Photo buffs ride “pokai wave” into Kuala Lumpur

‘Pokai’, an activity consisting of lying face down in an unusual or incongruous location, more commonly known as ‘planking’, has reached the streets of Kuala Lumpur, as a group of photography buffs took to the streets to photograph the unusual trend.

They grabbed the eyeballs of many when they collectively laid down on the staircase of Sungei Wang Plaza’s entrance amidst Sunday’s shopping crowd.

12 of them, many of whom were photography enthusiasts, laid themselves down on parked motorcycles at 1pm before lying down on the staircases two hours later, Sinchew Daily reported today.

The unusual act was inspired by a Taiwanese duo by the name of “Pokai Lass” who shot to fame lately through lying down on popular landmarks and have their photos taken.

Event organiser Yang Ji Xiang (homophonic name) said he chose “pokai” as the theme for yesterday’s outing as it is something new, trendy and thrilling.

“I didn’t think of making myself a name because the face cannot be seen once I lie down anyway,” said Malaysia Photography Association chairman.

Photo courtesy to Sinchew Daily

Artist: message needed

He managed to secure a good crowd to try the fun act together after he posted the idea on the association’s website.

16-year-old participant Feng Yi Jian (homophonic name) thinked the “pokai” act is interesting and fun.

Local artist and activist Yeoh Lian Heng, when asked to comment about the “pokai” trend, said performance art must essentially convey a message.

“I think their act in front of Sungei Wang was a good start, but nevertheless it must be further enhanced with message elements,”

“Without an intended message, their action is purely for action only,” said the director of Lost Generation Art Space, who was the man behind Pudu Art Fest and My Balik Pulau.

He also suggested the youths to ignite an original idea of expressing themselves, rather than imitating something from overseas.

Ironically, “pokai” has its roots from overseas and is commonly known as ‘planking’ in many part of the world.

“They should think about something, an action that truly reflects their hearts,” he said.

The Cantonese word of “pokai”  essentially defines a person who fall down on the street with head down. However, the term has today evolved to describe somebody who has gone bankrupt and sleep on street, or to curse somebody.