KUALA LUMPUR: It was Spring 2019 in Yuen Yang, China, a predominantly padi planting community.
For the family of Hanyi descendants, it may be just any other day but not for Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn, an avid photographer.
Their simplicity captured his heart.
The former human resources minister said time stood still in the laid-back community bordering Vietnam.
A picture of them in their bamboo house won him two awards from UK-based Societies of Photographers – top photographer of 2019 and best photograph (travel category).
Yesterday, Fong’s nephew, Wayne Leow, represented him at the award presentation in London.
Another photo on the Mursi Tribe in Southern Ethiopia with a four-year-old child surrounded by guns won the best award (children’s category).
“The Mursi who are under threat from other tribes needed guns. They traded their cattle for the weapons at the border with South Sudan where a civil war is ongoing, ” said Dr Fong.
The photo, he added, also emerged third under the category on fascinating faces at the Siena Photo Competition in Italy last September.
A member of the photography club during his school days, Dr Fong, 76, said his passion was rekindled in 2015, two years after retirement from politics.
“I was writing a book (The Malaysian Chinese Primary School: A Century of Toil and Dedication) then when I found photos tell the story best, ” he said.
Dr Fong’s passion will take him to Xinjiang, China in April and Wrangel Island, Russia in July.