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