds the streets of George Town and the rest of Malaysia snapping stunning and soul-stirring photographs.

“My life experience and understanding of people has given me an ability to view my subjects compassionately, which adds a unique and intimate dimension to my photography,” says the mother of two who is married to a Malaysian.

“With Malaysian friends and family, I have been most fortunate over many years to travel extensively throughout Malaysia, practicing my craft.

“I always make the time to visit Georgetown and Penang. I have a great affinity for the beauty of this island and its wonderful, generous people.

“From very humble beginnings in rural Australia, I have literally, come a long way,” says Karyn, whose compassionate demeanour is detected the minute she greets you with a warm hello.

And the compassion in her voice and support for women and all they do, tells me that you couldn’t end up with a more gifted intensive care unit nurse cum photographer!

When she is not at work at the hospital, Karyn spends her time in Melbourne capturing special moments in the lives of others ranging from weddings, birthdays, portraits, expecting parents, and baby photos.

Karyn is back in Penang and will showcase her work via ‘A Photographic Celebration of Mature Women in Penang’ @ 147 Lorong Kelawai, Penang.

Entry is via donation to the Women’s Centre for Change.

The exhibition opens on 29 July 2018 from 4pm-6pm.

From 30 July-5 August, viewing hours of the exhibition are from 11am-2pm.

(Karyn Coxall-Leong Portfolio 2018 Penang Life through the Lens Moor Art Space, Moorabool Library / 2017 Salvation Army Orphanage Portraits: Singapore / Portraits of Penang: Georgetown Festival / Artist In Residence Hotel Penaga, Penang Malaysia / Collaboration, Rise Up Exhibition, BMAC / 2016 Women of a Certain Age: Bacchus Marsh)

Her photography can be viewed at:

Pixoto: Karyn Leong

Instagram/Facebook: Karyn Leong Photography

(Images courtesy of Karyn Coxall-Leong)

Breakfast @PulauTikusMarket

This market is one which is known for its slightly higher prices since it supposedly caters to the affluent community of Pulau Tikus.

The goods available never fail to thrill and amaze, ranging from the usual wet market offerings to even stalls selling organic products. Factory over run (branded) clothing items can be picked up for a song and over festive seasons, one can even find Spode and Royal Doulton (more factory overruns) tableware.

Meenaka had to come all the way from Singapore to introduce me to the soya sauce shop found in the market and I am now a regular shopper.

Here are some on-the-go breakfast options found on a weekday …