Cover Patrick Teow

Patrick Teow, better known for his Instagram handle @heartpatrick, is a city boy at heart, so much so that Kuala Lumpur has become his biggest muse for his photography

Former IT consultant Patrick Teow has a knack for turning the mundane into something interesting in his photographs. Whether it is a lonely aisle in a wet market or the crumbling façade of an old building, Patrick often manages to find a compelling angle that forces us to reevaluate our perception of the particular space and location.

Last month, Patrick held his first solo exhibition at Intermark Mall during the KL International Arts Festival. On display was a series of photographs featuring low-cost and public housing in Kuala Lumpur, sending a clear message that even the most boring architecture can hold startling beauty. This uncanny ability to uncover such hidden beauty of our city is what keeps his more than 45,000 followers of his Instagram account intrigued.

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Ode To Kuala Lumpur

Think of his images as a love letter to the city he was born and raised in. He wrote on his website: “Kuala Lumpur may not have the most glitzy modern architecture but the interplay of old versus new is very much alive as urban decay gives way to towering skyscrapers. If you look hard enough, lying just slightly off the radar are plenty of gorgeous spots that will make your off-the-beaten track worth the time and effort.”

Patrick, who left his job 3 years ago to focus on photography, admits that a big motivator for his exploration is his strong connection to places that remind him of his childhood. “I find a lot of comfort when I go and explore these places. More than that, I enjoy looking for secret spots for an interesting perspective of the city.”

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I’m motivated by the desire to give the city a fresh angle. I tend to go for angles that people either casually dismiss or are unaware of.
Patrick Teow

Picture That

Even when he’s photographing something that has been photographed ad nauseam like the Petronas Twin Towers, Patrick always strives to find a new angle or create a different story out of it with the use of a human subject or props like a mirror.

“I’m motivated by the desire to give the city a fresh angle. I tend to go for angles that people either casually dismiss or are unaware of. Sometimes it happens spontaneously, sometimes it takes hours just to find a new angle to interpret the space."

Discover Anew

Ultimately, what Patrick hopes to do is to get people to look at the city they dwell in with a fresh eye.

“I often get comments (from my followers) that they don’t remember seeing this angle, even though they have visited the place before. That’s my goal. I use the urbanscape to tell a story, and hopefully that inspires people to leave their homes and explore the city as if they were seeing it for the first time.”

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