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AsiaB&WStoryCharcoal; A dying trade in Malaysia by Grace Pui Wan Ho

Charcoal, a dying trade business in Malaysia and cannot substitute by modern equipment. The factories located in spectacular mangrove forest since 1940 in Matang ,Malaysia.
19856 min

Charcoal, a dying trade business in Malaysia and cannot substitute by modern equipment. The factories located in spectacular mangrove forest since 1940 in Matang ,Malaysia.

These factories are not modern, high technology but only a row of charcoal kilns with about thirty feet in diameter and thirty feet high . Amazingly these charcoal kilns are built by hand by craftsman without any architecture drawing design! Yes, charcoal is manufactured here the traditional way using brick kilns and fire wood. No electrical oven and no mechanized equipment is used. Yet , its produce the most top quality charcoal in the world. The production of charcoal is very time consuming. After harvested the logs from nearby mangrove swamps, most of the greenwood (Kayu Bakau Minyak) mangrove logs are transported in to charcoal factory by small boats via narrow man-made canals during high tide, hence this process can only be done twice a month.

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

Every single process in a charcoal factory is manually done by human power and production is a long process involved lots of man power. The process must be done skillfully. After clean & cut, all logs will stack inside the kiln for the process, the opening of kilns will sealed, without oxygen, and the logs will heats up without burning until they are super dry and turn to “black gold’ ( charcoal) , a terms that used by British during the British occupational time. AT this stage the temperature inside the kiln can reach up to 220 degree Celsius. Fireman in charcoal factory is to make sure the fire is on for 24 hours, so the workers have to keep the fire burning thru the small door, slight temperature drops or overheating with just a few degreed can waste all the logs in processing or even can cause the kilns explode. The high quality “black Gold” produce here mostly export to Japan and Korea, due to hard and long working hour, less and less skill workers willing to work in this industry causing this trade become the sun set industry in Malaysia.

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho

A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho
A dying trade in Malaysia | Grace Pui Wan Ho



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Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.