Photo Story: In-between Spaces

Showcase / 2nd Quarter 2024

Photo Story: In-between Spaces

by Nipun Prabhakar; Hans Lim; Candice Lim

June 11, 2024


Where there is no public furniture in civic places, sometimes the next best thing on which to sit and take a breather is steps or raised threshold. From the pedestrian to the dramatic, these stepped spaces accessible to the public are often used as a spot for respite, a temporary stop to catch one’s breath or thoughts, by oneself or with others.

1 At Patan Durbar Square, Kathmandu, Nepal: the orange-draped statue is of Hanuman, an Indian deity prominent in Hinduism; on the steps are people selling vegetables in boxes. 2 A street scene in Mundra, Kutch, Gujarat, India where everyone, including animals, often use the threshold to sit, play or relax. 3 Dogs taking a nap at the threshold of a door in Kathmandu, Nepal.


Alleys are often where the most interesting actions take place; where things happen behind the scenes, literally, that are typically ‘hidden’ from the public thoroughfare. From the narrow to the generously allotted, they are often forgotten passageways, ignored or neglected, although creative minds have tried to counter with colourful murals and wall art.

8 Somewhere in the town centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: these knife-wielding ‘aunties’ sharpening their tools somehow seem right at home. 10 At the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the creative and commercial come together.


More than mere physical barriers, a door or a shutter straddles the boundary between private and public domain, making them an interesting ‘interface’ with time or space. 24 Ladies waiting for their laundry at a shop lot at Jalan Tun H S Lee, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 25 kids playing at the door within a door in Mundara, Kutch, Gujarat, India.


Whether circumscribed by bodies of water or roads, open-air or sheltered, walkways are designated paths in between destinations. Water creates a different ambience when walking next to it—it cools and calms: 27 the National Mosque of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 28 Under a shophouse at Chifeng Street in Taipei, Taiwan, the private balcony covers the public walkway below. 30 Along old shops marked by ornamental columns at Rawang in Selangor, Malaysia.

Nipun Prabhakar is an independent photographer and architect who works with various South Asian indigenous communities, working at the intersection of ideas, artefacts, folklore and the built environment. His work has appeared in major publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post, etc. In 2023, Nipun was invited to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London to present his work on architectural photography. He is also the founder of Dhammada Collective, a design group working towards a conscious, sustainable and equitable world. Nipun has been contributing his voice in words and photography to FuturArc since 2021. His way with words and pictorial portrayal of issues that matter to him have found a deep connection with the magazine team and readers.

Hans Lim has been the designer of FuturArc for the past 18 years. He has contributed to the magazine winning top accolades in the Media Publishers Association Singapore (MPAS) awards. Hans is the owner of design firm Nie O One Design that has worked on various creative work for associations such as Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) and numerous architectural publications such as Architecture@ for BCI Central. He is an avid photographer with a keen eye for detail. His photos have attracted the attention of organisations such as Apple and TEDxPetaling Street, as well as publishers in Asia—they were showcased across different platforms such as social media, videos, books and magazines. Hans continues to hone his craft by pursuing his interest in film photography, alongside a renewed appreciation of sketching, and synthesising them with his professional graphic design skills. He hopes to publish a monograph of his own photographs in the near future.

Read more stories from FuturArc 2Q 2024: In-between Spaces!


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