flights of fancy

By: kichi kenterong

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Sunday, 2-Apr-2006 02:33 Email | Share | | Bookmark

the opening musical sequence, fuelled by intensive percussions, got me from the get go. just like how the photojournalists described it, dah masuk angin (literally, the wind/spirit has entered me). i was almost enthralled. almost, but i didn't forget the camera in my hands.

as the musical cast assembled, i noticed one thing: there were many familiar faces. they were the same faces that performed during the makyong and also during the wayang kulit. on one hand, i was amazed at how talented these people are. they were the ones playing different musical instruments, they were the ones stepping up to dance and act, and they were the ones who also became the main players in the aforementioned performances.

i could only smile and wonder just how long it took for them to master the intricacies of these traditional performing arts.

but at the same time, a realization came over me. it was the flipside of the same coin. yes, it's true that these are multitalented performers. but it's also true that the same group of people is performing these different traditional arts. and most of them are getting on in age.

where are the young ones? the ones who will carry on the torch? why aren't there many more of them?

this is definitely something to ponder. if there will be no one left to ensure the survival of these arts, will they be around much longer? tell me, dah masuk angin ke?

err, apologies for the rather haphazard presentation. kind of ran out of space to host the images on fotopage, so i have to rely on photobucket.

say what you think of the pictures, please! too much blurry shots, should put other pictures up, etc. anything so that i can learn from this set of pictures.

Monday, 27-Mar-2006 13:40 Email | Share | | Bookmark
not much to say

a brief update, if you will. i'd like to present these pictures as graphic designs, but i think they'll get shot down as quickly as i can think about presenting them as graphic designs.

but anyone want to take a stab at guessing what the pictures are? the one of the stones is a no-brainer, of course.

hmm, somehow the red seems a little pixelated here.

anyone planning to go to the menora performance this saturday 1st april?

ps - alright, after a fair bit of guessing, the red portion of the big picture is actually the bottom part of the lecka lecka logo. the rest of the picture is just negative space, which appears dark because i metered the picture on the illuminated lecka lecka logo.

as for the orange plastic thing, it's just a close up of plastic cones stacked on top of one another (3/4/2006).

Sunday, 19-Mar-2006 16:06 Email | Share | | Bookmark
wayang kulit

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just as last week's makyong performance was the first time for me, so was the case with this wayang kulit performance. the difference this time was that i came better prepared, ie with a flashgun and a newly-purchased memory card. better prepared also in the sense that i sort of knew what to expect. at least there wouldn't be any dances.

did i fare better this time around?

you be the judge and tell me.

one thing's for sure: i really, really enjoyed myself taking these pictures. so much so, that my colleague and i (almost) totally forgot about the other event we came to klcc to capture. we kept delaying until the race was over when we finally got down there.

ps - i had so many pictures to choose from, that i wasn't sure which ones to put up. hopefully i got a good selection up (21/3/2006).

pps - as i had suspected, the side profile of the tok dalang may have been a little too dark. i've edited the picture as suggested (23/2/2006).

Sunday, 12-Mar-2006 16:45 Email | Share | | Bookmark
makyong: a learning point

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i wasn't even sure that i was going to put up these pictures. for one, they wouldn't really do justice to this traditional performance art. two, it's only going to really frustrate me. nonetheless, i've decided to go ahead because i thought it would, at least, be a learning experience for me.

i had never been to a makyong performance ever in my life, despite my two years of working in kelantan. thus, it wasn't going to be a big surprise that i wouldn't really understand what was being said by the performers, except for when the third(?) character was making his presence known by talking loudly with the second character (something to do with his oghe tino aka wife making soup for him). that tickled me quite a bit. apart from the language barrier, i didn't really know what to expect of the performance. is it a dance performance? a play where dialogue holds the main stage? a flashy display between music and dance? a spontaneous expression of art?

it turned out to be a bit of everything. and being such a dynamic performance, i was caught quite unawares of how to capture the moments well. it was quite a challenge to get the good angles, but i guess i was too conscious about obstructing the view of the audience (in hindsight, maybe they wouldn't have really mind). i had also declined my father's offer of the use of his flashgun, and... well, i guess the pictures will tell you of that fact.

i'm suddenly reminded of this conversation i had with a certain mr syed imran just a few hours ago. he had recounted how his first wedding shoot went. it certainly didn't help that the inside of the location was dark. seeing that he was facing a fair bit of difficulty, the professional photographer on hand was kind enough to ask him how he was doing. after confessing his frustration, the pro was gracious enough to tweak his camera, and lo and behold, all his pictures turned out fine.

i wish there was someone like that during the performance to give me some pointers, so that i would be able to capture the moments in a more directed manner.

i didn't, so i guess i'll have to ask my kind visitors to give me feedback. brutal pun takpe, janji dapat belajar dari kesilapan.

ps - sorry if i'm too wordy this time around, but i'm sure there are others who would feel the same way.

pps - for those who're interested, the galeri petronas (third floor, suria klcc) will be having a wayang kulit performance on the 18th of march, a menora performance on the 1st of april, a dikir barat performance on the 15th of april, and a main puteri demonstration on the 29th of april. all of these will be staged between 530 to 630pm. i think i will be there for most, if not all, of these shows. on the 22nd of march, there will be a seminar by the photojournalists who documented these traditions in their native kelantan, also at galeri petronas between 530 to 630pm. admission is free. do check out the photo gallery as well.

Sunday, 5-Mar-2006 16:18 Email | Share | | Bookmark

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this particular idea had been in my mind since i rediscovered my powershot a80. most of the pictures here were taken with that camera, and a few others with the d50. and here is my very first montage. woohoo! as usual, took me quite a while to come up with something as simple as this, seeing that i'm so stupid with photoshop hehe.

anyways, it's quite interesting to note that there are just so many different types of fabrics that we use in our everyday life, with different types of textures. then, there's also embroidery on the fabric itself, lending further interest. of course, when you mention the word fabric, you're bound to think of clothes. but what about the use of fabric for upholstery? for decoration? for toys?

for safety?

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