I graduated from NYU Gallatin with a concentration in "The Intersection of Fact and Fiction in Photography". It was a interdisciplinary study which explored contemporary photographic practices through the lens of philosophy, ethnographic research, art history and visual culture.
Fine Art Practice
As a Malaysian grappling with the national identity of a young country less than a century old, I frequently pondered the origin of my own visual culture and this led directly to the colonial photographic archive; most archival imagery of early Malaya exists outside of modern day Malaysia, in the vaults of the British National Archives or the Imperial War Museum. Until recently these images were completely inaccessible to the Malaysian public, the digitalization of these images now mean they are available online. Yet, because these old colonial photographic depictions of the birth of my nation have been absent from our history for so long there is no collective or personal way for these images to resonate now.
This is the tension I sought to address with much of my work. Just as the forensic principles dictate that “every contact leaves a trace”, I was determined to animate these absent photographs and find a root cause and future effect which they can spark in the Malaysian consciousness.
My work hints at a fictional narrative where abandoned colonial buildings or found negatives serve as the basis for a reimagining of what could have been. What has occurred is ambiguous but by posing open ended stories I hope to evoke this sense of the photograph as retrievable object, with mass, texture and physicality that blurs the line between the fictional and the factual.
As more and more images are digitized from the colonial archive, their accessibility to a new generation does not necessarily mean an acceptance or comprehension of the indexical link denoted via these visual documents. I would like to defy the flat, true or false binary construct that often comes with the colonial archive and make them personal to the contemporary societies who are viewing, digesting and reintegrating these lost fragments of history into their identities.
My "Rohingya" visual project led me to start a small refugee school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which currently services a community of Rohingya refugee children in the Cheras area. The full details of this project may be found at: www.floating-children.com
Additionally, my social work includes being a co-chair of the youth board for Easter Seals, America's largest disabilities non-profit. This role comes with the mandate to reintroduce the wonderful work the organization does to a new generation via visual projects.
Recent Projects / Announcements
Mossless 4 + International Center of Photography Collaboration
Work from my Rohingya series is featured in this beautiful publication produced by Romke Hoogwaerts and ICP in conjunction with the opening of their wonderful new ICP museum space on the Bowery. Get the book HERE
Trestle Gallery Small Works Exhibit
A piece from my Rohingya series was included at this wonderful exhibit. Find out more about it
Post (blank) Magazine
The inaugural issue of Post (blank) Magazine included a piece from my "Every Contact Leaves a Trace" series. Find out more about this great new publication HERE
Rubber Factory, a Contemporary Art Gallery specializing in photo-based works
I'm proud to announce that I now run Rubber Factory in the Lower East Side! We are representing an incredible roster of artists including Moira McDonald, Clemens Fantur, Anna Yeroshenko, Tal Barel, Kate Stone and Jordan Sullivan. Find up more about our programming HERE