Bahang (which means “heat” in Bahasa Malaysia), is a punk photography exhibition featuring 80 images captured by Penang-born photographer Choi Chin Loong (AKA “Choi”). The photos, in black & white and colour, were taken at several underground DIY punk rock shows from 2011 to 2017, most of them snapped at the renowned DIY punk community livehouse, Rumah Api in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, and some at Soundmaker Studio here in Penang.
The images were selected with the help of KerbauWorks founders artist Yee I-Lann and regional rock’n’roll archivist Joe Kidd, who plays in legendary Malaysian punk rock band Carburetor Dung, now called Dung, and also runs The Ricecooker Archives where Bahang was first exhibited in August this year.
Bahang’s running theme is “a day at a punk rock show”, with the pictures laid out to depict the experience of being at an underground punk gig, beginning with the time the venue’s doors first open and continuing until the end of the night. It is the chance for a vicarious visit to the underground music scene in Malaysia, complete with unfettered raw rock’n’roll, reckless energy, and swirling sweaty bodies.
Thirty-year old Choi now lives in KL, where he works at the Tandang Record Store, and shoots stills for films projects. He is a fixture at underground DIY punk shows, where he can be seen in the slam pit, thrashing among the bodies, camera to his eye, finger on the trigger, freezing the mayhem for posterity.
The show in Penang has been organised by The Camera
Museum, KerbauWorks, and The Ricecooker Archives, and sponsored by GerakBudaya Bookshop.
Bahang is running at The Camera Museum, 49 Lebuh Muntri, until November 3rd. Opening hours are 9am until 6.30pm and admission is free of charge. The launch event is on Saturday October 21st, from 3pm until 5pm, and will feature a special DJ session by Pusing Wax Party.