This started out as a yellow dress I made and wore during Bersih3.0, a momentous street protest calling for free and fair elections, held on 28 April 2012 in Kuala Lumpur.
The dress was covered in hundreds of hand-sewn flowers, which I meant to give away during the rally. Before this could happen, authorities fired teargas and violent chaos erupted on the streets. Images of me wearing the dress appeared in a few media outlets.
I revived the dress for Esquire Malaysia’s Media Art Project. In the Aug 2012 issue, I am photographed wearing it in a hall of mirrors, to reflect the media’s role in multiplying the message of Bersih.
The dress was also exhibited in ‘pop-up exhibitions’ at three venues. An information board invited visitors to ‘liberate’ a flower. Each flower was numbered. I asked people to email or tweet me if they took one, using the tag #bungaBERSIH.
This is an experiment in how an idea spreads and mutates through the media landscape and what that means for person-to-person interaction today. How can we take part in a beautiful idea, not just as a number in a social-political campaign, but also as ourselves?
UPDATE (29 Apr 2013): All the flowers were released into the wild (Bandar Utama intersection and Uptown roundabout) as part of Malaysian Spring.
UPDATE (20 Jul 2013): The flowers are still there, but getting black because of weather and pollution.
Thanks to Shahril Nizam, Zed Adam, Fahmi Fadzil, Simon Soon, Mun Kao and Zedeck Siew for helping me sew flowers.