Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Sibu Photographic Society (1952-1987)

During the Sibu Cultural Festival recently, the Sibu Photographic Society put up a very nice exhibition. Syabas. Chia Yew.

Sibu actually has produced a large number of good photographers like Soon Lee Guan, Ngu Nu Soon, Lau Sie Kiu,etc. And other younger ones like Kelvin Song, Tiong Tak Liong, Ling Liong Hui, have made Sibu very well known through their photographs.

According to Kevin Song's book,"The Impending Storm", the Sibu Photographic Society (SPC) was founded in 1954, April 25th to be exact by Dr. Neffrey, Ang Choon Meing, Soon Lee Guan, Ting King Yu and Chen Zse Chai with more than 30 other members. The President was Peter Chiew Kuok Ping, the earliest Accountant of Si bu.

Their first activity was to travel to the interior of Sarawak to photograph the indigenous lifestyle and activities of the people. Another important development of the society was the passing of International photographic qualification examination by Song Lee Guan. He was the earliest Sibu photographer to earn an ARPS after his name.
(translated by Sarawakiana from Chinese)

A few of their activities were:

1. 1971 - Sarawak Students' Photographic Exhibition in Sibu.
2. 1972 - Under the leadership of the late S. K. Lau, many photographic activities were conducted and he initiated a weekly publication of amazing photographs.
3. 1974 - under the guidance of Chew Peng Cheng, the Presdient of the then society, a huge International photographic exhibition was held in Sibu. the Opening Ceremony was graced by the then Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Celestine Ujang. Photogrpahers from Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore sent in their entries.
4. 1975 - With Chua Siong kee as President, the SPC,(with Chua Chong Hieng, Tang Yew Sieng, Ling Liong Hui and others, manned a forum for student photogrpahers

Many visits to various parts of Sarawak were made and exhibitions were held. As a result of these activities, the members of the Club gained a lot of experiences in photography and won many accolades.

Kevin also has recorded the names of the various Presidents of the SPC:
1. First - Peter Chiew (1952)
2. Second - Chew Peng Cheng (1970-1974)
3. Third - Chua Siong kee (1975-1979)
4. Fourth - Tiong King Poh (1980-1982)
5. Fifth - Kelvin Song Chi Ming (1983-1986)
6. Sixth - Ling Liong Hui (1987 - )

Photography is an art and it is also a marvellous medium of recording history and culture. In future, many of our peoples' lifestyle, economic progress, political development and other living images will be studied in institutions of higher learning, displayed in museums and various other instituions of cultural activities.

The SPC has in a way make a good start for the people of Sibu. Syabas.

Main reference :

The Impending Storm, Kelvin Song, 2005

(My apologies to any one whose name I have left out, due to lack of documentation.)

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