BATU PAHAT, MALAYSIA: Many towns in South East Asia feature rows of shophouses, underneath the front of which run covered arcades. These arcades are known as the 'Five Foot Way' because they are nominally five feet wide. There is a suggestion that they were brought to Malaysia and Singapore by Sir Stamford Raffles as a result of his experiencing them in what is now Indonesia.
Life has taken place in the Five Foot Ways for over a century in Malaysia. It's been my joy to explore these amazing spaces and the life within them for over twenty years.
For family reasons I spend a lot of time in the town of Batu Pahat on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, roughly a third of the way between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Although it has sprawled in the last twenty years with mile upon mile of bland new development, at it it's heart, BP has a fabulous old town.
Mainly dating from the 1930s and 40s the Batu Pahat old town features some fabulous old shophouses, and their associated Five Foot Ways. Commerce still goes on, and indeed there has been something of a resurgence of activity in the last few years.
These were shot a few years back, just as some life was returning to the old town. I used my trusty Olympus OM-2n together with I think a Zuiko 2/50 lens. They are taken on Fuji Velvia 100F, which I used more than I thought when I look back, and in retrospect really like.