The end of Malaysia’s 14th General Elections has been a historical event and in its aftermath, citizens have been churning out thought pieces, economic forecasts and inspiring messages for the future. Among all of that, people have been creating a stellar number of beautiful art pieces that show off their love for a new Malaysia. Under the hashtag #GE14 and #NewMalaysia, we compiled a list of some of our favourite pieces by Malaysians who have yelled at the top of their lungs: with our resilience, our capability, we can build our new future together. It is a dream that many of the rakyat have long given up on until now. In the most whimsical, comical and bright illustrations, our fellow Malaysians have found this hopefulness once again.
1. Fahmi Reza
“Lukisan ini ditujukan khas buat semua rakyat Sabah yang sedang berjuang untuk menumbangkan koruptor nombor 1 Sabah, Musa Aman. Kerana dalam negeri yang masih penuh dengan korupsi, kita semua penghasut!” Published on May 12, political activist and satirist Fahmi Reza created this timely piece to remind us that the fight is hardly over now. Our nation must rally harder against corruption especially in places like Sabah and Sarawak, whose scandals hardly receive media attention.
As a political cartoonist, Zunar’s art has often been labelled seditious by the local government, his offices have been raided, his art either confiscated or destroyed and his team harassed. To those of us who have successfully made a name for ourselves media field, this threat of sedition has loomed over our heads for too long. Now, with our chance to save Malaysian with Pakatan Harapan, artists might be able to breathe a little better and make works that are both beautiful and critically aware of the times.
3. Pangrok Sulap
The colloquial meaning behind ‘pangrok’ is punk rock and ‘sulap’ is hut in Dusun and these punk rock like artists have made a name for themselves in their home state and across the Peninsula. Their sociopolitical messages are presented with their trademark style of woodcut printmaking, worked on with a scalpel and by chiselling wood panels to create intricate images. These artworks were one of a series of pieces on Pilihan Raya Undi (PRU14), encouraging anyone and everyone to vote. The devil is in the details with these pieces and it is astounding to think many of these tiny details were done with the carving of wood.
4. Twitter user @ReimenaYee
“For the first time in a long while, I’m so proud to be Malaysian. This is for everyone who made last night a celebration.” Long time illustrator, first Malaysian to be nominated for an Eisner Award for their own comic and all-around homegrown talent drew this and posted it on Twitter on the 9th of May (following Australian time where it was the 10th of May here). And we know many of us echoed her sentiments.
5. Zarul Albakri
Zarul Albakri’s longtime career as a producer has faced difficulties with his films stuck at the Film Censorship Board, awaiting to be green lighted. The producer turned to creating caricatures on national politics, namely his ‘Zax Keprax’ cartoon series pictured above. With event before the elections worrying the rest of the nation, this comic pretty effectively sums up the things our leaders cling on to and what that might say about them or their manifestoes.
6. Posted by Twitter user @fairozee
Though the source is unknown, the message was clear: we are a nation that must gather as one to support the new Malaysia. The poster itself is a nice blend of fantasy and realism and appeals to both our political and aesthetic interests.
7. Qyarae T.
“A hint of light has just shine upon the darkness that we’ve been facing for years and I’m proud to say that unity has brought our country its long deserved justice. Great job, Malaysians.” The artist’s play on light and dark is beautifully reflected in the photography of this piece and we couldn’t be prouder to stand behind her words.
8. Instagram user @Kikiyaya
“It’s a symbol of democracy in Malaysia.” With the number of pictures we’ve seen on social media about the people who voted, it was uplifting to know that so many Malaysians shrugged off their apathy to do their part in making change, one tiny finger at a time.
9. Source unknown
And this quite accurately sums up how crowded out our newsfeeds were by the number of people who voted. For the first time in a while, we had our timelines saturated with news and events about our country instead of from the Western hemisphere and that’s not such a bad tradeoff to make for a cluster of finger pictures, right?
10. Instagram user @itsteme
Of course, many Malaysians have been swept up in awe by the fact that our old Prime Minister stepped up to replace the administration and garner change in the country and that hero worship isn’t about to leave many of our hearts anytime soon.
11. Instagram user @wreckthispokemon
Tumblr aesthetics meet organisational freaks meet patriotic fervour. National pride has never looked this pleasing to the eye.
Featured image source: https://www.facebook.com/bookoflai/