We had the good fortune of connecting with Annice Lyn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Annice, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I decided to pursue my artistic / creative career being a documentary photographer because I believe that photography holds no boundaries in regards to anyone’s social status. It is a medium used that being able to provoke understanding and captured to create human connection . Where I find photography is a tool for change, now more than ever, by capturing the present and preserving the past with the ability to impact and unite people with great magnitude.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a photojournalist, who visually documents stories that resonate with topics of critical importance.
Apart from that I was formerly architecturally trained, hence one thing photography, photojournalism and architecture have in common is the technicality and artistic sense of it. I implemented what I’ve learned while pursuing my architectural major back in my university days to input into my photojournalism career, the concepts of light, shadows, patterns and structure. Move over grew up watching my parents run a non-profit organisation and provide social services for the underprivileged old folks and children. From there I’ve learn how to see things differently in terms of empathy.
I believe for any one to get to where we are today professionally, we have to get our fundamental right. Knowing that skills set can always be develop, when it comes to fundamentals they are as simple as our ABCs – Attitude, Behaviour and Character. How we uphold ourselves, our integrity and most importantly how we treat others.
In my time of my professional practice, it was definitely not easy. No one said it was easy, and no one said is gonna be this hard either. One of the on-going challenges I’m still trying to over come is to pave the way in a highly male-dominated industry. To redistribute the cards os equality in the visual culture, especially as a women of colour in sports photography, assignment on site.
They lesson I’ve learned along the way is that, “We can’t control what other people do and how they treat us, but we can control our response to them.” What I would want the world to know that, in times we (women photographers) would love to have a fair chance to execute the assignments given. Being a creative in Malaysia, takes courage & self-conviction to challenge the norm in the meantime embraces Malaysia’s cultural landscape. While there are specific projects I would love to go full force in pursuing, however I would have to “Tetris” my priorities to put bread and butter on the table or seek fundings to sustain as a creative. With self generated assignments, in making sure every project has a value associated with it. It is a journey of framing opportunities and exploration with tremendous labor of love. Though there’s a colossal convincing to do along the way, as cliche as it sounds, I’ve always believed if there’s a will, there’s always a way. At the end of it all, know that there’s no perfect life, but you still put up with it because you’re doing it for something you love.
As a photographer/visual storyteller, I see gender equality has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. However there are still significant shortcomings of gender inequality persisting in the realm of visual culture with the lack of diversity of women’s visibility. Where on certain assignments we are pointed out as a distraction to, on the contrary, sensitive content or story of resilience requires a woman’s perspective to step in and to execute it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
As cliche as it sounds, expect the unexpected. Born and bred in the hearts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia a melting pot of its divert culture and traditions. We are definitely no shame when it comes to food, where you can have dim sum as breakfast (chinese cuisine), Banana leaf rice for lunch (Indian Cuisine) and Malay street food for dinner (Malay Cuisine) .
Theres a variety of historical yet modern art exhibition to visit at the city of Kuala Lumpur as well as island such as Semporna at the eastern of Malaysia, Langkawi or hop on the rich heritage state such as Penang Island and Ipoh.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to my fellow shutter sisters – Women Photographers Malaysia.
Aisha Nazar and I co-founded Women Photographers Malaysia at the peak of covid lockdown with the hopes to develop an inclusive culture that increases gender equality and helps in the strive for balance by ensuring better support and empower women photographers through visual storytelling. As well as for keeping us grounded in the photographic industry.
We started off a community in the internet, through webinars and to hosting workshops, organising monthly meet-ups and providing a safe space amongst women visual storytellers is part of what we hope to accomplish. Holding our fellow shutter sisters accountable by nurturing women and non-binary photographers to develop their skills, knowledge and encourage them to find the strength within in order to start putting themselves forward. Where work from women photographers can be showcased and highlighted in order to amplify their voices.
Photo by Annice Lyn