‘On the Wall’ … (Eventually) … in Kuala Lumpur …

This one I really like …

Since 2009 The Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards (KLPA) has annually selected and recognised the best in photographic portraiture from around the World. The work chosen is invariably on the cutting edge and held in the highest regard.

So … to say the least … was undeniably very happy when this years results in the Open award were announced this week … nineteen (compelling and imaginative) works selected from artists in the USA (2), Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands (2), Poland (2), India (2), UK, Italy, Serbia, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Ireland, Spain, Russia … and one selected from Australia … little old me.

Back from it’s trip ‘into space’ in 2019 my ‘Aurukun – Generations’ image was selected in the twenty strong list and will now travel to Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur for a month or so ‘on the wall’ of a prestigious gallery … dates and venue to be arranged at the whims of Covid.

’Aurukun – Generations’ has now received a raft of recognitions in awards and exhibitions … and it very nearly didn’t happen at all. The image was one of dozens made in the troubled Cape York township of Aurukun for a news story. Another was chosen for publication with the story and this pic was quietly forgotten. It was several months later when I revisited the archive, came across it again and realised it’s potential.

It was one of three of my images ‘Sent Into Space’ (literally) by ‘Portrait of Humanity’ in 2019 and it has also been exhibited and recognised widely around the planet. (You can find some of those … herehereherehere … hereherehere … and here .)

The work portrays Aurukun Wik elders Silas and Rebecca Wolmby with their great grand children Shalona and Keola. Sadly Silas has since left us. I did present his family with a large print of the Image when I made it back to the township last year.

It’s been eight years since I last made it to a Kuala Lumpur Finalist list in 2013 … coincidentally with another image made Aurukun way … a portrait of Aak Paul Ngantam stockman Perry Ward entitled ‘Roustabout’ (bottom below).

I travelled to Kuala Lumpur that year for the exhibition opening event. ‘Roustabout’ looked magnificent in a wonderful Petronas Towers gallery setting.

Very sadly (thanks covid), I’m pretty sure that this time around I won’t get to see ‘Aurukun – Generations’ on a KL gallery wall any time soon. (Still a buzz tho’ 😉 )

Images © Brian Cassey – top ‘Aurukun – Generations’, bottom ‘Roustabout’.


Kuala Lumpur International Photographic Portrait Prize KLPA 2021 - Finalist - 'Generations - Aurukun' by Brian Cassey

Kuala Lumpur International Photographic Portrait Prize KLPA 2013 - Finalist - 'Aak Paul Ngantam Roustabout' by Brian Cassey