CHILDREN see things from a different point of view, and their innocence and pureness of perspective can inspire the rest of us and create a sense of joy.
To see Malaysia anew, 10 children without any formal photography training were given a digital camera each and taught some basic skills as they travelled with a team of film-makers.
Aged between five and 13 years old, the children were given a chance to explore various parts of the country to capture what they felt best through photography.
The result was a gallery of self-expressive scenes of Malaysian life.
Huang WeiZheng, 12, first picked up his mother’s camera in 2015 and never stopped taking photographs since.
“Photography is fun and it is very satisfying when I get good photos,” he said, adding that he likes taking shots of people and landscapes.
Among the photos taken was one of two men of different races seated in a kopitiam with their backs facing each other.
WeiZheng interpreted the picture as interesting, describing the two people as possible friends who had a small argument, which was why they had turned their backs on each other.
He loves interacting with people and makes sure to get their permission before taking their photos.
“Sometimes, I face rejection but it’s all right because there are always other opportunities,” he said optimistically.
Being the youngest participant in the team, Wan Siti Khairul Afrina, five, definitely won hearts with not just her adorable personality, but with the pictures that she took.
“He is a hero because he repairs clocks,” she explained, when looking at one of her photos which showed a watchmaker at work against a backdrop full of clocks with his reflection on the transparent glass counter.
Pointing at a picture of a middle-aged woman giving out food packs during a soup kitchen programme, she said the woman was a hero too because she distributed food to senior citizens.
Another interesting photo taken by Wan Siti was a “shoefie”, featuring four pairs of shoes, including hers, on chequered floor tiles. This is one angle which we would usually see on social media platforms.
Another photo showed an “uncle”, fondly known as the bread man (roti man), with bags of snacks dangling from his motorcycle.
“He makes the children happy by bringing food,” she said.
The bread man was among the favourites of the children, including Muhammad Ayman Danish, seven, who called him a hero, for putting smiles on children’s faces.
While visiting a kopitiam during the exploration, Muhammad Ayman was attracted to three men of different races seated at the same table.
“Malay, Chinese and Indian – they were friends,” he described, while doodling on his art book.
He also likes taking food pictures aside from capturing people’s facial expressions.
“I like to take food pictures at restaurants I go to,” he said, adding that he likes photos of animals and trees.
This initiative is part of Petronas’ National Day and Malaysia Day campaign featuring the Cerita Kita television commercial (TVC) and the Ceritera Kita art exhibition.
In keeping with the spirit of a “new Malaysia”, the campaign this year underlines the people’s stories and aspirations to move forward as one through the eyes of the youngsters.
Scenes captured by the team of young Malaysians were based on four themes – Hope, Love Heroes and Family – the essentials that have kept Malaysia moving forward.
The 60-second commercial showcases the exploration and captivating photographs taken by the young talents.
Meanwhile, the exhibition, held to mark the TVC launch, highlights the nation-building efforts of Petronas through its corporate social investment.
The Cerita Kita TVC can be viewed on all Petronas social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and YouTube) and on television until Sept 16 while the Ceritera Kita exhibition is open for public viewing at Galeri Petronas, on the third level of Suria KLCC, until Sept 30.
Admission is free.