“The thought of hugging a predator is enough to give anyone the chills but the volunteers in shark costumes at The Square in Publika recently were spreading warmth by giving out hugs.”
The “I’m Finished With Fins” event was designed to encourage the public to say “no” to shark’s fin soup and save the declining shark population. According to Evainezzel Khoo, a Shark Savers volunteer at the event, up to 73 million sharks are killed yearly just for their fins. The demand for shark’s fin soup has been the No. 1 cause for the 99% decrease in the shark population over the last 50 years.
Aquaria KLCC, who had set up a booth at the event to educate the public on shark facts, stresses that shark meat — fins included — contains mercury, a toxic element that cannot be dispelled by the body so, one is better off not consuming shark’s fin soup.
IM4U volunteer Faruq Iskandar, who was there to chaperone the group of shark-costumed huggers, said there was also a moral responsibility for the human race to reexamine the process of fin harvesting in the industry. “Five years ago, at a dive site in Anilao, Philippines, we found a shark carcass. The fish had died a slow agonising death after fishermen had hacked its fins off and threw its body overboard,” said Faruq.
Coming on board to voice their protests as well were éPure, a beauty mask company and Enlinea, who runs the wedding.com.my and motherhood.com.my web portals. According to ePure general manager Arthur Liew, the company has taken a stand by refusing to serve shark’s fin soup at all its internal events and claims from all staff members for shark’s fin soup will not be entertained. Liew said the company had also pledged to channel 100% of the sales made during the event to help with fundraising. Enlinea head of sales and marketing Stacey Lee said she will be doing her part to “put pressure” on its websites’ vendors to refrain from promoting shark’s fin in their banquet menus and to spread the “Finished With Fins” message to wedding couples. “As it is, many five star hotels in the city have stopped featuring shark’s fin in their menu,” said Lee.
Lending support in the form of a live art installation were Creative Volts (CV) and Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA) who had taken a month to complete paper sculptures of a mother and her baby shark. Placed on top of white boxes, the students gave a live exhibition as they painted in the scenery of mountains and nature.
Said co-founder from CV, KG Tey and MIA graphic department lecturer Ani Nazihah Abu Bakar, the work is a depiction of the mother and her baby shark swimming in the wild. “It is to symbolise their right to survival.” Explaining the colour themes for the paper sculptures, Ani points out that the grey and white tones for the mother shark is a representation of the species’ current endangered situation. The lively shades in the baby shark shows a better tomorrow. She is hopeful thanks to the ongoing awareness programmes and events to preserve the ocean’s apex predator.
“A platform for creative marketing…”
Art does not pay until the artist has passed on. Of course there are exceptions but they are few and far between. So for a young artist like Lim Chuan Xuan, relying solely on his creations to make ends meet may not be the best option. Creative projects that pay reasonably well are hard to come by and as a result, many Malaysian commercial designers and illustrators are forced to take on a second job. There also are occasions when clients do not pay up. But now there may be a way out for our creative minds. Three individuals who hold full-time jobs in the creative industry in Malaysia have come up with a plan to help their fellow artists.
The trio – Tey Keng Guan, Katherine Low and Abner Yap – have set up Creative Volts (CV), a website for professional artists to showcase their portfolios for commercial project collaborations. Tey, Low and Abner were spurred to set up CV by the bureaucratic issues faced by Malaysian artists. The objective is to enable these artists to showcase their works to companies that are looking for creative artworks for branding and advertising. The website acts like a platform for the artists to vie for jobs in the market. The CV website is not entirely a new idea. It is based on the Behance website that brings together creative professionals from around the world. Ultimately, the aim is to help artists raise their profile, get more jobs and therefore increase their income for doing what they love to do.
On the CV website (http://creativevolts.com.my/) is a compilation of portfolios of Malaysian creative professionals comprising designers, photographers, illustrators and artisans of handiwork. “It was just meant to be a Pinterest-like website to highlight the students’ artworks. After a while Abner suggested we should start a website to publicise the artworks of local talents for free. The idea is to promote them to private enterprises, with the objective of making their work commercially viable,” Tey says.
Special thanks to June Moh. Read the full story on pages 12-13, That’s Life in the issue 101 of Focusweek.
随时都能画！“老师在上课，我在台下画；主管在讲话，我在台下画；无聊没事干，拿起笔来画一画……”人们的生活离情趣好像都离不开“画”。当人们对图像的 需求更强烈的时候，近期常听到的插画又是什么呢？根据维基百科的解释，插画的主要功能是将文字内容、故事或思想以可视化的方式呈现。此外，插画与其他纯艺 术的最大分野之处不只在于有文字的叙说性，其背后的市场和特定对象之目的，更使插画有着视觉传达的大众传播性。
一个来自巴生光华独中，经常在插画世界中游走的张荣顺同学，从漫 画到流行文化的创作，他都是抱着自由随性的心态，走走看看接着脑海中浮现画面就可以开始作画。来自吉隆坡循人中学的曾倩彤同学则透露，通常创作是从“抄 袭”演变而成的。先看别人的概念，然后加入自己风格的东西，就会变成自己的创作。她觉得最重要的应该是每次要想怎样的东西是别人没有做过的，观察生活中的 元素，就会变成新的创作。
金奖：练铠绮（和丰兴中国民型中学SMJK Shing Chung）
“Lighten Your Creative Life With CHA”
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