Confluence with Ian Teh
After the Kelby walk was done, and I was suitably fed, I hopped across to Ruang for another event, a book talk by Ian Teh. It was hosted by a fellow KLickr Vignes Balasingam, who also was the editor for the project.
I never knew the guy actually but he is the real deal. He had exhibitions abroad before and his work had been featured in Time Magazine and National Geographic among others. He was there to talk about a photo book called Confluence, which he shot back in 2014. It was commissioned by Yayasan Selangor and it was a series of photographs featuring the coastline of Selangor, from Kuala Selangor at the North to Sepang down South.
Listening to him explaining the thought process and his motivation certainly lent a perspective in his process. Given only three weeks to come up with the book, certainly I understood his struggle and motivations. In the end, it was a picture book of great quality and worth checking out.
The book was divided into 3 segments - “The City & The Straits”, “The People & The Landscape” and “The Epilogue”. The pictures were accompanied by short texts and the print quality was excellent. AT the end of the book, there were essays by Tash Aw, Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim and Eddin Khoo.
Unfortunately only 300 were ever printed on the first press. Those were already sold out. For the event, they published another 100 copies - and I bought copy number 88/100. There was also a signed photograph by Ian although I was rushing out then and did not have time for a selfie. He was being mobbed with questions at the time. Should there be enquiries, they might come up with more prints.
More work by Ian can be seen at his website. He certainly have a certain “washed-out” quality to his photos with a wider than usual landscape orientation. Very atmospheric ...