Love Is Wild Book Launch: I am now officially published!

I am now a published author (yay!).

Who knew it would happen, that night I serendipitously met celebrity/photographer/producer/environmentalist Sean Lee-Davies during an emergency landing in Clark from a Hong Kong-Manila flight? But that’s another story for another time.

Yesterday at Liang Yi Museum with Natalie from the Love is Wild team, my friend Karen, Sean Lee-Davies (mastermind of the project), and myself
Yesterday at Liang Yi Museum with Natalie from the Love is Wild team, my friend Karen, Sean Lee-Davies (mastermind of the project), and myself

Love is Wild is about wildlife and wild spaces, and how humans can still be a part of these increasingly rare landscapes. Love is Wild evokes a time when man had a spiritual connection with the earth, and the creatures within.

SUZANNE LIM DIVES DOWN INTO A SHOAL OF SARDINES. FREEDIVERS CAN DIVE DOWN TO 200M AND HOLDING THEIR BREATH OVER FOR UP TO 11 MINS GIVING THEM AN UNPARALLELED FREEDOM AND ACCESS TO MARINE LIFE. Photography by Sean Lee-Davies

Last March 2015, I quit my job in a Hong Kong tourism magazine to travel with my sister. That’s when we did three months in the Iberian Peninsula. I kept contact with Sean via e-mail and social media after meeting him at the Clark airport. He said from the beginning that he needed a writer but never really approached me with a serious offer.

Gentle Giants: TWO FULLY GROWN FEMALE ELEPHANTS SAUNTER RIGHT PAST IN THE AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK, KENYA // Photography by SLD

Fast forward to July 2015. I flew back to Asia from Spain, but kept travelling within the Philippines. I randomly get a message from Sean asking me if I ever planned to work again? I said it depends, does he have something for me?

Let me know when you’re back in Hong Kong, he says.

And so I booked a flight to Hong Kong for the first two weeks of August. Why not?

On my second day in Hong Kong, I met with Sean in Holly Brown Coffee, Stanley Street. He looked stressed. I need a writer, he says. Can you come onboard tomorrow?

Well that escalated quickly.

More photos from the Love Is Wild Exhibition / Book project. This one’s called “Sand Bath” : AN ELEPHANT DOUSES HIMSELF WITH SAND ON THE BANKS OF THE ZAMBEZI RIVER TO PROTECT HIS SKIN FROM THE SUN AND PARASITES.

Sean got a book publishing deal from Asia One Product & Publishing to time with his Love is Wild travelling exhibition. The project is a culmination of his best fine art photography from five years of travel through Africa and Asia.

His visions of wildlife, long forgotten tribes, and primordial rainforests tell us stories reminiscent of the spiritual and existential bond between man, animals, and their home, the earth.

But between producing two shows for TVB Pearl (Tycoon Talk, Adventures to the Edgeas well as putting together the exhibition, he had no time to take charge of writing the entire book from start to finish. So that’s where I came in. I put together the flat plan, collated and sifted through the interview transcripts, did my due research, mapped out the guidelines for the Foreword + Preface/Artist Statement, and camped out at the office/library sometimes for 11 hours a day tapping out on my keyboard, nonstop. For six weeks.

38FD15C4-CA00-4A27-8F95-67226DDEA3EE
Girlfriend’s got my back

It was a lot more complicated than I’m making it sound, but that’s the jist of it.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 2.52.02 PM
Screenshot of the pre-final copyright page

Sans the pressure of the supertight deadline, I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this project. I enjoyed the subject matter so much, and appreciated learning about issues (illegal wildlife trade, extinction, climate change), and even little things like the habits and idiosyncracies of endangered animals like tigers, pangolins, sharks…

Great White Sharks have 300 teeth. Despite this, they swallow their food whole.

MIGHTY: A BLACK RHINO AT THE STANLEY LIVINGSTONE CONSERVANCY IN ZIMBABWE, PROTECTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL ANTI POACHING FOUNDATION. SINCE THE IAPF INTRODUCED PATROLS THERE HAS BEEN NO MORE POACHING AT THE PARK // Photography by SLD

It all proved to be so timely as well because just as the project was underway the fires in Sumatra broke out and cast Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia in a dark, toxic haze.

Huge areas of rainforest are being cleared and converted into agricultural land, mostly for commercial palm oil and rubber production.

In September 2015, the practise received international media attention, after uncontrollable forest fires across Sumatra created a vast, choking haze, darkening the skies of neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia for weeks. Schools and airports were closed, and a public outcry ensued.

GAILE LOK STANDING IN FRONT OF A DIPTEROCARPACEAE HARDWOOD TREE SPECIES HIGHLY PRIZED BY ILLEGAL LOGGERS IN THE LEUSER ECOSYSTEM. ONCE VIRGIN RAINFOREST IS CUT DOWN, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO RECOVER THE LOST BIODIVERSITY. HOWEVER, CERTAIN PROGRAMS ARE AIMED AT RECLAIMING ILLEGALLY CUT DOWN FORESTS BY GROWING SECONDARY RAINFOREST. GIVEN A CHANCE, NATURE RETURNS VERY QUICKLY. SLD Photography

It may have been just a few several weeks of my life, but the project has made a huge impact on me. I hope it does help to raise awareness, and funds for this much-overlooked cause. I’m not asking anyone to buy the book, but to at least do this: help to make the purchase of endangered wildlife products like ivory, shark fin, pangolin scales, rhino horn, etc. UNCOOL. When you see someone consuming it, don’t pretend it’s alright. SAY SOMETHING. We have to make these practices unacceptable in modern society. We don’t have to donate loads of money to be able to make a difference. It’s also a deeply rooted cultural mentality that we can change little by little 🙂

IMG_6386

Get the latest updates of the Love is Wild book and exhibition on the Project C:Change Facebook Page and Website.

Can you imagine an Africa without lions? A world without elephants? Or a planet without rainforests? I don’t think any of us want future generations to say we destroyed all that life on our watch.

Always yours,

Yeni

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Love Is Wild Book Launch: I am now officially published!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s