As with all my previous shots, I have not the privilege of planning ahead with regards to location. I've never met Raymon before. All I knew was, he sounded nice and amiable. I braved the evening rush hour to go over to his parents' home in PJ just after work. By the time I got there, it was already dusk.
I opted for a roadside shot of him sitting on a very old vintage luggage belonging to his parents. As the fast fading light was creeping out on me in an especially humid evening, a horde of mosquitoes added to my misery.
My eighth candidate for Project Exodus; Tony Yap, an accomplished dancer, director, choreographer and visual artist. Born in Malaysia, Tony Yap has been away for 35 years, living and working in Australia. His critically acclaimed works in dancing has taken him to many countries and have seen him collaborated with dancers from around the world.
A bright red wall on the far side of the office next to the entrance caught my attention. I needed something simple. As I was in a rush, I decided to just use the background. I also thought the fiery red tone would best portray Tony as an energetic dancer. Coupled with a serious and pensive look which I told him to put on, the resulting image was something I'm more than happy with.
Sumi has been kind enough to help me spread the word on Project Exodus. She will be bringing back with her some A5 flyers I've printed regarding this initiative. I've been distributing them in cafes, restaurants, art centres etc in Malaysia.
So far, I haven't had any luck, except for a handful of people who emailed me expressing their support for what I'm doing. Some preferred not to participate for personal reasons, but promised to help spread the word.
Malaysian Employers Federation in an interview revealed an estimated 785,000 Malaysians working overseas. Unofficially, the figure may very well be over 1 million. The brain drain rate appears to be showing no signs of decline in the last decade. Exodus: Living in Exile, is an ongoing photography project aimed at documenting the lives of the hundreds of thousands of Malaysians currently living abroad.