"Stories Behind Old Photographs" Exhibition, A Touching Malaysian History
'Stories Behind Old Photographs' Exhibition by Canvas Art Creative with the support of Yayasan Hasanah Art For All Seasons is showcasing 30 restored old photographs that proudly share their stories with the public to encourage our next generation to deepen their knowledge related to their family's culture and heritage.
CANVAS ART believes that all photographs have stories to tell. Yet over time, discolouration, stains, and damages reduce the power of photographs to share stories. They give new hope and life to precious old photographs. They have been in the service of restoring old photographs for more than 20 years - digitising and reprinting them onto canvas as most of our clients consider to be important legacies.
Throughout the years, their projects have always been to share Malaysian history to the public. However, they believe it's time to engage with fellow Malaysians to pass on their legacy to the next generation and to inspire many youths to be proud of their family history and heritages.
Showcasing these stories will also give our next generation a sense of their identity and a strong inter-generational self and others around us.
“The struggle in raising children is challenging and difficult. A picture of a mother smiling is worth a thousand words.” - Nurse Sunita Kaur
“My mother is Chinese but she was given away when she was a baby to an Indian family. She grew up taking care of the family that adopted her. She worked as a staff nurse for 35 years and she was the pillar and bread winner of our family.
"She had a hard life and grew up very poor. She would either cycle or take the bus to work and she managed to take care of all four of us. Eventually when my father passed away, she was also the pillar of our family and all of my siblings love her very much and we try to do the best for her as she’s aging now.
"She’s a very strong and determined person. She used to work 3 jobs to support us as she does a lot of part time jobs.
"She also takes care of all her relatives even though they are not directly related to her. She’s got a big heart and she’s a person that gives her all and wants nothing in return.” - Nurse Sunita Kaur
“The Muhibbah spirit was evident then and should always prevail in our nation!” - Dr George
“Bapa Malaysia visiting Malaysian students in Madras in 1960 to encourage them to work hard and return home to serve the country. I had the privilege to be one of those students speaking to Tunku Abdul Rahman.” - Dr George
“Friendship knows no boundaries of race or religion. It comes from the sincere heart, thus savour and cherish your friendship till the end.” - Dato Abdul Rahim Abd Aziz
“The fabulous four - Abdul Rahim, Michael Leong, Quek See Tiat and Lim Fung Wang were together ever since primary school at Bandar Hilir Elementary School (BHES) right up to Sixth Form at Malacca High School (MHS).
"All four made history when they were appointed as School Prefects whilst in Form Four - a first time in MHS.They later became Headboy, Deputy Headboy, Secretary and Treasurer of the Prefects Board. Their tight friendship knew no racial or religious boundaries. All four were very successful in their own careers in the working world.” - Dato Abdul Rahim Abd Aziz
“You can when you believe you can.” - Chew Mann Lin
“I was born in Pendang, Kedah in May 1965. When I was 8 years old, my family moved to Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. I grew up in both states until I left Seremban for further studies. This photo was taken when I was 15 years old in 1980.
"I studied at Chung Hua Private Chinese School in Seremban. I am so glad my parents sent me to Chinese Primary and Secondary School. This is where I mastered 3 languages. Each state was represented by one school, and 13 schools carried its school name proudly.
"I won 1st place that year among the 13 states having to speak in 3 languages smoothly: BM, Hua Yi/ Mandarin, and English.” - Chew Mann Lin
My grandmother and Poh-Poh Kian had the ingredients down-pat; mutual respect, loyalty, balance, being good listeners, honesty especially when it mattered, compassion and kindness. But most of all, they taught me the art of being present. So, are the virtues of the 1950s applicable to us in 2023? Perhaps… same world, different lens. “ - Adrian Seet | Anchor, Nightline TV3
“It is the mid-1950s. It is the first day of CNY. My grandmother Hock Neo (left) would have just put out her cigarette, relieved that her home, where I spent my formative years, is now spotlessly clean, decorated and ready to welcome those she loved.
"It is the only photo that I have of this house, where the ‘tiang pagar’ (fence) cocooned the lanai (porch). Needless to say, grandma had it removed the minute I was able to climb and jump off it, as part of my grand imagination of learning how to fly!
With her, is her best friend whom I called Poh-Poh Kian. She was fun loving and street-smart. Kian would stay for a few days. I would eavesdrop on their every conversation that would almost always end with laughter; children, recipes for disaster, annoying relatives and matters of the heart, were the topics of the day. She taught grandma how to crochet.
"Grandma taught her how to laugh at life. And their friendship taught me that where laughter exists, love is not far behind.”
“Today, digitalization presents an awesome platform for us to connect, communicate and create. This results in us engaging and making friends through social media where we ‘like’, ‘share’ and sometimes ‘subscribe’ to friendships and relationships. I hope the story behind this photograph will remind us of what it takes to nurture true and lifelong friendships.
"My grandmother and Poh-Poh Kian had the ingredients down-pat; mutual respect, loyalty, balance, being good listeners, honesty especially when it mattered, compassion and kindness. But most of all, they taught me the art of being present. So, are the virtues of the 1950s applicable to us in 2023? Perhaps… same world, different lens. “
- Adrian Seet | Anchor, Nightline TV3
Source: Canvas Art Creative
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