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Elliott Koon
Sons Of The Soil

The Orang Asli, Malaysia’s native tribesmen, are a peaceful people who live in small communities, usually far from the cities, surrounded by nature. They have preserved their own way of life, yet they are not without troubles. Marginalised and vulnerable, without knowledge on how to protect their own rights, these people often are at a disadvantage and at the mercy of the ruling powers. The most pressing issue, which has made headlines and has affected many villages, would be one of native customary land rights. We read of entire villages being displaced, innocent villagers turned away from their homes with nowhere to go and stories of how their ancestral land being dishonoured and taken away.

Some have grown to accept the way life is, but there are those who have hope for a brighter future. The Orang Asli youth have their own ambitions and dreams. Some have said that they want the power to make a change, to have their voices heard. Would anyone of them be given the chance to become a world changer? Would they see a time when they would enjoy equal opportunities for education, health and careers in the future?

In spite of their circumstances, these youth do not turn away from who they are. They embrace fully the identity that they have been born with, maintaining the faith that some day what is rightfully theirs will be restored.

We will have been young – Photo Exhibition

Elliott Koon *1980, Malaysia

Elliott Koon | Sons Of The Soil © Elliott Koon Elliott Koon is a photographer and a musician based in Kuala Lumpur. He is an OBSCURA Festival of Photography 2015 workshop alumnus. His work has been featured online in Black and White Street Photography, Mononami, Fine Art Tokyo, Street View Photography, Street View Photography Taiwan, Ricoh GR Photography Community, and many more. He has exhibited his work at Dream Centre, Kuala Lumpur in 2013 and was featured in Photo VOGUE Italia and Baccarat Magazine in 2014. His work was also featured at Nikon Photo Week 2015 in Malaysia. In January 2016, one of his Japan work was selected as “30 Incredible Images in Street Photography” on the Russian website, rosphoto.com.

  • Elliott Koon | Sons Of The Soil © Elliott Koon
  • Elliott Koon | Sons Of The Soil © Elliott Koon
  • Elliott Koon | Sons Of The Soil © Elliott Koon