In May 2014, a project I initiated came to fruition in the form of an exhibition by the controversial designer, documentarian and dissenter; Encik Fahmi Reza. The project planning started six months prior whence Fahmi agreed upon meeting me in campus to hold the exhibition. It took almost a week to put up the exhibition and his trusted companion and life partner Pik Kwon was at hand to help.
Encik Reza’s is a self-taught graphic artist / designer and social activist, he directed the critically acclaimed 10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka documentary which can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQ6oWhr7XP0 . (By training, Encik Reza is an Electrical Engineer, who was given a scholarship to pursue the course in the US). His work, either in print or motion, serves to socially educate and create awareness of issues he holds dear or are of interest to Malaysians as a whole. He is currently working on a community project called Chow Kit Kita which “is a community mapping project by teens and for teens of Chow Kit. The map intends to show what they think and how they feel about Chow Kit and the community. Using the arts, it will incorporate their perspectives on information relevant to their surroundings and lifestyle. In other words, Chow Kit Kita is the young voice of Chow Kit. Chow Kit Kita is the brainchild of Lew Pik-Svonn and Fahmi Reza.” (Chowkitkita, 2103). More information about the project can be read by clicking on this link: http://www.chowkitkita.com/ .
I believe the exhibition was incredibly beneficial for our learners in The School of Design, as it showcases a social and humanistic dimension in skill application, which our ‘product perspective curriculum’ tends to neglect. I believe it would be incredibly educational for our learners as it also exhibits project initiation by designers as opposed to being commissioned.
This project was able to connect with our young designers and I believe for many, it may served as a catalyst.
The following are pictures from the exhibition: