Hello, dear people. How’s ARE you?
The first week of the new year always sfeels like a training bra to me – everything’s bouncing around to see how it fits.
I have art for you!
Last year, I started doing a drawing a day to get back into the feeling of making things again. (Art isn’t really something mystical, most of it is getting enough hand-eye coordination so you can bring the ideas in your head into the real world).
Over a couple months I filled a notebook with drawings of all the weeds and unknown plants in my garden, a different one everyday.
Around the same time, Barisan National flags started popping up all over our town of Port Dickson.
On the roadtrip, we passed this big mining pool on a deserted highway from Kuantan to Kuala Terengganu. It was stuck full of UMNO flags and looked like an art installation.
I remember our friend Azharr telling us about filming Malaysia’s biggest and oldest Cengal tree for his documentary about boat builders. He treks into the Pasir Raja forrest reserve and finally comes upon the 1,300 year-old ancient majesty. He looks up and…
Pinned to the tree is a PAS flag.
For months now, there’s been a feeling of not being able escape the flags. A flag to rule them all! Every person, rock and blade of grass. Every bridge, roadside and village!
So Zedeck has been helping me to harvest the flags in our town so that I can paint weeds on them.
This isn’t about political partisanship. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not politically neutral. I’m not afraid of politics. I don’t hide in my house, doing hobbies and wishing it would all go away. No, I’m a citizen. I take part in the political process.
This is about goddamn political party flags and why they are in my neighbourhood, in my landscape and IN MY FUCKING FACE when it is not election campaign period.
This is about the arrogance that comes hand-in-hand with the will to power. The claiming of people, the earth and the very sky as property and tools. This is about overcoming my own helplessness, not by bitching about it on the internet, but by making art.
This is about turning the tables, thinking instead about what the flags (and what they represent) can’t escape.
This is about working with time, not against it. This is about the beauty, strength, weakness and enduring independence of weeds.
We are the weeds.
We are in the buildings, the cracks, the fields, the roadsides.
Stubborn, that’s us.
We are many and not alone.
We are on the side of time,
We have time on our side.
Hidup di celah, gudang, padang, tepi jalan
Tak terbilang, tak bersendirian.
Kami berpihak, ya, kepada masa,
Masa berpihak kepada kami.
P.S. Did I mention that this is also about being a #cheapartist by recyling ‘found’ materials?