Category Archives: Malaysian Culture

Secret Hideout in KT

IMG_2322I found a new secret hideout in Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia.

A simple, quiet and rusty place for an introvert soul, like mine … or let me rephrase it again, an OLD and worn out soul like mine. Lol … Selfish me, everything has to be like mine … mine all mine, no sharing and I do not want to share my soulmate either (if I ever have any) … gth! mental … oh yes!
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Pak Awi’s Yellow House located at Pulau Duyung, Kuala Terengganu

Kuala Terengganu has a few small islands in-between the mainland and Pulau Duyung (Duyung Island) is the largest island. I flew over the islands during a paramotor event last 2 years. Never occurred to me that there are interesting stories to explore down there on the islands.

 

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Well … Pak Awi didn’t pay me anything to promote his place so don’t get me wrong. I just love the place.

I found a new hidden place that I could stay for a few days or even weeks without creating a big hole in my wallet. A cool and safe place to go home to after hours and hours wandering around Kuala Terengganu.

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Lepaking at one of the bench 

What would I do here in Kuala Terengganu? Hmmm … I am going for a story hunting and I myself not sure what is the outcome gonna look like, lol.

I plan to hang around with the makciks (mid-aged ladies) around the villages listening to them gossiping he he he and the pakciks (middle-aged man) around the coffee shops or jetties reminiscing about life. Tengok berapa lama boleh tahan … the rest is a secret.

A few more photos of my new found hiding place before I end this post.

Last but not least … my all time favorite breakfast, Nasi Kerabu.  A blue colored rice mixed with fresh vegetables, salted egg, stuffed green chili pepper, a piece of roasted chicken and sambal (chili paste). Wallah … am hungry now … gotta run.

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Bye

Cheers,

MM

ps- sambil dengar lagu “kutuliskan kesedihan, semua tak bisa kau ungkapkan, dan kita kan bicara dengan hatiku” dan perut yang lapar


Eid Fitr Mubarak 1438H/ 2017M

Eid Fitr Mubarak to all my Muslim readers near and far, all over the world.

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My mom preparing Kelantanese traditional ketupat for Eid celebration

Ramadhan 29th, 1438H/ 2017M: Last day of Ramadhan for this year and tomorrow would be the start of Shawal. Sad to see the holy month is about to end this afternoon. The spiritual night routine and the day time struggle to guide oneself towards understanding humanity is very nourishes to my soul.

I experienced new lessons during this Ramadhan. The first time for me breaking fast/ iftar at the nearby mosque with hundreds of fasting Muslims. A few of us shared the same tray of food, sitting on the floor while enjoying our rice with side dishes together. Then we performed our tarawih prayers together as one ummah. The warm feeling flew deeply inside me … my first time.

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My ‘food tray mate’

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And this is how the food moves

A calmer month for me this time around, learning and seeking for in-depth peace between me and my Almighty Creator. Thanks to my children and friendly soulful friends around me … they never failed to warm my heart. And, thanks to that particular soul too. Alhamdullilah ….

And, tomorrow would be back to normal business again for me. I hope to be able to adopt whatever that I have learned during the holy month into my daily life too … a quest to be the better me. In Sha Allah

 

Bye

MM

 

ps- am placing my camera on alert for my mom’s beautiful moment while preparing for the Eid Fitr celebration. Life is short … a soul would come and go, according to Allah’s plan.

 


Portraiture around Me

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PokNik, a farmer that rears hundreds of cattle, sheep and goats

August  is always an exciting month of the year as we celebrate Malaysia’s 59th Birthday (Independent Day). Malaysian flags could be seen on the streets and business premises everyday in August. The best time to go out and capture the ‘flag’ moment around the street corners.

Again this year, I have the opportunity to contribute some photograph for the Merdeka day photo exhibition. This time around Yaman Ibrahim’s exhibition photo theme is on Faces of Malaysia.  As I dug out my HD storage for any Malaysian portrait that can qualify me to join the exhibition. I realized that I have none … hu hu hu

I have been traveling and taking photos of faces around the world and … I have nothing in my HD storage that could portray the faces of Malaysian. Shame on me …

So I decided to open up my eyes and my mind towards my surrounding and attempted to capture faces of Malaysia around me in a short period of time. Talking about working under pressure … and wallah! … I managed to capture some beautiful portraits of Malaysian and as always I have my own private story for each photo that I took … lesson learned story that drove me to capture their moment <— dreamers statement 😛

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Pak Musa, a carpenter for 34 years that I met at the farm

I was at a Chinese Opera show in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur hunting for a backstage moment with the actors and the actresses. Then, I spent a few days at a private farm (cattle, sheep and goats) in Kuantan, Pahang to capture some moments with the animals and the shepherd.

And, a few days after that I tagged along with my JanjiFly buddy for his Paramotor MBOR training at Tekah Airfield, Taiping, Perak. Yes … I believe I can fly hu hu hu and I captured  some moments with the Commando Vat 69 team on parachute training that day. Talking about luck … this is what I called durian runtuh hu hu hu

Well … it was tiring but worthy. My moment of learning to find beauty … at every imperfect moment presented to me by the All Mighty.

The good news is … my two(2) images below are currently exhibited at Yaman Ibrahim #OrangMalaysia (people of Malaysia) photo exhibition together with another 59 photographs. 33 photographers and 61 photographs …

Do come and visit the 61 selected photographs of ‘People of Malaysia’ on display now. Details are as follows:

  • Theme: Yaman Ibrahim #OrangMalaysia Photo Exhibition
  • Venue: MaTic Gallery, Malaysian Tourist Center, Kuala Lumpur
  • Date: 15th August to 17th September, 2016

I am moving on to the next project … 🙂 … next please ….

Bye,

Cheers

MM

ps – “Between what is said and not meant. And what is meant and not said. Most love is lost”~ Khalil Gibran

 

 


Light, Motion and Shadow

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“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there” ~ Rumi

I am feeling hyper-introvert lately. Spending my precious time with myself is more comforting than being around people … uh uh too much time spent alone either at my studio or behind my mac (doing editing) felt super comfortable. Comfortable is not good. Time to go out and hangout with the extrovert.

I edited my Kuda Kepang image folder during my hyper-introvert mode … thank god. I attended the dance performance last November, which was five (5) months ago … yes, I am mastering the art of “marinate your photos”. I need to wait until the photos are matured enough before I can re-create  new emotions for my photos. Wow … now I sounded like a pro when I said that lol.

Kuda Kepang is a traditional dance originated from Indonesia and very famous among the Johor society. Please feel free to ask uncle google about the background story of Kuda Kepang. I was more enchanted by the light, the unpredictable motion and the shadow during the show.

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Preparing the spiritual being of the Barongan mask

The air was filled with smoke coming out from the burning ‘kemenyan’ or benzoin resin. The ambience was beautifully set through proper used of lighting and background colors (on walls and floor). The traditional dance was performed by the Kuda Kepang Parit Raja from Batu Pahat, Johor and the show was held at the BlackBox Publika Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur.

Kuda Kepang dance motion is very mystical. The background music  derived from the traditional music instruments: the anklung, gong and gendang were very enchanting. The dancers looked high and disoriented.

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The ‘bapak’ or leader of the pack

I am a ‘logical thinker’ kind of person … I was puzzled trying to logically understand the reason why some adults dancing against the music with a ‘man-made cow-skin’ look alike horse could get high and disoriented by just inhaling the smoke while listening to the soft enchanting background music. Hmmmm … and the dancers moved in a trance state.

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Unpredictable moves by the dancers

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Bapak checking on the dancer. Love the light on his head

Interesting performance … my first time watching Kuda Kepang and my mind went … what the … why.. and 1001 more why-s lol. Curious mind …

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” ~Dorothy Parker

Gotta go and hunt for the extrovert … ;-P

Bye for now

MM


Shadow and Storytelling

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Wayang Kulit Kelantan

 

I am in a very productive and ambitious mood this few days ;-P and I am not very sure on how long will it last hu hu hu. I did an extensive housekeeping and re-organisation on all my external HDs … yeay! for me. I edited some of my old and forgotten image folders.

Sharing with y’alls my Wayang Kulit Kelantan aka Traditional Shadow Puppet show images from a few months back. I wanted to explore more on my local culture this year, so I signed up for any cultural performance or any local art gallery around town.

Uncle google has the detail explanation on what is Wayang Kulit Kelantan or Traditional Kelantanese Shadow Puppet show. My late father never failed to remind the ‘rebel’ me that I am a Kelantanese. He would force me to watch and listen to Mak Yong (traditional Kelantanese dance) and wayang kulit. So, watching this group of street Wayang Kulit performers performing the shadow play at Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur recently, did bring back the sweet memories of my childhood.

 

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Back stage preparation before the show begin

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The show is accompanied by a group of traditional musician playing gongs, barrel drums, cymbals and flutes. 

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The puppet master is called Tok Dalang

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The story was mostly about an ancient epic story from India called Ramayana

Well … my D800 never failed to impress me. In such a low light … I managed to capture the ambience moment behind the stage. I was telling my photographer friend about the stages that we had been through during our photography journey.

I started with just clicking my camera on auto mode. Then I move up further by capturing high key images on manual and aperture mode. At that time, every image should look bright and clear, as bright as possible. Dark and shadow was a no … no. Then, I was crazy about IR images (infra red) … playing on contra and false/ fantasy colours. And …. now I am all crazy about dark, shadow, chiaroscuro, emotion and all those fine art things … a continuous learning process.

bla … bla … bla … babbling. Gotta run now … I need to edit another old image folder of Kuda Kepang dance that I took last year and some more old folders before my next trip.

Bye for now,

Cheers

MM