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Malaysia through the lenses of a Mat Salleh: Episode 15

Malaysia through the lenses of a Mat Salleh

By Philippe A.Durant

Sorry for not posting yesterday but I was on a trip to Taiping/Kuala Sepetang. 


Day 15: Ipoh –  Mr Lau, the last Bamboo shades maker.

My admiration for Mr Lau Hooi Kee is similar to the one for Mr Chong in Malacca before. They represent the disappearance of traditional craft and artisan. At 83 and still single, Mr Lau continues making original and traditional bamboo shades. His career started when he was a child in his father and grandfather’s workshop. He still has a few customers today, but most people now prefer cheap ready-made synthetic fiber shades from Chinese factories. It truly is a sign of time. 

No one has ever shown interest to learn from Mr Lau and yet he still works, with a fantastic smile, alone in his house. He is the only one left in the area and maybe even the country. I visit him relatively regularly and even though we do not speak the same language, we always find ways to communicate. My wife and I did a video about him that you can watch following this link.

Bon voyage.

P.S.: All the photos can be purchased and printed (in all sizes and format) with a simple request via WhatsApp/Signal at 0172409722.

I also continue shooting almost daily. To see my latest photography check and follow:

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