BUILD– Tong Camera

Say Hello to Kamera no.10 Tong camera (working name). Built mostly during our 'Lockdown'. It is the 5th generation of instant-portrait cameras I've built, this one a development from the main camera no.1 Interchange with many design upgrades. I have gathered many thoughts on how to make this build as simple and easy as possible, using found materials and inspired from my experience with indigenous communities here on the Peninsular with their building methods and materials used. Even some of the Tong (containers) are from their villages.

It is still not complete, because I don't have access to getting some paint/ build materials, tools and other photographic materials in the studio during this lockdown period. But I'm happy to share this new prototype range and some of the new features it will be able to perform. (Credit to FABLAB of Taipei too for helping in making a crucial part, back in November 2019).

- Much lighter about 1.5kg (below 2kg i think, don't have my weighing scale)
- waterproof! for washing
- rear standard movements (for fine focusing)
- vertical and horizontal format
- 4x5"and smaller multi-format print size
- interchangeable lenses
- colour prints (BW as well) chemical prints!
- handheld box cameras (used in combination)
- HDPE plastics, highly recyclable and remoulded

prototype no.10 Kamera Tong (working name)
prototype no.10 Kamera Tong, made in asli-asia
building the prototype
size comparison prototype no.1 & no.10
Taipei city, plastic-wear market, 20 litre
prototyping, sourced new/used 10 & 20 litre container
container backpacks, Kurau village, Carey Island, Selangor
Dave, Kurau river village, Carey Island, Selangor
Plastic supplies and kitchen ware, Chemor, Perak
indigenous household, Jemol village, Upper Perak
Building materials, Miri town, seaside village, Sarawak
found sample prototype, abandoned outpost, Upper Perak
Hen Rie, collector of container, Leyef village, Upper Perak
Palm oil estate, migrant worker, Upper Perak
Estate supply store, palm oil plantation, Upper Perak
Upper Perak, palm oil plantation
used HDPE container pile, Jemeri village, Rompin, Perak

29 August— Most Chatty Grandma, she just kept talking to me in every dialect i could recognise, from hakka, teo chew, kwong tong, hainan, hokkien, huar yee, 'panai ah' (pandai ah /smart ah) she said, in my most broken mandarin cantonese malay nyonya in trying to have a conversation. My recommended bundle shop for jackets from Communist China. for use in my latest camera build. I hardly negotiated, just by passing all the money i had to the cutest por por. I bought two jackets here too, back in 2014. (Kedai Kasut Sinni Enterprise) #KantaPortraits #kantaboxkamra #4Woodie #10TGbuild @ Kampung baru, sungai buloh







Lakec– A very simple river

7 August— to visualise a river map. sketches by Dhobi of Jemeri river. zoom meeting with team last night for coming talk of Posak's video, missing everyone.

[1] map of river sketches by Dobi
[2] first test zoom meeting

23 August— Coming Wednesday, shortfilm from last years program is finished, a 'director's cut' and sharing session ONLINE. “Piracy, Radiowave & Bubble #1”— Posak Jodian + Jeffrey Lim 林猷進 (Screening & Sharing).

“Lakec” means “to cross a river” in the Amis language. “Lakec - A Very Simple River” (2020 Version) is the latest film about the Peninsular Malaysia by the Amis filmmaker Posak Jodian and facilitated by the Malaysian artist Jeffrey Lim – after their first collaboration in 2018, the filming of the Taiwanese tribes of Fata’an, Orchid Island (Lanyu) and Xiaobitan in “Kanta Portraits: Taiwan”. They visited the towns and forests across the Peninsula, or even the offshore island tribes in 2019, to “portray” the life experiences and oral traditions as a collective and pluralistic entirety (which we should feel akin to) through the lens of an indigenous Taiwanese director. 


IN THE FIELD– Petoh village, Rompin, Pahang

 18 August– arrived at the malaysian rainforest. did i miss a turn? #paicubchai

20 August— [1] setup space, a little corner [2] first test print [3] first use since refitted the camera #4Woodie, shutter cap by hand, and new strobe system, workflow took some getting use to, many wastage [4] from 2 till 10pm, about 28 portraits in all, the #Profoto B10 strobe batt was flat, just managed to squeeze one last 'kilat' [5] coffee from Shima, life saver after today 🙂 such lovely community. #KantaPortraits  @ Kampung Orang Asli, Kedaik, Pahang. Profoto strobe and trigger on loan from the great people of Srishti Malaysia. didnt get to fully utilised the features, but i did use off all the batt!

[1] setup space at the festival

[2] first print of Horas
[3] first use of refitted camera #4woodie

[4] from 2 till 10 pm 
[5] coffee from Shima, lifesaver

20 August— The instant portraits, celebrating the World Indigenous Peoples Day, Rompin district level, with the Jakun indigenous communities from the surrounding area. Jakun have four tribes, puak bukit, puak kuala, puak hulu, puak sisir pantai (Hill tribe, estuary tribe, upstream tribe, coastal tribe), each with their distinct dialect to cultural and spiritual context of their environment. #KantaPortraits @Kampung Orang Asli, Kedaik, Pahang

paper negatives
inverted image

20 August— my new bakul tepi (belakang)! open backpack and sling bag! great for organising all the camera necessities! Amai (aunt) in green made it 🙂 Sumbangan dari Orang Asli Kg. Petoh dengan ikhlasnya. (Sincere gift from the indigenous people of Petoh Village) Thank you for hosting and taking care of me these few days. missing them already. #KantaPortraits #4Woodie #paicubchai

new basket
she made it

19 August— [1] Pinang lipat / folded betelnut... i was slightly intoxicated. [2] Village leaders from around Rompin, assembly, initiation of festival, Jakun tribe, Jemeri Village

Pinang Lipat / folded betelnut
Assembly of Shamans and headmen

21 August— Scenes from the last few days [1] Bedul, more than 10 years of community activism to bring it to this level and still going strong. addressing the guest [2] Indigenous Senator Datuk Isa, honoured guest, representing the government [3] Festival grounds at Kampung Petoh (original name of village) [4] youths performing, 3 days in the row, effort from the independent-led local teaching programs [5] Kebun pdk, independent community garden of 15, by hand in nine months [6] Tan, Tuan Rumah, his success story of the Paku Pakis Batang, on water-logged waste land [7] Tok Batin, 97 years of age, when ask his age "sebelum Jepun, zaman British' [8] Supiah and Linda of Petoh youth camp, took up the courage to ask have their portrait taken together 🙂 #KantaPortraits #kantaboxkamra  @ Kampung Orang Asli, Kedaik, Pahang

[1] Bedul addressing the crowd
[2] Senator representing the Government

[3] Festival grounds at Kg Petoh
[4] Youths performing

[5] Kebun PDK, nine months
[6] Tan, Tuan Rumah, success story

[7] Tok Batin at 97 years of age
[8] Supiah and Linda of Petoh

22 August— Alai, one of my favourite prints, actually there are so many, just that he's very funny guy