Fresh from our engagement in Jakarta with Gojek and the Museum of Hacks, we made a bee-line for the bright lights of Kuala Lumpur to keep our momentum going and launch PIXERF and its vision to disrupt, transform and evolve the Asian visual space to a community of creators, visual evangelists and businesses in the city.
Of course we didn’t opt for a simple brand launch – it isn’t in our DNA. To make an indelible impression we partnered with one of the longest running events in Kuala Lumpur, The Cooler Lumpur Festival. Every year, its propensity to adopt a particular zeitgeist as part of its overarching theme as a means to stir conscious thought and spark conversation on current, important issues meant a differentiation that we could recognise, a rebel spirit we could work with.
This years theme was #SuperCanggih – a celebration of extraordinary individuals who champion causes near and dear to the world in general – from animal conservation, to refugee movements and our global addiction to plastic – just to name a few.
Coincidentally, PIXEF had recently started an initiative to search for and celebrate visual creators that had used their passions to spark conversation on issues that were important to them.
They are Asia’s most inspiring visual creators. The visionaries, rebels and tenacious souls who stirred up conversations and changed the world around them through their chosen craft. More than a photographer or an artist, they are the voice of a generation, the advocate for urgent causes and trailblazers that provoke their global audience to see things differently.
We set up an exhibition at The White Box at Publika Square to showcase the works of our four Definers (described below) and the themes that they wrestled with. We also invited a host of brands and agencies across Kuala Lumpur to view the exhibition and learn more about our plans in the city state and Malaysia.
Our CEO Sa’at Ismail, CFO Michele Lee and CMO Sa’ad Hussein presented to the invitees on our different products and how PIXERF plans to forge beneficial relationships with each of them by supercharging their campaigns with authentic, quality Asian visuals or connecting them to our community of 80,000 visual creators for campaigns in Malaysia or the wider region.
Tom is a highly regarded fashion photographer from Thailand. He is a conservationist and an artist who uses his capabilities to highlight social and environmental issues. Having born with duplex kidney condition, it made him realise how important is organ donation and donation towards medical support. Hence in 2015, he teamed up with fellow photographer, Surachai Saengsuwan, to hold an exhibition at Chulalongkorn Hospital titled “Anatomy 101” to raise awareness on organ donation. Over the years, he also raised awareness on endangered species and marine life conservation.
Nadirah is a Malaysian photographer and a rising star in the industry. She had worked with Vogue Italia to bring awareness to a skin condition known as vitiligo – something she has and wanted to use that platform to bring attention and dispel rumours on the condition. At the same time, she hopes to redefine what traditional beauty was. Her other works behind the camera were also published in magazines like VICE, The New York Times and Nylon.
Xyza Cruz Bacani
Xyza is an award-winning street and documentary photographer who has been awarded the Magnum Foundation Human Rights Fellowship in New York on her work to bring focus on migrant workers in Asia. Formerly a domestic worker herself, Xyza redefined her life and used photography to raise awareness on under-reported stories. Her solo exhibition “We Are Like Air” showcases her work on migrant workers.
Yaman is an award-winning veteran with 15 years of photography under his belt. His works focuses a lot on community in Malaysia and his photobook, Malaysia, the Walk of Life, combines his knowledge of his home country and his natural storytelling gift to show the culture of Malaysian through his lens. He is also a mentor first, and is passionate about inspiring budding creators in Asia to fulfil their potential. He uses his photography to preserve a way of life and history that he says is disappearing.
Watch us engage with brands and agencies at White Box @ Publika below!
#SuperCanggih Definers Forum – hosted by Malaysian Youtube Sensation, Ho Ming Han (TheMingThing)
We invited all four of our Definers to engage in conversation about the current state of photography in Asia, their own personal experiences and their works. The forum was moderated by Ho Ming Han, or better known by his immensely popular handle, @themingthing, who used his usual flair and own personal background as a photographer to good effect, engaging them in deep conversations on each Definer’s approach to their art and critical issues related to their industry.
Through this hour-long session, our DEFINERS shared about their views on the current state of photography vs social media, why they do what they do and what inspired them to take such powerful images. Zooming in to each of their works, the forum was a great platform for attendees to understand the vision and message behind all these powerful images that was used to voice out issues that affected them and society at large.
We finished up our weekend in Kuala Lumpur with a photowalk hosted by the four Definers, which we will talk about much more in another article. Following the extraordinary theme (#SuperCanggih), participants chose their leads, who challenged them on different themes, styles and routes. Stay tuned for the full article!