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  • Flora Gandolfo


As part of its recent 30th anniversary celebrations, iconic rainforest resort The Datai Langkawi has transformed its corridors into an interactive exhibition of stunning black and white limited-edition photographs by celebrated Malaysian photographer SC Shekar. Titled 'The Grandeur of Monochrome Malaysia', the photo gallery seeks to inspire discourse and heightened awareness of the delicate balance required to maintain the country’s beautiful natural environment for generations to come – while also raising funds to directly support conservation in Langkawi.

In this photographic series, Shekar embraced the art of aerial photography and eschewed photography drones. Soaring in a helicopter, he daringly dangled with his camera over ancient rainforests, majestic mountains, dramatic waterfalls, and vital mangrove forests to capture the beauty of his homeland.

Arranged thematically along the resort’s corridors, the series offers a unique perspective on some of the most majestic natural sites in Langkawi - including the primordial Gunung Machinchang rock formation and the UNESCO-listed Kilim Karst Geoforest Park. Along with the displays of natural beauty, the exhibition includes strikingly intimate, contemplative portraits of Malaysia’s indigenous Orang Asli community.

QR codes invite viewers to engage with the artworks and their subjects through insightful videos on the location and context of each image. The videos are narrated by Irshad Mobarak, a renowned Langkawi naturalist and Chief Advisor to The Datai Pledge, the resort’s private trust dedicated to improving the wellbeing of the environment, wildlife, and local community of Langkawi. As the official photographer of The Datai Pledge, Shekar shares a passion for environmental conservation with Irshad, and they enjoyed working together on this gallery.

All photographs in the gallery are available for purchase, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to The Datai Pledge.

CEO of Datai Hotels and Resorts, and former General Manager of The Datai Langkawi, Arnaud Girodon, said, "We are thrilled to have been able to launch 'The Grandeur of Monochrome Malaysia' as part of our 30th anniversary celebrations. As well as providing a platform for SC Shekar's remarkable work and raising awareness of the importance of conservation, this exhibition will have a positive legacy for Langkawi by funding the work of The Datai Pledge.

SC Shekar on his passion for photography: “As a photographer, I become a conduit in bringing souls together across space and time. I take a photograph and display it, I then consciously present what I have photographed, be it a landscape or a portrait to an individual thousands of miles away, bridging the gap that separates the two.  I think that this act of bringing people and cultures together across the oceans is a very powerful thing to do.

SC Shekar’s 40-year career spans news and commercial disciplines, latterly with a focus on documentary photography. His major documentary assignments in Asia include projects in India, Sri Lanka, and Papua New Guinea, and he spent more than 12 years photographing Myanmar during a period of political upheaval beginning in the late 1980s. He has worked with Malaysia’s indigenous communities for more than 30 years, creating an unparalleled portfolio of pictures of daily life as well as their struggles over access to natural resources.

'The Grandeur of Monochrome Malaysia' is a permanent installation at The Datai Langkawi. For more information, visit


Notes to Editors:

For high-resolution photos of 'The Grandeur of Monochrome Malaysia' at The Datai Langkawi, please click here.

For a video on the gallery, please click here.For high-resolution photos of The Datai Langkawi, please click here.


One of the world’s most stunning resorts, The Datai Langkawi, is situated on the northwest tip of the island of Langkawi in Malaysia. Located in an ancient rainforest rich in wildlife and overlooking the tranquil Datai Bay awarded by National Geographic one of the Top 10 Beaches worldwide, the iconic property enchants with mesmerising nature, visionary architecture, understated elegance, and Malaysian hospitality. All the 121 rooms, villas, and suites at The Datai Langkawi, including the five-bedroom The Datai Estate Villa, offer breath-taking views of the surrounding nature. Elevated among treetops, set in the very heart of the rainforest, and located directly on the coastline, the dining outlets which include the award-winning The Gulai House, The Pavilion, The Dining Room, and The Beach Club, pay homage to the exotic flavours and culinary traditions of the region and beyond. Bespoke facilities include The Nature Centre, an educational facility and home to resident naturalists and marine biologists, and The Spa featuring Ramuan treatments, its own Akar retail range, and Voya facials. Leisure facilities include three pools, a state-of-the-art fitness centre at The Health Club; an array of wellness activities including Pilates and yoga, retail outlet The Boutique, a reserved space to showcase local arts and talents at The Atelier, as well as one of the most scenic golf courses in the world designed by golf legend Ernie Els, The Els Club Teluk Datai. The resort has founded The Datai Pledge in 2019 - a sustainability and conservation trust that supports Langkawi’s unique fauna, flora, and communities. All proceeds from The Datai Pledge aid this work and contribute to local non-profit organisation. The Datai Langkawi is managed by Datai Hotels and Resorts Sdn Bhd, a company incorporated to manage and operate hospitality properties in Malaysia and beyond.

For further press information and images, please contact:

Leanne Barton (, Nat Frogley ( or Flora Gandolfo ( at Frog & Wolf PR.  


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