Victor Chin’s Empathy

Victor Chin's Empathy photo exhibition at KLPac
Victor Chin, his son See Num and Peter Tan at Empathy – Portraits of Disability photo exhibition at KLPac.
Photo by Wuan.

Multimedia artist Victor Chin is currently holding an exhibition on his third series photographs of disabled people in black and white prints at Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac). On the 7th of February, he held a party for subjects of the exhibition and his friends at the same venue where Wuan and I attended with Christine, Elizabeth and our new friend Yoshie from the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV).

Victor Chin and Peter Tan at KL Sentral
Victor Chin and Peter Tan at KL Sentral.Photo by Wuan.

Victor took some photographs of a group of us when we were at KL Sentral with students from University Malaya for an access audit exercise in May last year. I had complained about the ramp with the extremely steep gradient at Sooka Sentral which led to the building management agreeing to an access audit of the premises.

Victor Chin's Empathy - Portraits of Disability photo exhibition at KLPac
Portraits of me at Victor Chin’s Empathy – Portraits of Disability photo exhibition at KLPac.
Photo by Wuan.

Someone asked me why I looked so sombre in the photographs. There is really nothing to be cheerful about when many of the facilities at KL Sentral were not accessible for a wheelchair user like me. Hopefully, the management of KL Sentral will take corrective measures on the recommendations and feedback provided by the students.

Below is the flyer of the exhibition. It ends on February 28.

Victor Chin's Empathy photo exhibition flyer

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

3 thoughts on “Victor Chin’s Empathy”

  1. Vic is a highly talented photographer and well respected for his support of the disabled. However this particular exhibition falls a little short of the previous two.

    If a picture paints a thousand words, then, the bottom set of pics speak more eloquently about the plight of the disabled. How? they depict the disabled subject’s endeavour despite their disability. Hence evokes empathy more effectively.

    My elderly sis, born without hands and hence cannot write or type, has asked me to post this comment:

    Showing a disabled subject looking merely sombre in a disabled unfriendly circumstances or environment communicates at best, the sense of helplessness. The emotion it succeeds in evoking is sadly, merely sympathy or worse still only pity. So NOT what the disabled person needs. Disabled people need to be featured more positively as in the bottom set of pictures, where their plight is presented alongside their endeavour.

  2. I can understand your frustration. It is very challenging to travel around Malaysia for any disabled people. I noticed that you were wearing a jacket in the photos. Wasn’t it hot? I sweat profusely when I am in KL. I have met some people who sweat very little. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. Hopefully, I will be back in Malaysia soon.

    I was wearing a jacket as I was running a fever then. My body’s thermoregulation is faulty due to spinal cord injury. I sweat very little. That is why I get very uncomfortable when the weather is too hot or too cold.

  3. Hi! Peter
    I have a copy of ‘Making Life Easier 2008/09’ catalogue with over 800 products for easier living for the disabled. It covers equipments and appliances ranging from Mobility, Bathing, Toileting, Personal Care, Bed & Chair to things like Comfort, Health & Leisure, Household and Dining. If you feel you would like to have a copy I can send it to you but require your postal address. The paper catalogue is not heavy so can easily send by post. E-mail me to let me know your decision. God bless.

    Thanks. Will email you privately regarding this.

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