One of its kind in Malaysia, Doodle For Unity is a program jointly organized by SELANGORfm radio station, Muzium Seni Asia Universiti Malaya and also KEMAS Selangor (a kindergarten franchise) in conjunction with Merdeka (Malaysian National Day) Month. Besides identifying new talent, the aim of this program is to promote unity as well as seeing the nation through the eyes of children. On 25th July 2013, approximately 7000 KEMAS kindergarten students from the state of Selangor took part in the event. With the theme ‘I LOVE MALAYSIA’, the participating kids had the opportunity to express their creativity by doodling. From these, the best 30 entries were shortlisted. Then, from across Malaysia, 30 artists were invited to reinterpret the shortlisted entries in their own unique style (i.e. Each artist selects one piece to reproduce).
The above is an image of the original artwork given to me, which was produced by one of the young finalists. At the time of receiving it, I have yet to know the true identity of its owner. For this work, the approach I have chosen was ink-on-paper followed by digital coloring. Shown below are some snapshots of my work.
The following is an image of the completed piece, dubbed ‘Afternoon Delight’ after printing and framing.
Both the original version and reinterpretation of the 30 selected artwork were put on display next to each other (technically, above and below one another) at the Muzium Seni Asia, Universiti Malaya throughout the month of September 2013.
Though already made accessible to public, the press event and opening ceremony for the program was postponed towards late September (21st), where it was officially launched by Radio Televisyen Malaysia’s (RTM) Broadcasting Director-General Dato’ Norhyati Ismail. Both young and mature artists were invited. I was really excited and looking forward to meeting for the first time, the original artist behind my work. To my surprise, I found a shy young girl (dressed in yellow) standing next to my drawing. She was staring at it for quite a while. Hopefully, I did justice to her work. Little miss Danish Ardianah from KEMAS Pandan Jaya kindergarten was accompanied by her elder sister and kindergarten teacher.
For me, meeting miss Danish was the highlight of the event. That, in addition to getting to know some of the other professional artists involved. It’s always great to make new friends. Due to overwhelming response, I was informed that the gallery opening was extended to another month.