Photo exhibition by Philip Morris Malaysia x The Edge imagines a better world without smoke

'Unsmoke: Through The Lens of Malaysians' featured works by Malaysian photographers David Lok, SC Shekar and Nadirah Zakariya.

David Lok, Nadirah Zakariya, Datuk Ho Kay Tat of The Edge Media Group, Veronica Choo, Lim Wei-Ling and Kang Tae Koo, managing director of Philip Morris Malaysia (All photos: Sam Fong/The Edge)

What was supposed to be a regular Friday morning turned into a most artistic one recently when The Edge and Philip Morris Malaysia hosted a champagne brunch to treat a select group of clients and associates to a special viewing of the tobacco company’s groundbreaking photography exhibition. Unsmoke: Through The Lens of Malaysians featured the works of three prominent Malaysian photographers — David Lok, SC Shekar and Nadirah Zakariya — who each had three weeks to interpret what the term “unsmoke” meant to them, with the guidance and curation of eminent gallerist, Lim Wei-Ling of Wei-Ling Gallery.

The results were stunning, each a unique testimony to the photographer’s eye and skill.

“This exhibition highlights Philip Morris International’s strong and enduring commitment to the arts,” said Kang Tae Koo, managing director of its Malaysian operations. “The work of the photographers represent the best of Malaysia’s great diversity and talent. Each photographer took a unique and innovative approach to the theme with moving as well as thought-provoking results.”

For those wondering about the correlation between a tobacco company and a campaign that is clearly smoke-free, it is the result of the corporation’s declaration in April that 2019 is “The Year of Unsmoke”, an urgent call to action to smokers, non-smokers, regulators and agents of change alike to drive a better future for the world’s 1.1 billion smokers, their families and loved ones, and communities. A global initiative, it has kicked off in a number of other markets already and is on its way to being a powerful movement to initiate a transformative lifestyle change.

The elements:

The hosts:
Kang Tae Koo, managing director of Philip Morris Malaysia, and Datuk Ho Kay Tat, publisher and group CEO of The Edge Media Group

The guests:
The guests included but were not limited to Datuk Rishya Joseph, CEO of Reason Asia; Vijayaratnam Tharumartnam, director of group corporate communications at Proton; CK Tan, trustee of Yayasan Nanyang Press; Chen May Yee, Asia-Pacific director at Wunderman Thompson Intelligence; Suria Zainal, head of group corporate communications at CIMB Group; Farrah Vivien Raguet, international move manager of Intermovers Malaysia; and Nik Tasha Nik Kamaruddin, director of Ipsos Malaysia

The talents:
David Lok, SC Shekar and Nadirah Zakariya

The venue:
Colony @ Star Boulevard, Kuala Lumpur


Guests arriving for the brunch event

The nibbles:
Define:food dished out an array of innovative and delicious canapes, including steamed prawn mousse, smoked duck, soba noodles, curried smoked salmon on blinis with caviar, petite green tea cheese cake and coconut sago gelée bon bons

The tipple:
GH Mumm champagne

The door gift:
Guests left with a coloured Stojo collapsible cup, the world’s first ultra-portable, leak-proof reusable vessel and an eco-friendly gift that makes a difference, considering the billions of disposable cups that end up in landfills annually


This article first appeared on Dec 2, 2019 in The Edge Malaysia. ​


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