BY NOW you will have seen the three collectible Malaysian limited-edition designs for Guinness, but do you know that not only are they inspired by Malaysia, they have also been created by Malaysians, for Malaysians?
Earlier this year, Guinness Malaysia’s favourite black brew assembled five luminaries of Malaysia’s creative industries – artist Donald Abraham, musician Edwin Raj, filmmaker James Lee, graphic artist Julian “Lefty” Kam and photographer Vincent Paul Yong; a bold brotherhood known as the “Creative Council.”
Their task – to distil the elements of Malaysian life into concepts for three limited-edition bottle and can designs to celebrate 50 years of brewing Guinness in Malaysia.
Donald Abraham, artist
Painting, drawing, murals, installations – Sabah-born artist Donald Abraham does it all. Known for his distinctive style of illustration and his bold use of colour, Donald was an easy choice for the Creative Council.
Hailing from Sabah, Donald brought the flavour of the Borneo states to the design process, ensuring that the three limited-edition designs represent the unique blend of cultures which makes Malaysia unique.
Edwin Raj, musician
Fans of the local music scene will recognise Edwin Raj as the frontman of They Will Kill Us All, one of Kuala Lumpur’s most successful bands. With experience in various other creative fields, Edwin’s inclusion on the Creative Council brought a wealth of experience to the table.
“Working with other creatives can either go really well, or really badly,” he said, “Thankfully this time, we all shared a common vision of what exactly we wanted to do, and we just clicked.”
James Lee, filmmaker
One of Malaysia’s most prolific filmmakers, James Lee is probably best known for his multi-award-winning film The Beautiful Washing Machine, which picked up accolades across the region.
“We looked back through the history of the brand in Malaysia,” said James of the creative process, “That generation gap between then and now – we had to find the right balance. And I think we did.”
Lefty, graphic artist
A former ad-man, Lefty quit the rat race to follow his heart as a full-time graphic artist, forming the successful local comic book publishing company behind Six, Major Zombie, and the award-winning Jimi Germ. Taking his pen off the paper, Lefty is also responsible for the beautiful wire-work George Town Caricature Sculptures
which grace Penang.
“It’s not every day that you get to have that sort of creative energy in a room,” Lefty said of the experience, “and I think we all left the workshop knowing a little bit more about our own culture, too.”
Vincent Paul Yong, photographer
Vincent – VPYP to those in the know – is one of Kuala Lumpur’s most talented photographers. An electrical engineering student, he taught himself photography in his spare time and it quickly became his passion. Now a full-time photographer specialising in portraiture, you’ll have seen Vincent’s work splashed across the cover of numerous magazines.
Known for his use of black-and-white photography, the vibrancy and colour of the limited-edition designs marked somewhat of a departure for him, but one which fitted the project perfectly. “Our feeling
is that the limited-edition designs specifically celebrate unity in diversity, which helped build this nation. The bold colours in turn reflects the essence of what Guinness is,” he said.
All bottles and cans of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout sold in Malaysia between now and November will feature one of the collectible limited-edition designs. Available while stocks last. For more information on Guinness and to learn more about its history in Malaysia, visit the Guinness Facebook page at ww.facebook.com/guinnessmalaysia, or search for the hashtag #GUINNESSMY50