Young shutterbugs from the region take centre stage

(From right) Linh Pham explaining his photo series, Behind Closed Doors, to Joe and Kamala during the launch of the Obscura Festival of Photography 2017 at Hin Bus Depot in Jalan Gurdwara, Penang.

Guests at the launch of the event snapping a wefie together.

Guests at the launch of the event snapping a wefie together

THE many facets of youth were highlighted in the Obscura Festival of Photography 2017's exhibition at the Hin Bus Depot in Penang.

It featured imagery of young people in various locations across Southeast Asia, as well as those depicting their surroundings, daily lives and more.

These were taken by a dozen young shutterbugs who took part in a Photography Masterclass during the festival's previous edition in 2016.

Following the workshops, they each worked on their own projects according to the theme, capturing unique stories through their respective lenses.

The group included Alvin Lau and Elliott Koon of Malaysia, Amrita Chandradas and Lee Chang Ming of Singapore, Linh Pham of Vietnam and Watsamon Tri-yasakda of Thailand.

Completing the list were Dennese Victoria and Geric Cruz from the Philippines, Dwi Asrul Fajar and Muhammad Fadli from Indonesia, Yu Yu Myint Than from Myanmar and Kanel Khiev from Cambodia.

Accompanying the photos in the recently concluded exhibition was a book documenting the ideas and stories behind their collective works.

The event was launched by Ambassador of the United States to Malaysia, Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir, in a ceremony on the first day.

“It's wonderful seeing people from all over the world coming together to create something beautiful and exchanging ideas,” she said in her speech.

Festival director Vignes Balasingam said Obscura started five years ago with the aim to generate discourse and foster a sense of togetherness in an increasingly globalised world.

“Photography is a highly expressive form of art that allows us to start conversations with people elsewhere. These are more than just images on the wall,” he added.

Rolf Stehle, director of event partner Goethe Institut Malaysia, found it heartening to see young creative talents express their views of the present and hopes for the future.

“The future does not only depend on governments or the economy, but also on culture and creativity which are great drivers of social change,” he opined.

Also present at the launch were cultural affairs officer of the Embassy of the United States Michael D. Quinlan, George Town Festival director Joe Sidek, as well as Malaysian-German Society Penang director Doris Hafner and president Achim Lauermann.

Besides the exhibition, the festival also featured a series of photography talks, a master class, portfolio review sessions and a round table discussion.

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