Living Faith | Inside the Muslim World of Southeast Asia | Steve Raymer | Photography Book Recommendation

Written by Joelcy Kay

Editor & Curator of Edge of Humanity Magazine


Leading the book’s foreword is an architectural image featuring the top of buildings under a bluish gray sky (pp.14-15). The old architectural style of the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station frames the image, the new buildings on the background look as if it is in a process of disappearing; and as a viewer my eyes move throughout the photograph, anxious to see more of that skyline and wondering what is outside of that frame.

When children pray, the aspects of religion such as the child’s God, holy book or place of worship become universal; and the denomination lines are erased (ch.The Mosque, pp.35, 42, 49).  The religious moments captured here are up close and personal portraying serenity.

In the special area reserved for women at the Kubang Kerian Mosque; women in white prayer shawls line up to pray, some bring their children not dressed in white.  Contrast and simplicity all in one frame, nothing is missing here. (ch. The Mosque, pp. 44-45).

The devotees’ portraits depict tranquility in the daily life that goes on inside these mosques, where people not only pray but also study, rest and sleep, while life around these Southeast Asia’s mosques seems very active.

In The Mosque chapter you will also find images of Islamic architecture; Steven shows the Baiturrahman Great Mosque, Sumatra during sunset (pp.52-53).  The reflection of the entire landscape on the water takes 40% of the frame.  Dark enough to add drama without losing all the colors inflicted by the sun going away for the day and the nightlights that eliminates the dark night at bay.

Even when wearing uniforms (ch. Muslin Schools) which is designed to promote sameness; these children’s portraits delivery an array of moods and personalities such as: strong and serious (pp.86-87), intriguing (p.74), devoted (pp.72, 81) and playful (pp.73).  ‘Girl and Quran’ (p.75) and ‘girl holding a book and running’ (pp. 92-93) are my favorites.

The Village chapter starts with a portrait of this impeccably dressed woman (although she looks sad) and her fruits’ stand near Kota Bharu (pp.96-97); it is a high impact vibrant shot.  Also included are rural life moments, and food markets shots; my favorite (pp.118-119) is a shot from above showing these two women working this massive food stand.

Among other farming scenes in this chapter, you will find; one which depicts child labor (p.111), or to be fair with time and place “children help with the harvest…”and another showing a worker, hanging from a bamboo ladder while picking peppers by hand (p.108). The patterns produced by the greenery around the picker seem to dance inside the frame; it’s pleasant to look at it.

Seascape photographs depicting fishermen from the village of Marang in action at sunrise (p.112-113) makes the viewer move focus from one corner of the picture to another and see night turning into day.

Following the same layout of the first image mentioned in this review, the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station (ch.The Cities, pp.148-149) serves again as frame; this time using street level and colors, reds, gold and yellows, the making of a vibrant cityscape photo. Urban images of nightscapes, street photography, shopping galore, and people sleeping on subways across Southeast Asia are also included in this chapter.

Mainstay of Faith is the last chapter on ‘Living Faith | Inside the Muslim World of Southeast Asia’ it is packed with intimate portraits of Muslim families, their faith and dynamics.  These portraits take place in their homes, outdoors gatherings and traditional ceremonies in Southeast Asia.

‘Living Faith | Inside the Muslim World of Southeast Asia’ is a relaxing and enjoyable book. I recommend it to viewers interested in Islam, religion in general, and Southeast Asia, and avid travelers. Enjoy!

For book specifics see below:

Living Faith


Are you looking to have a published review of your Photo Book?

  Edge of Humanity Magazine’s curator is now reviewing photo books. Joelcy Kay (the curator of Edge of Humanity Magazine and the NO MIDDLEMAN ART GALLERY) has written many reviews for books in the Edge of Humanity Magazine’s Photography Book Collection and now she is available to write yours.  

Here are some of her book recommendations:


Curse Of The Black Gold

50 Years Of Oil In The Niger Delta

Photographs By Ed Kashi

Edited By Michael Watts

Photography Book Recommendation

By Edge of Humanity Magazine


Living Faith

Inside the Muslim World of Southeast Asia

By Steve Raymer

Photography Book Recommendation

By Edge of Humanity Magazine


Under A Grudging Sun

By Alex Webb

Photography Book Recommendation

By Edge of Humanity Magazine



Peoples Of The Omo Valley

By Hans Silvester

Photography Book Recommendation

By Edge of Humanity Magazine



By Edward Burtynsky

Photography Book Recommendation By Edge

of Humanity Magazine


Figments From The Real World

By Garry Winogrand

Photography Book Recommendation

By Edge of Humanity Magazine


You can choose to have your (Photography Book Recommendation By Edge Of Humanity Magazine) published on the Edge of Humanity Magazine or at the NO MIDDLEMAN ART GALLERY Visual ART Blog.  For more information on this new service please email Joelcy at .



 Edge of Humanity Magazine project.


The NO MIDDLEMAN ART GALLERY is designed to connect art seekers and collectors with artists DIRECTLY.  The gallery is not a mall, but instead a collection of remarkable works of art that bring together artists and potential buyers.

Following Edge of Humanity Magazine‘s footsteps of publishing unparalleled content from artists and photographers worldwide, the NO MIDDLEMAN ART GALLERY is on a mission to provide it’s viewers art that is unique and diverse.


Written By Joelcy Kay – Curator

Every piece of art, crafts, or textiles, hanging on my walls or ceiling tells a tiny passage of my life.  Most of it was acquired during my travels.  Many of these treasures are damaged whether because they were broken on arrival, as the pieces were tightly stuffed into my backpack, or weathered by the unforgiving Florida tropical humidity.  But in the end, they are my precious processions and they are part of the stories I tell.  It feels good to have rugs hanging from the ceiling, masks on the walls, and drinking my morning coffee thinking of the mugs’ tale.  The point here is that art has a lot to offer each one of us; ART IS VERY PERSONAL!

The NO MIDDLEMAN ART GALLERY offers that personal experience as the individual has the opportunity to buy the art from the creator and by doing so a new event to remember is born. When you hang the work of art on your wall there is a story behind it; an artist you now know and follow.  And instead of the usual “I purchased this at “WWW(BIG BIG ART STORE).COM”  the connection enriches the emotional value of your art piece.


The gallery is designed to connect the art seekers and collectors with artists directly. We offer artists a COMMISSION FREE / CONTRACT FREE online platform to sell their creations and engage with their clients using portfolio pages that are engaging with large images and a dramatic black background.

NO MIDDLEMAN is a boutique ART GALLERY; individuals browsing our archives and portfolio pages are relaxed, not pressured to sign up, agree with website terms, or maneuvering out of pop-up windows.

For details regarding participating in the NO MIDDLEMAN ART GALLERY please contact Joelcy Kay the curator at

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