Just last week Paul and myself went around town to track back those whom he has photographed for his book Five Minutes. We’ll be inviting them to our launch to celebrate the occasion together as Five Minutes would not have materialized without the varied lives and places that these personalities work and live in.

We sought out Mr. Choo Swee Leong last Thursday at his rattan shop, near the Menara Maybank along Jalan Tun Perak. It’s been a couple of years since Paul was there for the picture, and Mr. Choo would be in his mid-90s now. Paul also went back to Ipoh to look for the Todi Shop Drinkers for the same reason. Unfortunately, since Paul last took their picture, two have them have passed away. In both occasions, while the physical setting remains largely unchanged, the people have aged, grown, and even passed. Perhaps the beauty of the photograph is to preserve our moments as a facet of a richly diverse human life and to retell our stories.

Now

Then

I started this shop here a long time ago and it has been in operation since then. My daughter now helps look after it. I am proud for building this business and of still being able to sustain it. It is probably one of the oldest shops here in this row.

Now

Then

We’ve had this bar since 1954 but it was demolished in 2009. It was given to us by the British government but the council said it was a bad influence on the school nearby even though the bar was there before the school. All we want is just a place to meet up and have a good drink.

We’ll be heading down to Melaka this Thursday to invite many more of them to the launch on 9th July. Come over on the launch and say hi to Paul, myself, and the people from the book. Five Minutes will be also be selling on a promotional price on that day. Just drop me an email at foongwai@theprintroomkl.com :)

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