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30 Malaysian Artists Came Together to Transform an Abandoned Lot into a Street Art Exhibit

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    Malaysian-born artist and architectural designer Red Hong Yi and filmmaker Jared Abdul Rahman brought together 30 talented artists from Sabah to create magnificent works of art collectively called the “Pillars of Sabah.”

    Image via Facebook / Red Hong Yi

    The ambitious project saw artists of diverse ages, ethnicity and art styles transform an abandoned site in downtown Kota Kinabalu into an area that celebrates art and community.

    Image via Facebook / Red Hong Yi

    Hong Yi told Nextshark that they selected a diverse group of individuals including some Chinese, Malay, Kadazan and Indian artists to highlight inclusivity and diversity within Asia itself.

    Image via Facebook / Red Hong Yi

    In “Pillars of Sabah,” each artist was given one pillar to paint on two sides. On one side, the artists were tasked to paint an inspiring person (from Sabah) of their choice, and on the other their own self-portraits.

    Image via Facebook / Red Hong Yi

    The finished artworks were unveiled at the Street Art Graffiti Building on Sunday, coinciding with the celebration of Malaysia Day. 

    Image via Facebook / Red Hong Yi

    “We wanted the pillars to be an open portfolio for the artists, so they can be contacted for more work and be supported by the community,” Hong Yi revealed. “We also want to tell our Sabahan stories, of Sabahans contributing locally and globally.”

    Image via Facebook / Red Hong Yi

    The artists who joined Hong Yi in her endeavor are as follows: Hani Mahdi, Josrie Haral, Joanne Allison Joannes, Jared Abdul Rahman, Azlan Dulikab, Ken Tan, Japson Wong, Aaron Lam, Shelly Phang, Wilson Ng, Mel Lo, Pamela Thomas Joseph, Charles Mawan, Sharlyn Bui, Tan Sheau Ling, Charmaine Liau, Herman Duang, Belinda Chong, Yee I-Lann, Chin Jing Yuan, Mitchie M. Rooney-Andrew, Rosmaini, Binjai Kartunis, EJ Lo, Sheng Haw Lim, Sarah Wasli, Chau Xhien, Intan Mumirah, and Danielle Soong.

    Image via Facebook / Red Hong Yi
    Image via Facebook / Red Hong Yi
    Image via Facebook / Red Hong Yi

    Hong Yi, internationally known as the artist who “paints without a paintbrush,” has made numerous incredible works of art in the past using unconventional art materials.

    Back in 2015, she wowed “Star Wars” fans with her clever use of shadows to bring some of the memorable film characters to life.

    She also created a “Merlion” mural for Facebook Singapore using bamboo chopsticks, a portrait of singer Adele using 1,500 melted tealight candles and an image of actor Jackie Chan made up of 64,000 chopsticks.

    Featured Image via Facebook / Red Hong Yi

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