Khee Teik Pang is thirty-seven. Since January 2007 this subversive star of Malaysia’s alternative scene has been artistic director of the Annexe Gallery, a contemporary art centre in Kuala Lumpur much appreciated for its eclectic tastes. Also a journalist, Pang was editor in chief of the online art magazine Kakiseni.com and has worked on various underground, economic and gay magazines. As an actor he has played in the theatre and independent films. As a photographer, he has exhibited in Malaysia, South-East Asia and Turkey. And as a militant homosexual, he was the founder in 2008 of the gay and lesbian festival Seksualiti Merdeka. In Malaysia and abroad he is regularly invited to speak about the place of art in society and homosexual rights.
“Early in 2010 the Malaysian Film Censorship Board announced that homosexual and transsexual characters would be permitted in local films as long as they were seen to repent. Otherwise, they should meet the usual legal fate of imprisonment or death. Repent Or Die is a series of photos showing various characterisations of gayness: stills from imaginary films, some in tribute to filmmakers or legendary figures I love, and others from films I wish I could make. One of them shows me ordering a film’s characters to “repent or die!” as I threaten them with a lethal pair of pink scissors. In this role as a killer I parody the way the censorship board treats artists. By sticking to the guidelines I manage to sabotage them at the same time: every artist has an infinite range of strategies for foiling official restrictions. People who think they can fence art in have got it all wrong: art happens well beyond the fence.”
Gilles Massot, Wubin Zhuang, curators
Text from the catalogue-book “Photoquai”, co-edited by Musée du Quai Branly- Actes-Sud