Unlike any other cities in Malaysia there is a main attraction in Melaka where the beca is still popular. Beca simply means trishaw or rickshaw. Project Beca is about documenting the persons who ride them to make a living. They come from various backgrounds and ages. Some are as young as 16, and ages up to 75 years old is common. Some of them make quite a lot money daily, and some just enough for one meal a day. The beca is evolving as a main transportation mode to what it is currently, a tourist attraction. When I was 6 years old I went to school riding becas. An old man would pick me and other students to take us to school. I have learned through photographing this series that the project merges imagination and memories of the past. This project and its photographs pay homage to all the beca riders out there.
Ahmad Saufie Jaffar is from Melaka. A former student of graphic design at local college and currently living in his 30’s experiencing photography and future memories. Ahmad Saufie Jaffar was mentored by Steven Lee and is a participant in Exposure+5.
Comment : I see this as a worthwhile project for the long run for Saufie. The documentation of these extraordinary contraptions over many years will likely see them change over time in terms of the themes, characters, designs and so on and may prove to be an important social study. I recall many years back, the simpler designs and adornments were based on flowers, spinning rainbow wheels, and tassels, with tons of Jalur Gemilang trailing in the wind. ~ Steven Lee