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CREDIT: Chong Kit Han ARPS

Chong Kit Han ARPS

Print Submission

Statement of Intent

Located in Kota Tinggi, a small town in Johor of Malaysia is known for its traditional charcoal manufacturing. I was amazed when I visited the charcoal field where the workers were working very hard in an extremely polluted workplace, enduring high temperatures and dangers.

The making of charcoal was a very tough job which starting by preparing the burning yard to slow heat the buried mangrove woods in soil that finally become charcoal after curing and filtering process. The workers were living together with their families at the squatters in the perimeter of the charcoal yard and were getting along very well. My conversation with them found that despite all the hardships, they were optimistic, happy and satisfied with their lives.

My portfolio attempts to capture the working life of charcoal workers in the charcoal field and record the traditional process of charcoal production, which then might disappear one day.

I have chosen a series of images taken in a charcoal yard for my submission of ARPS distinction as this segment of the industry has been branded as a ‘sunset industry’ and using traditional methods of production. I visited the charcoal yard a few times to learn more about the charcoal making process and the working life of the workers, as I believed this would be helpful for me to capture images that tell more story.

I submitted my portfolio for online advice and received constructive and invaluable feedback for revision of my portfolio before final submission and finally, I achieved my ARPS success.