Kedai Gunting (Barber)

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to visit a small town in Malaysia? Well, I did, and I decided to take a trip to Tanjung Malim, a quaint and charming place that is about an hour away from Kuala Lumpur. I wanted to capture the essence of this town, so I brought along my Leica M10 Monochrom, a camera that only shoots in black and white. Why black and white, you ask? Because I think it adds a timeless and nostalgic feel to the photos, and it also makes me focus more on the shapes, textures, and contrasts of the scenes.

One of the photos that I took was this one, of a dilapidated storefront with a bicycle parked in front of it. The sign above the door says “Kedai Gunting Rambut”, which means “Barber Shop” in Malay. The sign on the left says “Dinga Rambut”, which means “Hair Salon”. I wonder how long this shop has been there, and who owns it. The bicycle looks old and rusted, but it also has a basket on the front, which suggests that someone still uses it. Maybe it belongs to the barber or the hairdresser, or maybe it’s just a random bike that someone left there.

I like this photo because it shows the contrast between the old and the new, the decay and the life, the past and the present. The building is in disrepair, with peeling paint and cracks in the walls. The windows have bars on them, which makes me think of prison or isolation. The lights are off, and there is no sign of activity inside. But the bicycle is a symbol of mobility and freedom. It also adds a touch of color to the otherwise monochrome image. The photo is taken from across the street, which gives a sense of distance and detachment. But it also invites curiosity and imagination.

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