Friday, March 21, 2014


A picture paints a thousand words.

Sometimes, not all the time. It very much depends on one's imagination - the artist and the observer.

A selfie is a self portrait snapped by a camera, or more commonly a camera phone, held in one's own hand. Once snapped, selfies are almost instantly uploaded and shared online on social network platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Oxford Dictionaries proclaimed 'selfie' as 2013's Word of the Year. Even President Obama could not resist taking a selfie during the late Nelson Mandela's memorial service. One of the latest, zany gadget to hit the technological market is the selfie pod - an extension pole attachable to a smart phone, complemented with a timer or remote control to make the click.

A selfie, vain as it may be, is still a picture. It takes imagination to conceptualise the perfect selfie. A selfie, if captured with enough skill, can transcend into an art form.

Asleep on a ferry... or was I? #sleepie

Of late, I've been afflicted by the selfie bug, too. Not for the sake of vanity, but for the sake of art. 

Selfies are easily identifiable. The close facial shot, the not-quite-so-hidden outstretched arm, the direct stare into the camera. It's always the same old pose. How boring. Which is why a great selfie is a selfie that an observer can't readily tell if it's a selfie or not. The greater the illusion, the greater the selfie.

Asleep on a plane... or was I? #sleepie

Deceiving, isn't it? Feigning unconsciousness, playing on the assumption that people are quick to gleefully snap embarrassing photos of their friends falling asleep on moving transports, the random candid-like angles. It's all part of the illusion. It's all part of the art.

How do I take such shots of myself? A long and steady hand, the handy volume button on the iPhone which also functions as a camera click button, and shamelessness. That's all it takes.

Asleep on a van... or was I? #sleepie

Yes, as you may now have guessed, each photo plastered all over this article is a selfie. It's a special type of selfie, though. I prefer to call them as 'sleepie'. Taking sleepies is fun and challenging. Feel free to try. Be sure to choose an interesting background, and an innocuous pose. After a few rounds of practice, you'll get it picture perfect.

A picture paints a thousand words. A sleepie paints words from "LOL!" to "WTF?". But that's alright. That's the whole idea, after all - to confuse and to amuse.

Asleep on a tram... or was I? #sleepie

Once you've got the hang of it, you're ready to take it to the next meta level. That's right: sleepie + photobomb. It's as if the photobomber is poking fun at the unlucky person caught napping. Yet again, it's all part of the act and art. The photobomb simply adds another layer of illusion, another play on perception.

Petaling Jaya and Georgetown stand proudly at number five and ten respectively in TIME's 'Selfiest Cities In The World' ranking, and with good reasons too. One of which is that Malaysians, just like me, are leading innovators in this progressive, new-age, avant-garde, hipster art form.

Selfies are like so... what, 2013? Time to move on with times, people. Start clicking away your sleepies, and share them with the whole wide world.

A picture paints a thousand words. A sleepie carves a thousand smiles.

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