Who We Are
Aqmal Hadi Shapee
…is a photographer who’s based in KL, Malaysia and trained as a marketing communications person in New Zealand. He is multi-disciplined and bilingual, switching between Bahasa and English with ease.
His interests in the visuals arts led him to photographing people and fashion, which helps him visualise and find inspirations to feed his creative mind. This has also led him to shoot a few stop-motion animation videos and commercials. But his real passion lies in alternative photography.
He’s always been interested in photography since young, but did not have the opportunity to explore further until he completed his degree from Auckland University of Technology in 2000. It was in New Zealand where he first bought his first manual camera and developed his shooting skills.
He founded a purely analog film group, group f64, in 2006, to explore the organic but creative workflow of pure photography, without the restrictions of digital encumbrance. Together with a few like-minded individuals, they have made ripples in the small but vibrant photography circles of Malaysia.
He’s been to New York And London to learn more about photography, while at the same time, assisting and shooting a few fashion shoot for Maniac Magazine, a Pittsburgh based periodical. He’s also attended a few workshops by Bruce Smith, Doug Gordon and Joe DiMaggio on fashion, wedding and street photography.
His work have been published in a few local magazines such as Female, KLUE, Juice and Aesthetics and he himself has been featured in a few local newspaper articles with regards to his film photography interests. Some of his works can also be seen on the music CD covers of up-and-coming local singers like Nadhira. He’s also had the good fortune to shoot for National Geographic Channel/FINAS for their first ever feature. “Becoming a King”. His passion in music have also led him to cover the first Global Battle Of The Bands grand finals in Malaysia for a local indie internet magazine, i-bands.net.
To him, creative process is a constant and he loves to travel far and wide to open up his views for new concepts and ideas. When at rest, he enjoys the local buzz in Kepong, where he lives.
Yoong Khean’s interest in photography began in 2001/02, when he was a medical student. Having developed an affinity for black & white images, he learnt the art of developing his own negatives, and hasn’t stopped since.
In 2005, he had a joint exhibition with 3 other photographers, which resulted in a 2 page interview with a local photography magazine. Yoong Khean also participated in an exhibition organized by The Annexe Gallery and PhotoMalaysia.com in 2008, where his prints were sold. Subsequently, he was also picked to display his prints at The Print Room, Petaling Jaya (2010) and also The China House, Penang (2011).
He has assisted successful photographers like Azrul K. Abdullah for various assignments and was hired as a freelance photographer for a local photography magazine from 2006-07, writing mostly travel articles accompanied by his black & white images.
Currently, he uses only film and alternative photography methods. His areas of interest include urban decay/landscapes, architecture, abstract and street photography. He is a practicing medical doctor and conducts f64′s workshops during his free time.
His photographic aspirations are to learn more about the arts of traditional black & white and alternative photography, and also to help others re-discover the fun of film photography.
In the last four years, Syariff’s interest in photography has developed from a passion into an obsession. He has a personal collection of thousands of film and digital images but prefers to use film. It has only been in the last few years that he has begun to concentrate on street and urban landscape photography.
The projects currently on this website and his personal photoblog give a good indication of the progress he has made and where his work is heading. Syariff’s initial obsession with the street and urban landscape has taken his work in two separate directions. The initial focuses on aesthetic based photography, looking at form and ‘beauty’ in a context particularly relating to urban architecture and decay.
The second approach is what he considers to be the most important part to his development and recognition as a photographer. Initially, his approach through social documentary was developed through street photography but now he has started to concentrate on people and their surroundings. Projects like his Bukit Bintang series shows that human behaviour changes like a chameleon and this is what drives Syariff to capture on his camera.
For now, he is blessed with the support from two other photographers at f64.org who shares the same passion and obsession. Over the next few years Syariff plans to execute several major documentary projects exploring the political and social aspects of life that fascinate him so much.