about

Kanta Portraits 2017 & onwards the 2nd phase, evolution of the project has evolved into a portraiture series. Building of new concept cameras beyond the Kamra Boxes. Travelling with these mobile photo-studios, on a photography journey in the country and the region. #KantaBorneo is one of the next phase of the project



Grant proposal and acceptance letter for partial seed funding, thanks Krishen Jit Astro Fund

phase 1 (pre 2015)
KANTA— experiencing the living form of photography; rescheduled START DATE; JULY 2014, END DATE JULY 2015

Kanta is an instant-camera. Through a photographic process; it is an ingenious, economical way of producing a printed image. Kanta, which means lense in Malay, is the given name for this project. It was proposed for a grant in late 2013 with the Five Arts Centre and has won the support with partial seed funding through the Krishen Jit Astro Fund.

scrap yards, recycling centres, besi buruk, process of building the kamras was 50% of the project exploration

The cameras are made from waste and found materials. Apart from the interesting process of building this box camera, this project also hopes to capture a unique portrait of everyday Malaysian society. The printing process & effect of this camera juxtapose with what is recorded creates an interesting and unique insight of ourselves.

have dwelve into making cameras before, but this was the main inspiration
The project initially started in mid 2011 from the documentation of the Afghan Box Camera Project by Austrian artist Lukas Birk and Irish ethnographer Sean Foley. These unique "Kamra-e-faoree" were still being used in remote parts of India, Afghanistan and even Cuba, its origins from 19th century cameras.

prototype kamra #3– Bulb, is the kamra that is entirely made from waste material

Four prototype kamras were made. Largely based on the fundamentals of the original design but were modified to be versatile with mobility in mind. Three of them using 'Flimsies' as the outer shell. Flimsies are the British old standard oil cans. Sourced from a restaurant, furniture maker, & biscuit seller. Building materials were sourced from recycling wood mills, scrap yards & recycling centres.

field kit with the ability to produce print remotely anywhere, 9kg including tripod, up to 240 prints per trip on a test run

Designing and building took 3 months to complete. One kamra has been built for field use and is currently being tested. The lens was one of the most crucial part of the kamra. Most of them salvaged from old lenses, but the most unusual is the Aqua Spherical Lens, which is a circular shaped light bulb filled with water.

great support from so many around me, it's everything I love about photography, darkroom and people

The project has gained the support from numerous people. Lukas Birk of the Afghan Box Camera Project for the support & acknowledgement, Five Art Centre for the Krishen Jit Astro Fund, Master Chan, a machinist and camera restorer, who was commissioned to make the lens boards, contributed an old field camera for parts. Koon Yik from Bang Bang Geng contributed empty chemical bottles, a barrel lens and old strobes, Palate Palette Restaurant contributed three Oil Cans, Lucas & Joyce of Tofu Penang for the support in acquiring 2 biscuit tins, Justin Lim, an artist, contributed a large spherical light bulb, Su-ann for contributing her expired medicinal bottle containers, Mrs. framer who contributed off-cut glass for the ground glass, Gene Harn contributed two broken 135 format lenses, Chi too for the use of his woodwork machinery, Bike Pro for the used bicycle tubes, Vig Nachname for the loan of a flash light meter, Eiffel Chong for his carrier services of four boxes of photo paper, and the countless sitters who modeled for the project.