Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Celebrating women
Ang Tau Mui

So the exhibition and all the events around the festival are finally over. The Kakiseni’s Women 100 festival was a blast. Right from the day we found out about the festival till days after the closing ceremony, it’s been one thing after the other and I’m truly proud and happy to have been a part of it.

Since we couldn’t discuss about the festival beforehand, here’s a recap of what happened. Beware this is going to be a long post.

We had only a week to do all the shoots as they needed to kick of the festival asap and prepare all the necessary material. We were assigned performers and asked to shoot based on the characters in each production.

All out

My first shoot was with Instant Cafe Theatre’s Jo Kukuthas at a famous mamak place in PJ. Trust me most PJ Netizen’s would be able to guess the place, coz even the Deputy Minister recognised it from my photo when I was taking her on a tour around the exhibition. This was for their production Sex, Money, Scandal - The Girlie Show.

Kakiseni: women 100

She moves

My second shoot was set at the centre of Bukit Bintang with dancers from Lapar Lab. We were shooting for their production She Moves at a Deliberate Pace. This one attracted a huge crowd of people who joined in to photograph and videograph the dancers. My lovely dancers just did whatever I asked them to do repeatedly ;p People were actually asking us what was going on and I told them to look out for the event in the papers. Had such a good time with the dancers. At one point we even got some boys on unicycles and stilt jumpers to jump for us. 

Lights action dance

However I finally didn’t use them though I might go look for them again ;p

Kakiseni: women 100 

My final shoot took me to Penang to shoot the Ang Tau Mui production for Five Arts Centre. Our production manager, the make up artiste and I headed there for the shoot. I must say this was my favourite shoot (I mentioned Penang twice in the NTV 7 interview so it figures ;p) because they were such lovely people to work with and the ideas they had to complement my own was inspiring. Photos were shot in a shopping mall and temple based on elements of the performance storyline. 


We had arrived in Penang late in the evening, but they were ready to take us to the locations for a quick view. I feel in love with this painting that was hanging in their gallery cum dance studio. Ho Sheau Fung was brilliant in executing her character, I just had to give her an emotion and she would immediately get into character. I remember when we headed to the temple, the mood just changed as she silently became Ang Tau Mui. It was like I was photographing Ang Tau Mui itself and not an actress.

Oi Ang Tau Mui. Kakiseni: women 100 Ang Tau Mui Anguish Kakiseni: women 100 Reaching out   

Shoots done, we did our magic and sent them to Kakiseni.

The festival was launched on the 100th anniversary of women’s day on 8 April to start of a month of performance. They first 100 hours however started slightly earlier with the beautiful and heart wrenching production of Life Sdn Bhd 6: Abuse. We were in tears watching them tell the stories, some their own. The story that touched me the most was the determination of a rape victim to send her abusers to jail. She waited for years to finally put them in jail for good yet she persisted and her determination and strength amazed me. I wish more women were like her and never gave up in the face of adversary.

The performances by leading Malaysian actresses and performers during the launch were rib tickling and inspiring at the same time. The brochure book featured all the performances as well as our biodata’s and a few of our pictures.

women 100: milestone women 100: milestone My photo ;) kakiseni women 100   

Throughout the festival I managed to watch Life Sdn Bhd 6: Abuse, A Modern Woman Called Ang Tau Mui, 'Butterfly Lovers' Dance . Music . Video Art, Muzik Ku : Muzik Mu’s performance by Elvira Arul, Women On Top, She Moves at a Deliberate Pace and Lady Swettenham. 
My photos of Ang Tau Mui were featured in The Sun and on NTV 7’s Bella during an interview of the leading ladies of both the English and Chinese version of the play. Yes there was two separate productions.

Kakiseni: women 100 - media

Kakiseni: women 100 Kakiseni: women 100 Kakiseni: women 100 Kakiseni: women 100 

I also shot two of the performances, A Modern Woman Called Ang Tau Mui and She Moves at a Deliberate Pace. I ended up watching Ang Tau Mui twice and absolutely loved it. While She Moves was at my favourite venue – Panggung Bandaraya.

Kakiseni: women 100 Kakiseni: women 100 Kakiseni: women 100 DanceUnison  

The exhibition “Beauty Through the Eyes of Four Female Photographers” finally took place from 28th April to 8 May 2011. I was honoured to share the exhibition space with 3 talented female photographers, Evelyn Lam Lip Lin, Naomi Aw Shui Ching and Sharon Lam.

kakiseni women 100

In preparations to the exhibition, we were interviewed on NTV 7s weekly LIVE talk show Bella. 

kakiseni women 100

Our hosts for the afternoon were Elaine Daily and Deborah Henry. Right from the moment we got the call, I was freaked out as this was my first tv interview and it didn’t help one bit that it was a live programme. What if I said the wrong thing, wrong word or went ooo aahhh eee?

Thankfully I didn’t blurt out but ended up talking non stop – hehe verbal diarrhoea ;p I had fun with the gals though as we were all so nervous we had to crack jokes for relief.

kakiseni women 100

kakiseni women 100 kakiseni women 100 kakiseni women 100

The exhibition week began while I was travelling in Thailand so I had very little time to enjoy and visit the exhibition. Thank you so much to everyone who took time to visit the exhibition, post photos and leave me notes. Thank you also to those that bought the specially designed box of 50 postcards that included our exhibited photos and notes from the performances. The proceeds will be given to charity.

kakiseni women 100 kakiseni women 100 kakiseni women 100 

kakiseni women 100  

The closing ceremony took place on 4 May together with the Women, Family and Community Develop-ment Ministry's secretary-general Datuk Dr Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur. The ceremony began with poem recitals. One of them turned out to be my friend. I really liked the unveiling of the new logo to announce next years festival. We were invited on stage and given a pretty daisy each.  Then we each introduced our exhibited work to the VIPs. One of the press photogs turned out to be someone I knew and had a chat with him before we got interviewed by Harian Metro and Utusan. Do also read the report in The Star.

Kakiseni: women 100 - media Kakiseni: women 100 - media Kakiseni: women 100 - media  
And with that ends a recap of a lovely festival I had an absolute pleasure to be a part off.
I’ve got a long list of thank you’s to send out to people. So thank you to the brilliant team of people and part timers at Kakiseni who probably never slept for the whole duration of the festival, thank you for ensuring we got to use hard to get locations, arranging everything and focusing on quality always, thank you also for giving us the creative freedom to execute our ideas and thank you for doing a brilliant job with the events.

Thank you to all the lovely performers, makeup artiste, directors, managers, artists, well wishers and everyone who were involved from the performers side to give us their best. Nothing would have been possible without you guys. So thank you everyone.

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Blogger Kervin said...
Fantastic photos and congrats to a successful venture. It's truly deserving and a nice touch to see how great your photography skills have become. Heres to your next venture whatever it may be