Meet the accomplished creatives who have been #BreakingTheBias from day one

Annice Lyn

Tatler Asia
Photo: Imran Sulaiman/Tatler Malaysia
Above Photo: Imran Sulaiman/Tatler Malaysia

Former figure skater, now photojournalist as well as Generation T 2021 honouree Annice Lyn is the only Malaysian female photographer to be accredited for the 2018 Winter Olympics (one of only 77 accredited female photographers covering the sporting event). Co-founder of Women Photographers Malaysia, Annice recently covered the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 and is hailed for her efforts to pave the way for more gender equality in photography, particularly in sports photography.  

Annice's work has been featured in prominent publications around the world, most notably the April 2021 cover of Time as well as The Guardian, The New York Times, Forbes and National Geographic

Related: How 3 Gen.T Malaysia Honourees Are Making The World A Better Place

Vaneesha Krishnasamy

Multimedia journalist, producer and photographer Vaneesha Krishnasamy has used her audio-visual and conceptual art to tell the authentic stories of multiply-oppressed communities like hers while challenging audiences to examine different socio-political and cultural issues faced by these communities.

Her diverse body of work comments on important but under-discussed issues, ranging from Southeast Asia's first psoriasis campaign #PsoarHigh to a project in collaboration with Malaysian photographer Daniel Adams and his team called 'The Melanin Narrative' to create more stock images of dark skinned Tamil/Dravidian models for Adobe Stock.

Her most recent project is a portraiture series entitled 'I’m Every Woman' for Exposure+Photo at GMBB KL, which features a diverse range of everyday Dravidian women, reimagined as women of yesterday in celebration of their unsung resilience and strength.     

Related: 3 Brave Women On Body Positivity and Building An Inclusive Future

Bonnie Yap

Bonnie Yap's photography career spans over 30 years, starting with a stint in an advertising agency and going on to make a name for herself in the male-dominated world of news photography, before expanding into lifestyle and food photography. 

Yap's 2013 trip to the Arctic was the subject of her first solo photo exhibition, The Jewel of the Arctic, which helped raise funds for social welfare programmes in support of underprivileged children.          

See also: Sheena Liam Has Gone From Top Model To In-Demand Artist

Irene Chen

This award-winning Sarawakian photographer based in Kuala Lumpur is the first Malaysian female to hold the qualification of an Associate in the Masters Photographer Association UK (AMPA) in the category of babies.

Chen is highly sought after internationally for her stunning baby and maternity photographs, which have won her multiple awards in the UK, the US and Malaysia. She's also a seasoned rare plant collector, documenting her elaborate green hobby on Instagram and YouTube.         

Related: Meet Irene Chen, One of Malaysia's Most Avid Rare Plant Collectors

Amanda Tan

A look at Cxpturing Souls Studios founder Amanda Tan's eclectic Instagram page reveals heartwarming portraits of bright-eyed pups, cheerful families and models of all shapes, sizes and colours. She also uses the platform to highlight scenes of crisis and distress as she works to call attention to the social causes close to her heart, particularly those affecting underprivileged communities in Malaysia.  

In 2021, Tan participated in an initiative by Doctors on the Ground and Women For Refugees, documenting the two organisations' work with low-income communities battling Covid-19. Together with these NGOs, she organised a fundraising campaign to buy Covid-19 self test kits, face masks, hygiene care packs and more urgently needed supplies in these communities.      

Related: 5 Chic Gift Ideas to Empower Women and Kids in Malaysia

Nadirah Zakariya

A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Nadirah Zakariya's prestigious portfolio can be found on platforms like Bloomberg, The New York Times, Nylon, Vice and Vogue Italia.

Apart from perfecting her craft, Nadirah also co-founded a creative studio called Layar Lucida, and is passionate about giving other photographers and indie visual artists in Malaysia a space to promote their art. Together with co-founder Steven Lee, she started Exposure+Photo, an annual photography project that brings local and international talents together with the aim of showcasing more socially conscious and thought-provoking photography to the world. 

Fun fact: During the lockdown in June 2021, Nadirah experimented with photographing flowers every day for over a month. Some of these photos were selected to be included in the soon-to-be-published Flora Photographica: Masterworks of Contemporary Flower Photography by William A. Ewing and Danaé Panchaud.         

Acacia Diana

Architect. Travel photographer. Designer. Canon EOS Youth Ambassador.

Is there anything that Acacia Diana can't do? The University of Greenwich graduate has travelled to over 40 countries capturing inspiring dramatic landscapes and eye-opening portraits of people from all walks of life.

See also: Malaysian Architect Serina Hijjas Discusses Legacy And Sustainability

Acacia, whose full name is Acacia Mardiana Daud, has also worked with humanitarian NGOs to document and highlight the stories of conflict-stricken communities while using her media platforms to call awareness to issues like climate change and female empowerment. In 2021, Acacia and some friends started Women Travellers Malaysia, an online community for women to share their concerns and conversations about travel in the post-Covid era. 


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