Photographer and Storyteller Wilfred Lim is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From the projects ‘Red Note & Red Note – Part II’. To see Wilfred’s body of work, click on any image.
For the Chinese community in Pengerang, a red-coloured notice is usually a marker of auspicious and celebratory events such as weddings or religious rituals. Yet, for households in close to fifteen villages, receiving a “red note” as official resettlement notices have come to be known, is an ominous sign foreshadowing an uncertain future. Barely the size of a palm, these notices are pasted on doors of residences by authorities to earmark them for demolition, as part of massive land reclamation schemes for a refinery and petrochemical integrated development project.
This project features a series of houses which have been slated to be torn down to make way for land reclamation. Consistently captured in a deadpan fashion, they constitute a methodical typology and lexicon of architectural styles adopted by each family, encapsulating their faiths, tastes, beliefs and concepts of “homeliness”. With homes forever lost to economic imperatives, these images now serve as precious records of the lives homeowners have since left behind and the community spirit that once was.
Red Note – Part II is a sequel of my previous series – “Red Note”. Still referencing the Malaysian government demolition of houses around Pengerang commencing in September 2014, this series yearns to provide insights leading to the final phase of demolition.
A strange occurrence whereby doors, windows, and rooftops were eradicated and sold by the villagers amidst relocation. The abandoned ruins are empty houses without shelters and covers. I am deeply intrigued by the hollowness of the buildings; void that were once occupied across generations. I embarked on a documentation of this phenomenon, documenting the living room of such houses, in hopes of confronting the physical and more essentially, the cultural impacts of this demolition.
All images & text © Wilfred Lim
By Wilfred Lim