JO QUAH

PORTALS

Home is a safe, a calm retreat,

To rest the weary soul;

Home makes one's happiness complete,

Where love commands the whole.

                                       ~ Eliza and Sarah Wolcott


 

The project was inspired during an anthropology workshop, late 2018. Jo realised how little she knew about the residents and the city she called home. This was where Jo discovered that old residences, especially apartments hold the identities of early Kuala Lumpur residents. 

 

Portals focus on flats built from as early as the 60s where once were considered 'the place to live' during the heydays. Once prestigious addresses in Kuala Lumpur, she chose to visit the Red Mansion, Blue Boy Mansion, Ang Seng Mansion, Tiong Nam Mansion and Bandar Baru Sentul Apartments. These units were built with uniformity in mind. But as residents moved in, units were transformed into homes. Even behind closed doors, one gets a glimpse of the resident's identity looking at the main doors. Jo wanted to document how the design of doors and grills changed over time to be a unique reflection of who they are. During her visits, she noticed that many elderly owners have started to move out as many of these old residences were built without any elevators. It is sad to see the first generation leave. Imagine the stories they could have told.

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