It is a yearly event, and as a keen photographer, I felt obliged to support the Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival. It had been hit and miss over the years, but the 2019 chapter must score as a hit. I certainly enjoyed the two and a half hours I spent there on a Sunday lunchtime.
The venue has moved to VIVA Home Centre, near Cheras. It was held at Mid Valley last year, which frankly was easier for me to get to. But space was limited then, plus one of the major problems I found was the noise. The new venue is larger, and you could tell those who turned up were enthusiasts. Let's be honest, VIVA is not usually blessed with foot traffic who just happen to stroll there on a Sunday afternoon. So, those who attended all came just for the show.
Over the years, the festival had reinvented itself. It used to be a big exposition for vendors to sell their products. There were vendors this time around, but the number is smaller. Most of the exhibit space was taken up by photography clubs and societies, showcasing their activities, trying to attract new members. There was also a separate area for travel agencies with an excellent selection of travel photography.
There was a strong collection of street photography on show this time around. The forum topics certainly supported that. I missed one of the better session last night. It was hosted by Ripi, but luckily one of the panellists - a photographer based in New York City, Gulnara Samoilova - had a session today which I was able to attend. She spoke of how the event of 9/11 affected her life. She happened to be near the twin towers at the time with her cameras as she worked nearby. During the mayhem, kept her camera rolling. One of her photos won an international award which kickstarted her career. Since then, she started a movement for women street photographer, which, to a certain extent, brought her to KL for this event.
A fascinating talk. Events were going on at the different corners of the hall. I counted at least four concurrent streams of talks taking place. Some of them were lectures. Some of them were workshops and forums. A hive of activities indeed. I was also impressed with the quality of the projection and audio system. Indeed, for an event like this, the AV system must be top-notch. And it did not disappoint. Time-keeping was also excellent, and I was able to glide through the talks with ease.
The festival this year was definitely an improvement to the edition from last year. The new, somewhat isolated, venue certainly helped in my opinion. Kudos to the organiser for a well-run show. Am looking forward to the next year's edition.