Behind The Scenes: Ramayana with a Twist
For UNRESERVED‘s first style shoot, we put a modern spin on the epic Indian poem Ramayana. See all the photos here.
Photography by Chuan Looi
Styling by Max Mak
Hair by Garrie Sim and Bibian Leong
Makeup by Bobo Lee from M.A.C
Featuring Katrina Taib, Tiffany Choong, Tan San Chuan, Mark Chua, Zaireen J. Redza, Mark O’Dea, Omar Khan and Alando Atkinson.
If ever Audrey Hepburn were to come back as a Malaysian, she would probably look a little like Katrina Taib, she of the elegant turn of neck, legs that go on for years and manner that belies her incredible work ethic. Born in KL but raised in Hawaii, Katrina is the quintessential modern Malaysian woman, possessing an international outlook yet sure of her place in Malaysian society. The owner and creator of Rubberduck café and Aloha Cycle Club, Katrina spends the best part of her days working to create positive communities in KL. Rubberduck has been designed to encourage communal eating and its beach atmosphere relaxes the clientele. Aloha Cycle, on the other hand, pushes the envelope for fitness as a pastime and has built a community that embodies the values of wellness.
To find out more, visit alohacycleclub.com
Tan San Chuan
A trained accountant, Chuan is as far from the dull, bespectacled, nerdy cliché as it’s possible to get. Outgoing and always smiling, he runs companies in Singapore and Australia, the latter being his latest packaging technology baby. He has also invested in a few start-ups, which he hopes will pay off in a few years, and is constantly looking for new ideas. An avid exponent of the healthy life, Chuan plays tennis and conducts classes at Aloha Cycle Club.
If you’d like to see more of this mountain of muscle, stalk him on alohacycleclub.com
As if running one’s own online lifestyle store wasn’t enough, Tiffany has embarked on her first solo exhibition of paintings (at G Hotel Gurney Penang until April 30). A born artist, she sketches, paints and designs myriad things, such as bags and homewares. Tiffany calls herself a Straits Chinese, making a distinction from the more common term, Peranakan. Her family traces its roots to a pioneering ancestor who reached these shores in the 1870s, settling in Penang to build a new world for his family.
See what Tiffany’s up to at bulanlifestyle.com
Mark Chua lives up to the name of his company, Cool Merchant Connections: he truly is too cool. The company’s birth was purely accidental, with a client asking him to organise an event which he then spearheaded and made a complete success of. More contracts followed and events became his bread and butter. A father of four, Mark balances his work with an ample amount of family time. But balancing can be difficult now he’s added a new venture into the mix: Cool Builders, which designs and makes furniture.
Find out more at howcoolisthat.com.my
Zaireen J. Redza
It’s no surprise that Zaireen is a strong advocate for the arts: she is the scion of two of Malaysia’s most important and well-loved artists: Fatimah Chik and the late, great Redza Piyadasa. A woman of many talents, Zaireen comes from a long line of strong, independent Malaysian women for whom the world is not just an oyster, but also an opportunity to make a difference. Her Arts Consciousness Creative Empowerment Workshop, which began in 2017, helps people to voice their concerns and discuss things which otherwise would have been kept under carpet. With her own YouTube channel coming soon, it is this positive energy that keeps Zaireen going. And glowing.
Find her at www.j-redza.com
A natural show man, British-born Mark has spent most of his adult life in front of the camera and on the stage. Having performed in London’s West End, Mark decided to reboot his career and hopped on a plane to Malaysia, where he’s ended up as a TV presenter. But acting is still in his blood, as evidenced by his role in the latest season of Oh My English! on ASTRO.
Follow Mark on Instagram @markodea8 and his YouTube channel @markodea
A true Renaissance man, Omar designs rugs for a living. They aren’t just any rugs; these are masterpieces that take anywhere from three to six months to produce, and currently grace the floors of some of the world’s top hotels and department stores. But that’s hardly surprising for a graduate of Parsons School of Design. Omar’s many talents run the gamut from window dressing to designing just about anything you could dream of. Is there no stopping our modern-day Michelangelo?
To see his rugs, log onto omarkhanrugs.com
Always ready with a big grin and happy to help anyone, Alando is the little brother we all wanted. Fit to a fault, Alando began his adult life as a football player in Malaysia and Singapore before moving to Australia, where he ended his professional football career. After returning to Malaysia he qualified as a fitness instructor and spotted a space in the burgeoning fitness market. With his partner, Jean Liew, Alando set up Stray Fit Escapes, which combines a holiday in a gorgeous location with bouts of exercise throughout the day. The first escape is scheduled for April 2018 in Sabah and will include Yoga, HIIT, snorkelling and diving sessions. It’s the perfect antidote for those who spend far too many hours in front of a screen or who just need an exercise boost. And as his pictures attest, Alando is the perfect fit for the job.
To find out more, follow him on Instagram @alandoatkinson
This feature first appeared in the April 2018 issue of UNRESERVED.