PETALING JAYA: Alfred Phua Hong Fook, a graphic designer, never expected to be picked as the winner of the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign logo competition.
"Knowing that I won is just surreal. I'm so happy and grateful. And to receive the prize from the Prime Minister is a great honour," said Phua, 23.
The Melaka boy was chosen from hundreds of submissions from all over Malaysia during the competition period earlier this year.
Phua, a graphic design graduate from INTI Centre of Art & Design in Subang Jaya, envisioned the work to represent the best of Malaysian values and identity.
"The idea behind it is to ensure that once people look at it, they would immediately know it is Malaysian," he adds.
His design, primarily inspired by batik print tradition, features a rhinoceros hornbill that represents the fauna and eco-adventures in Malaysia. A red hibiscus flower – the bunga raya – reflects a celebration of cultural diversity, while the wild fern – paku pakis – invites the world to a table of Malaysian cuisine.
Phua worked on his design for 10 days, piecing together his ideas to create a thoughtful and meaningful design.
"To be given an opportunity to participate in an open competition allowed so many Malaysian designers to showcase our talents. This opens up a new road for us. It shows that we do have talent here," he said.