Presenter Profiles 2018


“If we don’t believe that photography has power to change our perceptions toward life then there is no point to talk about it.” This is how I would like to begin the talk to share my experiences in the photography world for more than 30 years.


Manit Sriwanichpoom is one of Thailand’s leading photographers, and the best known in the international art world, having exhibited worldwide including in the Venice Biennale, Photo Espana, Bienal de Sao Paulo, Paris Photo, International Photography Biennale (Mexico), Pingyao International Photography Festival (China), Gwangju Biennale (Korea), and at the Hayward Gallery (UK) and the Photographer’s Gallery (UK).

Solo shows include ‘Bangkok in Pink’ at the Yokohama Museum of Art; ‘Pink Man in Paradise’ at Monash University (Australia) and Valentine Willie Fine Arts (KL); ‘Repertoire of the Innermost’ at the Plum Blossom Gallery (Singapore) and ‘Beijing Pink’ at the Highland Gallery (Beijing).

He is collected by the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie (Paris), the DG Bank (Germany), the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, the Singapore Art Museum and well known private collectors.

In 2002 he was picked as one of the world’s 100 most interesting emerging photographers by Phaidon Press in their book BLINK. He was recently designated the winner of Japan’s prestigious Higashikawa Photo Fiesta Prize for the year 2007.

Manit began his career as a photojournalist then shifting to commercial photography, and ending up being a full time photo-artist who uses photography as a medium to create dialogues & engaging in socio-political movements and changes in Thailand.

Manit’s current projects include :
– Running “Kathmandu Photo Gallery”, an only space dedicating to photography in Bangkok.
– Building “Cinema Oasis”, a new alternative art house dedicating to interesting film & arts in Bangkok.
– a member of executive board of Bangkok Art & Culture Centre.
– an artistic adviser to PhotoBangkok 2018



Mahi Ramakrishnan is an investigative journalist and independent film maker, with 21 years experience in the media industry. She has worked in both print and broadcast media such as the Associated Press, Time magazine, USA Today, Al Jazeera, BBC, Voice of America and National Geographic.

She started making investigative films ten years ago, working on issues such as trafficking, child sex trade, migrant workers, refugees and statelessness. Film making remains her passion as she uses her documentaries and storytelling techniques to create awareness, organise communities, lobby parliamentarians, heads of states, government bodies and non-governmental organisations to act on pressing issues.

Mahi, also an activist, has worked closely with the Rohingya community over eleven years. Together with her son, Mahi started Refugees at Work- an online platform that connects refugees with employers and Twenty Four/7, a web channel that focuses on global refugee-related news.

She is also the founder Refugee Fest, an annual refugee festival that celebrates the courage and contribution of refugees worldwide.

Mahi lives in Kuala Lumpur with her partner and two children.


“At this symposium, I intend to present my experience in developing long term projects through two examples: the Yazidis who fled their homeland following the siege carried by IS and my current ongoing project in DPRK.


I will talk about how I start the projects and how I changed the concept of the stories during the process of shooting and researching, by sharing life with my subjects, by reading more material and gaining knowledge, and by witnessing things I hadn’t expected before, my idea of the story could change. I will also share how I tried to reach the right audience by the process of editing or the way of presenting the stories by creating a photo book. In addition, I will reflect on what the projects mean for the people I photographed (such as the Yazidis), and what I want to deliver to my audience.”

Noriko Hayashi is a Japanese photographer based in Tokyo, focusing on social issues and human conditions in different parts of the world such as the plight of the Yazidis in Iraq, Germany and USA; kidnapped brides in Kyrgyzstan and the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Noriko began taking pictures for a small local newspaper “The Point” in Gambia, West Africa, when she was a university student in International Relations. Working in a small place like Gambia, which is rarely the focus of international news but is full of interesting stories, taught Noriko the value of detailing the overlooked realities of every strand of society.

Her work has been recognized with awards including the 1st Prize of NPPA Best of Photojournalism in contemporary issue stories 2014, Visa d’Or Feature Award at the Visa Pour I’image 2013 in France, 1st Prize of DAYS JAPAN International Photojournalism Award in 2012. In 2015, she was selected to take part in the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass.

Noriko’s works have been published internationally in The Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Der Spiegel, National Geographic Japan, Marie Claire UK and Russia, Le Monde and and DAYS JAPAN.  Currently, she is focussing on several projects in DPRK (North Korea) such as Japanese women living in the country.


A self taught and self funded photographer, Zann Huizhen Huang began her first serious foray into photojournalism after the tsunami in January 2005. In less than a year, she joined WpN -World Picture News in New York.

Zann has covzann pix NEWXered humanitarian and socio-political issues in Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Indonesia, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, China, Turkey, Tunisia, Thailand and the Philippines. Her works have been published in Time magazine, Le Monde, Geo Italia, L’expresso and other publications in the US, Europe and Asia. She has also covered “Mental Health Issues” in Singapore and was featured in the Asia Exposed 2 series in late Sept 2011 on Channel News Asia which won a silver medal in the Best Social Issues/Current Affairs category at the New York Festival International TV and Film Awards 2012.

Zann’s works have been exhibited in various prestigious photo festivals such as Noorderlicht 2006, Visa Pour L’image 2007, Reportage Australia 2010, Angkor Photo Festival 2011 & 2013, Arles Photography Salon 2012, Chobi Mela 2013, Palm Springs Photo Festival 2013, Copenhagen Photo Festival 2013, Obscura Photo Festival 2013, Pingyao Photo Festival 2015 and the National Museum of Singapore 2014.

Zann has also spoken about her self-initiated and self-funded projects at TEDx Singapore 2012 and about her photo documentation of Iran at TEDx Kuala Lumpur 2012. She is also a judge for NOISE Singapore 2013. In 2014, Zann received the Magnum Foundation Emergency Award for her work on “Remember Shatila”. She was appointed as a cultural ambassador for the Singapore Internationale in 2014.

Zann completed a MA (Research in the Arts) under the Nanyang Technological University’s scholarship from 2014-2016. She undertook her second MA in Journalism in Aarhus Universitet, Denmark under the Tan Kah Kee Scholarship from 2016-2017. She is currently a journalist, photojournalist and a travel writer in Asia and the Middle East. Zann will be sharing her works on issues which are mostly hidden from the limelight.


Azrul is a retired Kuala Lumpur based photographer who spent many years documenting built heritage and public housing projects. He has written on built heritage, presented guest lectures and exhibited on the subject matter. He has also documented various heritage restoration projects including Stadium Merdeka for the Heritage Trust.


Azrul has also served as a speaker for Apple Malaysia and numerous imaging companies including Nikon, Hasselblad, Leica and Sony. and has guest lectured at HELP University College, INTI International University, University Malaya, Raffles Design, Malaysian Institute of Art, University Teknologi MARA and Galeri Petronas.

He has also served as a facilitator at Nikon Centre Kuala Lumpur and has been called upon as a judge for numerous photography competitions for various organisations.

Azrul held a 15-year solo retrospective on his built heritage photography at The Townhouse Gallery and a series entitled 4Buildings that dealt with living conditions at four public housing projects in Kuala Lumpur, which was held at the Alliance Francaise Kuala Lumpur. He also conducted a public lecture on creating awareness in conservation at Galeri Petronas, and lectured on how to document the built heritage at University Malaya’s Department for Built Environment. An archive of his documentary work resides with the Heritage Trust.



Nurul Huda Rashid is a researcher-writer, photographer, and educator who lectures in different subjects across Anthropology and the Arts. Her research projects focus on aspects of gender and identity, mapped alongside the study of visual and sentient bodies, and mediated through the photograph and narrative as methods. She has exhibited in group exhibitions, published in anthologies of women’s stories, and is currently working on a project entitled “Women in War”, which features ethnographic responses to images of women in war photographs.

In her free time, Nurul indulges in the expansion of her book collection, the documentation of poetic moments, and the fine-tuning of her hermit lifestyle.