International Young Art 2003 – Artlink@Sotheby's, Tel Aviv, Moscow and Amsterdam KMOPA Young Portfolio Acquisition, 2002, Kiyasato Museum of Photographic Arts FACTORY, Combined Views, 2002, Seoul, Korea Glass Curtain Gallery, Fresh, 2001, Chicago, USA Chicago CTA Station, TRANSIT, 2001, Chicago, USA Hokin Gallery, Creativity With a Conscience, Chicago, USA Flat File, Zen, 2000, Chicago, USA 11th Street Gallery, 7th Annual Exhibition, 2000, Chicago, USA
PDN (Photo District News), Photo annual 2010 Winner – Advertising Category PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Awards), Gold Award For Tourism Malaysia Print Campaign 2009 ITB Berlin, Gold Awards For Print Advertising 2009 Publisher Association Malaysia, Silver For Niche Magazine Category 2007
I grew up in the tropics of South East Asia, in Malaysia. Mom says I laughed really loudly when I was a child. I cycled a lot while I was young, and embarked on little bike tours with my friends, tearing up the roads long before there were any highways.
I was not studious or particularly good at school. I loved reading stories on myth, especially our local legends. I really miss both my great grandmother and grandmother, They told great stories, particularly about the war.
Growing up, I used to play board games by myself. Arcade was magical when I was first introduced to it. I would walk 2 kilometers to play a round of 20 Sen a game, whenever I could afford it.
Somehow I managed to scramble through 5 years of high school and pass the final year examinations. When I turned 17, I went to London to visit my favorite aunt, who was an artist. It was she and her husband Kim who first introduced me to art and photography.
The first picture I took was an abstract of a strand of seaweed on a Sinar 4x5. I fell in love at that moment and have been addicted ever since. In those days, Polaroids were simply amazing.
I was so happy when my parents gave me the opportunity to go to Chicago to study photography, even though it was really tough on them, financially.
There were days when I would not eat so I could save the money to buy film and photographic paper. Before graduating I asked a lecturer whom I respected a lot "how can I continue to produce art and survive?" With a serious tone she replied, just as seriously, "marry a rich woman!" I knew she meant well. I was 22 at the time.
The happiest moment of my life to date was when I got selected as a finalist for an art auction in 3 different countries. I was fortunate enough to meet a bunch of great photographers when I was working as an assistant in the US after graduating. Jim was one of them. He was a great friend and teacher.
My favorite photographer is Ernst Haas.
After the US, I returned to Malaysia and started GREYSPACES, at the age of 24. I stayed put for the next 8 years before deciding I had had enough. There must be something more out there. The question was what?
So, I packed up and headed to Hong Kong in the hope of finding answers. Two years later, I returned to KL. One thing I missed about home was the people here and the wonderful trees. What I've found is writing a bio is like taking a self portrait - it takes forever!