Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Hidden Gem at Penang Supreme Court

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The wooden stairways from the rear lobby of the Penang supreme court leads to a space on the second floor which is dark if not for the light that streams down from the concavity in the ceiling above. It is a dome with peacock motif stained glass lined with copper carvings.

We'll come back to the stairs and the dome in a moment...

Penang :: Dome of the Supreme Court
Dome with peacock motif stained glass, lined with copper carvings
The Penang supreme court that stands on the plot of land in between Light Street and Farquhar Street was built by the British colonists in 1903. The architectural design was influenced by the works of Andrew Palladio, a 16th-century Venetian architect.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Sunset At Permatang

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During the weekdays, the industrial zone in Bayan Lepas is as far as I would go. But last Saturday brought me further south, to a small village located on the south-east tip of Penang island - Permatang Damar Laut.

Penang::Permatang Damar Laut Sunset
Sunset at Permatang Damar Laut

Besides the all too familiar stretch of beach in Batu Ferringhi on the northen part of the island, there are a few less known (albeit more easily accessible) beaches on the opposite end. From the south-east to the south-west, there's Batu Maung, Permatang Damar Laut, Teluk Kumbar and Gertak Sanggul. I knew I would have to stop by at these spots for some photo some day. Finally, I decided to start with the closest one, Permatang Damar Laut (or better known among the locals as simply "Permatang").

Picture this: Cows lazying on the field, mouths constantly moving as if they're chewing gum; plenty of goats grazing the grass, stopping only to give an occasional "meh"; roosters pecking the ground, some crowing at the wrong time of the day... That's Permatang Damar Laut, one of the few idyllic villages left in Penang.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Penang Thaipusam 2012

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It was Thaipusam, a Hindu festival celebrated on the day of the Pusam star in the month of Thai (between January and February). It commemorates the day Lord Muruga received a vel spear blessed by Mother Shakti. With it, Lord Muruga vanquished the demonic forces and liberated everyone.

Penang Thaipusam:: Endurance
Hooks pierced at the back of a devotee
In South East Asia, the Penang Thaipusam is arguably of the grandest scale. 800,000 Hindu devotees from different parts of Malaysia make their pilgrimage to Penang on this day. Even non devotees - locals and foreigners alike - flock to the island to witness this religious festival. Guess what, there're also photographic tours hosted by professional photographers - accommodation, food, photography workshop and even a handphone with a local SIM card for use during the trip, all in one package!

While many people from afar take the trouble to come and experience this unique event, most locals take it for granted. We'd rather sleep in on this precious public holiday. When I was a small kid, my parents used to bring me to the Thaipusam but it has been a long while since I last went to one. So this year, I decided to brave the crowd and take some shots at the festival. It was also my first time photographing Thaipusam.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Portrait Shots At The Kaki Lima

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BB @ Ipoh Collage
A collage of Zhi's portraits taken at a five foot way
Just a quickie on a collage I put together a few days ago. I like these photos because the arches in the background add an extra dimension to the shots. Found them while I was looking through my hard drive. They were taken during an earlier trip to Old Town, Ipoh where Zhi's grandma lives.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The City Built On Tin

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Old Town, Ipoh :: Shophouses
Pre-war buildings along the main road leading into Old Town
During the boom of the tin mining industry at the beginning of the 19th century, areas along the riverbank of Sungai Kinta flourished. This town was known as Ipoh. In 1892, the Eastern part of the town was destroyed by a great fire. It was rebuilt and henceforth became known as New Town. Meanwhile, the area on the other side of the river was named Old Town.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Slipping Into 2012

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It's the year 2012. The year the Mayan calendar ends. The year the world ends.

Doomsday prophecy aside, it's just another new year. Last I checked, there's this peculiar custom where people go about making new year resolutions, promising to become a better person this new year.

I will stop reliving in the past and start worrying about the future. I will delete my Facebook account and spend more time with real people. I will not pretend to call in sick to work. Not even once. Totally. Honestly...

However earnest you are (or try to be) when you make these resolutions, you're also aware that it's a matter of time before they're swept to the neglected corners of your mind. Then comes the next year, when you'll feel maybe a small pang of guilt that the previous year's resolutions didn't go according to plan and promise to hang onto them for real this year. Then the cycle continues.

It is also the time when party spirit runs high. Right now, there's a growing crowd at the party venue at Taipei 101, as the revellers count down the final hours of the year 2011. At the first struck of 12, fireworks lit the sky for the next 202 seconds. All this extravaganza showing on the TV in my hotel room at the relatively rural Miaoli County, while I'm lying in the bed half asleep, too exhausted for the flurry of live reports.