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Gathered from the farthest reaches of Africa, the coconut groves of southern India, the paddy fields and rubber plantations of Malaysia and the bustle and energy of Hong Kong, the FormAsia team comprises a mix of nationalities with intriguing cultural backgrounds, well accustomed to tackling the complexities of book publishing in Asia.
From the empty plains of Namibia to the world’s most crowded city, from the shadows of apartheid to the flames of conflict in Vietnam, Frank’s cameras have probed – for LIFE magazine and his own volumes – the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. He won a citation from the Overseas Press Club of America for his work in China, where he covered the Cultural Revolution and its aftermath followed in the early 70s with his photographic essays on ‘Ping Pong’ diplomacy prior to President Nixon’s arrival in Beijing. Where Africa was once his focus, Asia now has him in thrall, firing his determination to record and preserve, in word and image, its immense diversity in a wide-sweeping range of publications that will do justice to its riches.
Hong Kong Marketing
Education in Australia helped give Hong Kong’s Anna Hui an international view that has developed into a love of Asian art, history, and the world of books. Formerly with the Hong Kong Museum of Art bookshop, Anna is passionate about Hong Kong and Asian culture as well as being an avid reader of English and Chinese novels. Upbeat, effervescent and ready to face challenges, she is eager to learn and ideally suited for her marketing role. A gentle and interested listener, Anna revels in daily feedback from our retailers. Her careful appraisal of their wants and needs ensures that FormAsia publications reflect the demands of the book-buying public, and reminds us of the truth in the old Chinese proverb: “If you wish to know the mind of a man listen carefully to his words.”
Logistics are fundamental to FormAsia’s constant quest for new projects, calling on Sathish to search high and low, following every byway, every path he knows, in order to service the team’s most intricate requirements. Hailing from the coconut groves of south India, where his family farms acres of fruit trees, Sathish possesses those supreme talents for achieving the impossible in even the most intractable regions of Asia – an inexhaustible patience and the charm that melts all resistance. He also knows how to protect sensitive camera equipment from monsoon rains and Gobi Desert dust storms and, within minutes, can lay his hands on any one of thousands of images that constitute FormAsia’s valuable archive of contemporary and historic photographs. Some may think of this as hard work, but Sathish describes his job as a permanent vacation.
Kwan Kwong Chung
Give him a 4×5 camera – his favourite format – plant him in front of an empty meadow and he will wait, if necessary, until the cows come home to produce the perfect idyll of a rustic landscape. A Hong Kong old-timer, there isn’t a camera or a piece of electronic lighting equipment that hasn’t passed through his hands and surrendered its secrets. Lighting being his forté, he has the infuriatingly inimitable ability to experiment with countless sources of luminance to achieve the ‘perfect’ image. Complicated studio set-ups are second nature to him, but he now concentrates on location photography. Something of a night owl, he’s not customarily awake for dawns and sunrises. Yet out on the road, he becomes FormAsia’s wake-up call for new picture ideas and opportunities.
When it comes to IT know-how, none of her colleagues can match the skills of petite Poomesh, who looks after our Overseas Marketing. Hailing from Malaysia, her multi-cultural experience and multi-lingual talents are an added asset in dealing with sales and correspondence in places like India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia, while also providing an extra dash of colour and spice to the already diverse nationalities that make up FormAsia.