Photograph project: The Wilder Stories of Love


**The Wilder Stories of Love: Inside Caleb Goh's Little Flat in Brickfields** © Nuril Basri, 2024

I invite you to step inside Caleb Goh's house, a mansion of history. I think it is interesting to put contemporary elements in a vintage setting, like creating a dialogue between the old and the new. Juxtaposing my modern self with relics of the past, I playfully put on a red smoking jacket, invade the homeowner's privacy, eat their food, and listen to the songs of long-gone singers from an old music player.

There are always stories beyond the immediate visual. Items from bygone eras hold more narratives than the clothes we bought yesterday from a factory outlet. These objects have witnessed countless events and outlived their owners. When I entered Caleb's house, I was surrounded by history, art, and knowledge, yet I had neither the time nor the desire to unravel them. My focus has always been on the present—the hungry belly and the tasks that need attention in the next hour. Whether I'm contemplating vomiting or booking a flight to another island.

I'm drawn towards items that are both beautiful and practical. Caleb sees stories in his carefully curated possessions. I would wash his dishes and place them in the wrong cupboard, and he would text me, "You left your copy of the key to the front door." "Busy working, coming home late, meeting friends, gathering more old things. Helps me lift an old box from 1920, full of stained, worn clothes, easily torn. I'm off to the next city, taking pictures of old buildings." 

I'm at his house sleeping,  forgetting about the gramophone and blasting "Birds of a Feather."

The history boy hosted me for seven days in Kuala Lumpur. We exchanged arguments over a box of cigarettes I brought from my city. He maintains an ongoing conversation with history, while I'm just here donning a Mykonos outfit as if I'm about to embark on a barefoot pilgrimage across the sands.

Caleb lives in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.