When I first printed “Eden” I was never happy with it. Originally I scratched and printed through tissue, then using potassium ferricyanide bleached some parts of the print.
The first print I used gloss fibre paper, but bleaching gloss doesn’t work as well as matt or semi matt paper, so then I changed to matt, still not happy with it, I framed it anyway and exhibited it as a AP print.
“Eden” AP printed on 20×24 inch matt fibre.
More recently I tried the print on 300grm art paper then bleached, but again, bleaching on this paper doesn’t work as well, and tends to sit on the surface rather than soak into the print. So losing my patience with this print I decided to scratch the hell out of it, either I was going to completely fuck it up, or create something I would be happy with.
So after a few trips into the dark room to make a test print and see if I needed to scratch some more, I decided to cut holes in the negative, and without having to bleach the print I finally got something I am happy with. So I printed six large prints on warm tone fibre about 30inch x 26 inch.
“Bird man of Pudu”
For the non Malaysians, Pudu is a town in Kuala Lumpur which is quite run down and has the 2nd highest crime rate next to Brickfields. There is a very well known wet market, although it’s open every day, the weekends are much more busy. You can find a Chinese temple, an indoor market that sells all the meats, and even under the counter shark fin, freshly caught from Terengganu (east cost of Malaysia), you can also find mother mainland Chinese prostitutes, watched under the close eye of the local triads (WIP)
The bird man, as I call him, is this old guy, who is mentally challenged who’s job is to de-feather ducks. He sleeps outside on any surface he can find, normally where they cut the pork, using cardboard as a bed. No-one knows his real name, or his history or where he comes from, he is just there, everyday doing his job. Occasionally, when he would see me I would buy him some cigarettes, he likes Rothmans.
I shot this during one of my classes which eventually became one of our strongest exhibitions at The Print Room called “Market”
I spent a lot of time with the duck men, non of them spoke English, but one would always think I was Dutch and would spurt out some premier league football team where I would reply.. I hate football, except of course the world cup, which of course I would end up complaining how bad the English team was. (glazed faces)
When I shot this, I was fascinated about what he was doing, he would sit there, smoke his Rothmans and wait for the ducks bleed and die before he put them in the drum. That was his job, sit, smoke and de-feather, from 7am until 2pm. Sometimes I would walk around the market at 2am, I would see him curled up on a counter somewhere.
Since I started the Print Room I think this is one of my strongest street shots that I have taken, not to mention that I nearly lost it during processing.
After a long break away, when I got back I mistakenly rolled two rolls on the same reel. (possible with 120 film, not 35mm) After taking the film out, two frames survived, and this was one, the other I also sold during the exhibition.
I haven’t seen the bird man since, no-one has.
Hand Print on Ilford Warm tone fibre paper
I’ve just lost people I care about, not just one, but a few,
I’ve lost a relationship, someone who cared ended to soon.
My best friend and I rowed, what about, I don’t know,
Perhaps, better left unsaid, and just let it go.
To my mother I am a monster, changed in every way,
You’re Asian fiends must of made you this way,
I sit her and think about how to end,
Should I cut, swallow or hang?
I do, so fuck you all. I’m still here!!!