Studio DL Photography Workshop teams up with REXKL to showcase students’ learning experience and their journey towards self-discovery
“Tengok Betul Betul, dari KL ke Amerika” is on from October 3-18 at the First Floor Foyer of REXKL. The exhibition features black-and-white photographs from 8 Studio DL Photography Workshop Foundation students.
This is a project by David Lok, one of Malaysia’s most accomplished photographers, of Sepet fame, who established Studio DL a commercial photography studio, and Lim Sok Lin, a senior photographer in Studio DL in their effort to give back to the society.
Their experience and skill in photography prompted them to conduct various pro bono photography projects and workshops for disenfranchised groups such as orphans, the visually impaired and B40 communities.
This year, Lok and Lim’s passion for education and community work culminated in the launch of the Studio DL Photography Workshop. The 12-week foundation-level class titled “Introduction to Photography: the essential foundation” commenced in March at REXKL and is the first of Studio DL’s three-level courses open to the public.
Students learnt visual elements in photography, basic functions of camera and basic image editing from these two accomplished professionals.
Their very first graduated class in July comprised of people from all walks of life coming together to explore photography for the first time, including two scholarship-holders, one from Pure Life Society (a home for orphans and underprivileged children) and another student from Dignity for Children Foundation (an NGO that provides education to the urban poor and migrant children) respectively.
When the pandemic struck and the MCO was implemented, Studio DL quickly pivoted to move the course online. Zoe Sobel, an American student, flew home but the class adjusted smoothly to remote learning.
“Instructors were able to provide instruction based on each students’ individual needs and they were always available to answer technical questions or help solve individual problems as they arose. Teachers helped students work on their strengths and weaknesses with every weekly homework assignment. I gained mentors invested in my success and like-minded friends, on the cusp of our photographic journeys,” said Zoe Sobel, a Luce Scholar from USA
In addition, Studio DL extended the course to 15 weeks to cover activities which could not take place online: a photo outing to Kuala Kubu Bharu, a ROMA movie night at the Studio, as well as putting together the “Tengok Betul Betul, dari KL ke Amerika” exhibition. The exhibition marks the culmination of 8 students’ journeys in the Introduction to Photography course.
View video here: https://youtu.be/yKG8Z0Ls1oM
“This course pushed me to discover greater reserves of potential that I didn’t know I possess. Through turbulent times, our instructors encouraged us to express all our emotions through photography,” said Gopal Balakrishan, 65-year-old student from Pure Life Society
“Transcending the lens, I graduated with more than just a good understanding of my camera and the fundamentals of photography. I experienced a significant change in how I view everyday life in all its beautiful and hideous moments,” said Faith Foo, a 19-year-old student.
“Through this workshop, we journeyed with our students, as each of them discover and learn more about themselves through photography,” observes Sok Lin.
David says it has been “heartwarming to see different characters coming through each of our students’ work.”
In 2018, Studio DL partnered with Malaysian Association For The Blind and Plus Community launched Sensory Photography, a platform to empower the visually impaired with an opportunity to learn a photography skill to express themselves.
Sensory Photography resulted in Malaysia’s first blind photo exhibition in Ruang, and one of the blind students, Kak Jam being the first blind portrait photographer at the Kancil award and REXKL’s flower market.
Editor’s Note: MARKETING is proud to add that Studio DL is the Official Photographer of our magazine.
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