An afternoon with Mr Eric Peris

All the energy that has been wasted for the day was paid for as Mr. Eric Peris offered us a cup of Srilankan Cinnamon Tea over a warm afternoon talk.

I was with my editorial team at his residence in Taman Sri Endah, Bandar Baru Sri Petaling to pick up the collection of his photography work in Tin Mines.  Mr. Eric Peris is a reputable photographer in Malaysia, which I have just discovered recently.  I learnt that he was a photo journalist for several big publication in the country and his works has been showcased internationally.

He talked about his fascination towards the Tin Mines, and how his parents, who were both artists inspired his journey.  How he learnt about photography by himself, without taking formal class, but instead relying on the natural approach.

No matter what camera a person is using, is the moment when you capture the moment.  Because in the end there is always a person behind a camera.  The camera or the shutter button will not work itself.  At least that is more or less of what he told us about the principle of photography.

I have a bad skill in taking photographs, and I cannot look good in photo, and truthfully, I do not like taking photo, because simply put that I won't bother to hit the shutter. I am that bad in photography, that is why I never think of developing my passion or skill, because it seems like I have none.

Although, I really enjoy looking at pretty pictures.  I have to admit eventhough I am working under graphic design flag, I have a bad appreciation on art.  Especially commercialized art.  I have been involved in hasty productions, setting things the way my bosses or colleagues and clients want to see and look.  I guess that is almost making me giving up in arts.  Because we have been wasting our energy so much to make things perfect and flawless.  We try really hard, eventhough we know that there is no such thing at perfection.   Meeting Eric Peris in person, I grow better appreciation and interest in photography, in a wider frame. Simply, he restores my faith in genuineness of art.  The way art should be presented.  The way art should be produced, that is with passion.

Taking photo is sharing the captured moment, taking the moment you want to see and share it  to everyone.  More or less he said. It is about deeper connection.  His general approach to photography is more than technical but also spiritual.  I guess that what makes him a great person with a hearty personality.

He lend me a chair to place my tea down when I was writing, and picked up the cap of my pen when it fell down.  He is a gentlemen.  We learn that he practice Zen Buddhism, and will travel to Srilanka, his country of origin, in April/May to study the birth of Buddhism.   He will also conduct and exhibition in honoring his late Mother who would turn 99 this year.  

Eric Peris is not sharing what he only knows in photography, but also a journey to find meaning in life.  I will treasure the memory of his kind invitation for my lifetime.  It is a relief to meet an artist who works truthfully for passion instead of having it commercialized.  I am working as advertiser, a field where money is the highest value, where arts are being compromised by it.  It is not an organic field for nurture a hobby sometimes, because you are put underpressure.  Again, it is such a relief to see him.  He also writes some haikus, and I could not help but beam when I read haiku, simply because I fancy arts in word form.  Like the way he appreciates arts in forms of photos.  All and all, we all have different types of arts that we appreciate the most, but in the end, one thing we share in common is... art!

If you read this Mr. Eric Peris, thank you... for the tea, the book and the conversation :)


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