With regards to celebrating variety and unity, it’s doubtless we’d be listening to “I don’t see color” feedback amongst Malaysians.
For Faye, Rachel, and Jon, nevertheless, celebrating the multiculturality of Malaysians with colour-blindness didn’t sit proper with them.
“To us, the fantastic thing about being a multicultural Malaysia shouldn’t be diluted to shades of gray as a result of our colors are the place the wonder lies,” Faye shared in an interview with Vulcan Submit.
So, in 2016, the trio determined to deliver their imaginative and prescient to life with The Rojak Projek, a collection of conceptual paintings that includes Malaysian meals of their mates.
Utilizing Nasi Lemak To “Paint” Portraits
Their mission began out with a giant gathering of some mates, which is what they name The Rojak Social gathering.
“I realised the one factor that all of us can relate to is meals. Our meals has at all times been the gesture of peace which permits us to sit down, eat and revel in one another’s firm regardless of our variations,” Faye defined.
30 individuals who have been invited to the gathering got here to mingle and shared a meal collectively, and later had their photographs taken by Jon.
Their photographs have been then printed in B&W, and had the outlines traced utilizing quite a lot of Malaysian dishes like char kuey teow, nasi lemak, roti canai, and so forth and so forth.
Moreover heavy meals like these, additionally they included native delicacies like murukku, prawn crackers, seri muka, egg tarts, in addition to native fruit like rambutan and mangosteens. These are all purchased themselves.
“If you see the portraits, irrespective of what number of instances you attempt to guess what their ‘race’ is, I can inform you that many instances you’ll get it improper since you’ll be shocked at how combined they’re.”
“When individuals attempt to guess, I’ll at all times say ‘no’ till somebody says, ‘Malaysian’, then I’ll reply ‘sure’,” Faye shared.
For funding these occasions, the founders would simply attain out to their mates, household, and different connections to ask if they’d be prepared to assist out.
Wanting To Embody Extra “Lain-Lain” In Their Work
The time period lain-lain for Faye initially simply meant ethnic teams that she was already aware of, like Portuguese and Punjabi individuals, however not indigenous Malaysians.
Therefore, they determined to journey to all 13 states to treatment that and movie a documentary whereas persevering with the meals artwork portraits.
Throughout their travels, they managed to supply 540 portraits of the Malaysians they met alongside the best way, and added extra dishes from totally different states into their meals artwork.
A part of their objectives for travelling was additionally to gather lists of various ethnic teams who would’ve been in any other case categorised as lain-lain, beneath what they name The Rojak Nation.
The vast majority of data they compiled in these lists consists of indigenous ethnic teams in Sabah and Sarawak, in addition to the areas of those ethnic teams of their respective states.
Considered one of their largest milestones on this mission was getting featured in American vlogger Drew Binsky’s video when he visited Malaysia. He’s made movies about his travels to 194 nations everywhere in the world up to now.
When he got here right here, Faye and one of many The Rojak Projek members went to KLCC in hopes of sharing their work with him however to their shock, he’d already been knowledgeable about their work.
They even managed to get an interview with him, which landed them a shoutout on his Fb web page.
The Work Goes On Regardless of COVID-19
As a part of their goal to unfold extra consciousness on being much less colour-blind in direction of our variety, they’ve additionally taken their paintings to a number of exhibitions within the nation.
Thus far, they’ve labored on collaborations with Maybank, RIUH, Seize, Sunway College, Pakatan Harapan, and extra.
Talking of which, additionally they collaborated with RIUH and The One Academy on a video collection that includes the Orang Asli of Kampung Sungai Buloh and their tales.
As a result of their work principally takes place when travelling and contains taking photos of individuals and holding in-person exhibitions, it’s arduous for them to obtain funding now and proceed doing the work that they did pre-pandemic.
Therefore, within the meantime, Faye is working in direction of securing worldwide collaborations to showcase their meals artwork and mission in doing so.
As of now, Faye is the one one operating The Rojak Projek full-time, whereas Rachel and Jon are now not concerned however are nonetheless supportive of the trigger.
- You’ll be able to study extra about The Rojak Projek right here.
- You’ll be able to learn extra social enterprises we’ve written right here.
Featured Picture Credit score: Faye Lim, founding father of The Rojak Projek