WAAT 1.0: Drawing Attention To Endangered Species

KUALA LUMPUR: The quickest way to raise awareness on the need to protect endangered species is through vibrant and emotive art pieces.

The “We Are All Together” (WAAT) campaign founder Tey Keng Guan said such pieces attract immediate attention, especially when tear drops are added to the drawing. When children see the tear drop, they will naturally ask why the animals are crying. And adults will then have to explain why the animals are distressed.

“This is how we plan to raise awareness on 12 endangered species in Malaysia,” said Tey who initiated the WAAT campaign last year together with partner Abner Yap. About 100 drawings and 45 sculptures of the 12 endangered animals in Malaysia are on display at the foyer. The endangered species are the ta­­pir, shark, mousedeer, rhinoceros, proboscis monkey, hornbill, Malayan tiger, pangolin, sun bear, Asian elephant and turtle and orang utan.

WWF Malaysia conservation director Dr R. Sundari said using creative artwork could be effective in driving home the urgent need to protect cri­tically endangered species. She also announced the first ever shark theme run in Malaysia, the “Fintastic Fun Run” to be held in Penang on Oct 16. Shark Savers Malaysia leader Jonn Lu said sharks had survived on this earth for 450 million years. But human beings posed the greatest threat to their survival today.

Berjaya Times Square executive director Ms Koh Huey Min said it was a pleasure working with renowned animal conservation organisations to raise awareness on the beauty and wonders of Mother Nature. She said customers who spend RM200 in maximum two transactions on the same day could take home a limited edition tapir sculpture.

News Source: www.thestar.com.my

专访: 本土风格 • 艺术商机

其实,马来西亚 “隐藏” 着许多具有天分与才华的插画师或平面设计师等艺术家,他们既有天马行空的想象力和丰富的艺术表现手法,但是国内的环境与经济等因素,造成他们苦无一个平台好好地展现作品与表现自己的创意! 于是,3 名从事电脑资讯(IT)行业的合作伙伴胆粗粗地成立 “创意窝”(Creative Volts),为本土艺术创作人才提供一个 “曝光” 的平台,提升这些寂寂无名却具有天分的艺术家,让他们的作品能更有效及有价值地推广出去,也希望企业商家珍惜艺术家的努力付出。 “创意窝” 也经常面对举办活动资金的问题,但他们还是不惜自掏腰包办各种活动,以提升本土创作知名度并引起政府的关注,希望政府辅助本土艺术创作家,提供更多的展出与创作空间,进而给予他们发表自己作品的机会,这有助于提升国家的艺术与文化气息,吸引更多游客到访,增加国家收入。   郑庆源(KG Tey)、叶孙鸣(Abner Yap)、罗美玲(Katherine Low)是志同道合的生意伙伴,他们经营电脑资讯公司的生意稳定之后,决定回馈社会做一些有意义的事情,就开始通过网络招募许多热爱艺术创作的朋友,为他们提供一个本土创作的平台,将创意化成为商品。 KG 也是一名资深讲师,在大专学院教导多媒体设计,拥有 10 多年教学经验,而 Abner 与 Katherine 则是他在电脑资讯公司上班的同事,后来 3 人一起创业,如今,更是为了本土艺术创作 “共同进退” ,3 人在 “创意窝” 各司其职,务求完成本土艺术设计师的梦想。 充 当 桥 梁 创意窝于两年前的出发点是收集马来西亚各地的艺术创作人,无论是插画家、平面设计师或学生等人的作品,集合他们的创作制成网站杂志,以增加曝光度及提升知名度。“出乎意料的是反应非常热烈,不但吸引众多的业余创作人踊跃投稿,连企业商家也纷纷支持这些本土作品。” “我们收集的作品当中 80% 都是从事其它行业的上班族,其中 20% 是相识的插画家或平面设计师,当然,别小看业余创作人的作品,他们的创作可是超越专业的水准。” KG 说,由于大家的反应良好,加上本地又没有一个平台,提供给业余创作人发挥的空间,而且企业商家也需要这些插画与平面设计,创意窝就决定担起 “桥梁” 的责任。 他指出,创意窝为加强业余创作者的知名度与曝光率,经常会举办各式各样的大小型宣传活动,以让更多国人尤其是企业商家和政府更了解本土创作,因此,除了在网站展示创作者的作品,也开始设立 “本土化” 的主题,集合众多艺术家的力量,推广本土画风的作品。 “除了平面的作品,我们也开始接受立体的东西,例如纸雕、峇迪、陶瓷等创作,当然,我们还是有限制收集作品的数量,毕竟没办法一次过展出太多,所以需要筛选一些比较好的作品,比较政治因素与含有血腥暴力作品都不会接受。” “参与创意窝的创作者多数是 20 岁出头的年轻人,也有不少独中生积极参加。虽然学生作品难免青涩,仍未具登上大雅之堂的水准,但我们还是另办合适的活动,让他们拥有展出的机会。” 创意窝也与《中学生》杂志联办 “插画创作比赛” ,让中学生也能发挥自己的绘画潜能。

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WAAT 1.0: Endangered Species Conservation (Sshown Chang Solo Art Exhibition)

Hug A Shark Day 2.0

“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.