Vivid depictions of our rich heritage


Post from instagrammer tayboony featuring a whole smorgasbord of local favourites in The Star Merdeka art campaign.

MULTI-COLOURED curry puffs, a realistic watercolour painting of a plate of satay and Lego bricks resembling Malay kuih were just some of the illustrations and photographs sent in for The Star Merdeka art campaign.

With the aim of showcasing the country’s cultural diversity and spur the local art scene, online readers were asked to post photos, illustrations or drawings of Malaysian food and culture on social media.

There will be a different theme for each week.

Last week, the theme was Malaysian Food. This week, it’s Malaysian Culture.

Extending an open invitation to citizens of all races and ages, the campaign aims to create a treasure trove of visuals in the social media sphere in line with the Merdeka spirit.

The Star is calling on Malaysians to take part in this visual celebration together as a harmonious nation, said Star Media Group (SMG) news vertical head Juliet Chow.

“In the 25 years since The Star has gone online, it has recognised the degree of influence exerted by social media platforms. In encouraging Malaysians to submit their visuals, it hopes to spread the message of patriotism, positivity and happiness in the virtual realm, ” she said.

Malaysians have certainly responded, based on the tagged postings received, noted Chow.

Chief Content Officer Esther Ng said it was apt that The Star was pushing for this campaign since the group was the first mainstream media to go online, 25 years ago.

“Since then, and thanks to our audience, we have achieved a certain level of trust and have become a go-to, much like a friend, for information and event line-ups.

“It is wonderful to get our audience to join us to mark our appreciation of all things Malaysian. This is especially so on her birthday. We are, after all, proud Malaysians, ” she said.

Instagrammer @drawpletmy submitted a watercolour image of a plate of angku kuih, together with sage advice from her mother against using artificial colouring.

To get the orange or purple hue for the coverings, sweet potatoes were used.

On the artistic side, the artist contributed tips on using gouache (opaque watercolour) for highlighting purposes.

This drawing has garnered close to 3,000 likes so far.

Another Instagrammer @afisulaiman produced a trippy, multi-coloured rendition of a mangosteen to evoke nostalgic memories of his childhood.

It was his grandfather who would pick fresh mangosteens for him to eat as he sat at the porch of his grandparents’ house that overlooked a fruit orchard.

With the number of contributions, there were naturally a few fresh takes on traditional forms of art. Instagrammer @naqibj showed how fried cakoi, which is usually eaten with rice congee or dipped in coffee, could also be enjoyed with custard and strawberry sauce.

The artist also challenged the audience with multi-coloured curry puffs. He said if Malaysians could accept macarons of all colours, they should not limit the curry puff to just one shade.

Another interesting post was from Instagrammer @xxen_nexx featured food items made with Lego bricks and nano blocks. One featured a platter of traditional kuih and another showcased lemang and rendang.

In an age where smartphone photography has become popular, there were also plenty of entries for this category.

Another post from @tayboony featured a smorgasbord of local favourites. @thestraitsdapur cooks his own food with his tagline, “Stir rempah, not drama.”

The campaign also gave two students from an art academy a chance to display their efforts -– Chong Xin Nee, 12, and Osher Teng, 11.

The Star Online Merdeka art campaign will run until Sept 15.

Make sure to tag @thestaronline, including the hashtags #TheStar25YearsOnline #supportLOKALart and also watch out for the latest weekly hashtags.

Remember to set your privacy to public.

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