Jemeri– Day 3

#KantaPeninsular Minah in her 80s and her family of grandchildren on her ancestral land, a field just cleared for crop. Non-mechanised, and purely laboured by hand. She lives in a wooden house downhill from here and barely have the energy to walk up the hill. [1 & 2] Here resting in the failing light they called out to me from afar, as I carried a strange red box on a stick across their field. [3] Receiving her portrait at the native celebrations, [4] she brought us to pick some wild salak. During the festivities, the Balai Adat (Cultural Hall) was the centre of activity, [5 & 6] especially in the communal kitchen, peeling Petai, tapioca, sweet potatoes, all endemic and common native food crops and gatherings. Running the kitchen [7] A-mai oversaw the preparation the entire time we were here. [8 & 9] Every meal was a communal feast. [10] Government housing (if any) on the fringes tend to be very basic. The forest around them don't exist anymore, the more able invest in [11] Palm Oil saplings as the only way they know to join in the currency economy. Each sapling goes for about RM 12-15 (USD$3-4), takes about 5 -7 years to mature for fruition. [12] At 84 years of age, she is the eldest of the community of about 100 household. #KantaPortraits #BeyondBorders #EdgesofMalaysia

[1] Minah & grandchildren
[2] Minah
[3] Receiving her portrait

[4] pick some wild salak

[5] communal kitchen

[6] communal kitchen

[7] A-mai oversaw the preparation

[8] communal feast

[9] communal feast

[10] Government housing

[11] Palm Oil saplings

[12] At 84 years of age


Jemeri– Day 2

#KantaPeninsular [1] A-moi is auntie in Jakun Native language, she's the craftswomen, making traditional wear from tree bark for the ceremonies. But what's amazing is she is from the Tok Bomoh family, [4 & 5] which means she also leads traditional spiritual rituals. [2] Making exposures during the day are real tricky, especially since I don't have a shutter mechanism, and only use the lens cover as my shutter. [3] She laughs as she gets her portrait, "look like an Auntie" she said. [6] At Kuala Keramat, a spiritually important place for rituals, initiation and prayers by the Rompin river. [7] Tok Batin (Village Head) from a neighbouring village joins in the initiation of the cultural site. [8] Cutting Betel Nut, chewed with Kapur (chalk) and Daun Sirih (Sirih leaf), this is like many native practices throughout the region, although here in Malaysia, the nut is consumed when it is fully matured and dried. [9] Cultural night festivities brings out almost the entire village. [10] Bedul's father, still fit in his 80s, gets his portrait done, my third attempt during the day, a success #KantaPortraits #BeyondBorders #EdgesofMalaysia

[1] A-moi
[2 A-moi
[3] "look like an Auntie" she said

[4] traditional spiritual rituals

[5] traditional spiritual rituals

[6] Kuala Keramat

[7] Tok Batin 

[8] Cutting Betel Nut

[9] Cultural night festivities

[10] Bedul's father


Jemeri– First shot

#KantaPeninsular first shot was tough, hot, smoky and the sun just coming out before exposure. day house #KantaPortraits #BeyondBorders #EdgesofMalaysia

Jemeri- Day 1

#KantaPeninsular [1] the Temiar tribe from Upper Perak state, took two days via multiple transits to get here. [2 & 3] Our journey took us through Kuala Pilah, stopover breakfast at the market what would be the easiest of the four mountain passes through the Titiwangsa range. [4] Sungai Rompin, a culturally important site, [5] for our host and village elder. [6] Notice board in the Rumah Adat (Cultural Hall), [7] press clippings on Native court battles, [8] yesterday's prints up on quick exhibit #KantaPortraits #BeyondBorders #EdgesofMalaysia

[1] Temiar tribe

[2] Kuala Pilah

[3] Kuala Pilah

[4] Sungai Rompin

[5] our host

[6] Notice board in the Rumah Adat

[7] press clippings

[8] quick exhibit

Jemeri Day 0

#KantaPeninsular Volunteering at a Native youth activism program for the weekend. Jakun tribe of Central East Coast Pahang, river people. [1 & 2] Elderly couple who have been preparing a cultural site for the community. [3] Bed for the night, [4] route to get to the river on a pickup truck. [5] Youth of the surrounding villages & communities, [6] assisting with the musical group put up their song "Bangkitlah Orang Asal" (Revolt Tribespeople). [7] map stories of a lost tribe in the valley Tahan Mountain [8 & 9] Had some small opportunities to make some portraits, [10] setup my upgraded #mobiledarkbox. [11] Tanda (Sign) youth from the neighbouring village #KantaPortraits #BeyondBorders #EdgesofMalaysia

[1] elderly couple
[2] elderly couple, spiritual 

[3] Bed for the night

[4] route to get to the river

[5] Youth

[6] "Bangkitlah Orang Asal" (Revolt Tribespeople)

[7] map stories

[8] portrait session

[9] portrait session

[10] #mobiledarkbox


[11] Tanda (Sign)


Expedition Central North East– Jemeri, Rompin

In a few days will be heading east coast on the Peninsular, along Sungai Rompin River with both #1interchange & #8intrepid cameras, attending a native festival and program, seminar and workshop. Will attempt to do some camping with hammock, bringing gas stove and my masak-masak set. with the support from Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS)

#KantaPeninsular packed and ready, two cameras #1interchange & #8intrepid, only 1 tripod though. First field trip with #mobiledarkbox and #8x10, also would be first attempt at camping with gear. In future would need a porter atleast #KantaBoxKamra #KantaPortraits #BeyondBorders #EdgesofMalaysia




straightest road


Borneo– Day 7

Short stopover at Miri to catch-up with local artist and Penan champion, Tan Wei Kheng, making his portrait [1]. On one of his 6 hour oneway drive into the interiors on rough roads carrying much needed supplies for the community and as a transport out [2]. Revisiting the community market Tamu, highland rice from Bario [3], seaside town fish market [4] but more known as an Oil & Gas town, offshore drilling. By chance, Sisiew [5] of Grassroots Organisation was in town on some Native land rights issues, close to where I'm planning to bring this project to. Golok/ Kolok mee my staple meal everyday [6]. Helping Hands Penan Organisation where Wei Kheng [7 & 8] plays an integral role with the community in Limbang. Visited his studio [9] for a quick demonstration and portrait session [10] #KantaPortraits #BeyondBorders #EdgesofMalaysia

This excursion is mostly self-funded with some support from #JOAS and #CendanaMalaysia

[1] Tan Wei Kheng

[2] 6 hour oneway drive

[3] highland rice from Bario

[4] seaside town fish market

[5] Sisiew of Grassroots Organisation

[6] Golok/ Kolok mee

 [7] Wei Kheng plays an integral role

[8] Helping Hands Penan Organisation

[9] studio for a quick demonstration

[10] portrait session