a three dimensional typographical paper play
I was born and raised in Kuching, Sarawak, the eastern part of Malaysia, much away from the buzzling and hassling of the big city life. The lifestyle here is pretty laid back, and Sarawak actually goes by another name, Borneo, which is notable for its' beautiful rainforest. Ever since I can speak, I have known that Sarawak is unique not only because of its’ culture, but also of the people and especially the language itself. Although Malay is known as our national language, with English being our second while Chinese being my mother tongue, we have various ingenious tribes and ethnics who speaks their own native language; Iban, Dayak Bidayuh, Melanau, Kenyah, Kadazan and so much more. Due to our heritage and overly rich green environment, people would often joke about us being some sort of jungle people, living on top of the trees and caves. Despite all that, I am really grateful for what Borneo has offered to me, and I want to take everything that I have experienced in my hometown as an inspiration.
Ngap Sayot, is a phrase that was very popular during the 1990s and still is known to the locals right now. The word Ngap is used locally by anyone be it Chinese, Iban or Malay to signify makan (eat). The word Sayot refers to sayur (vegetables) as some of the traders then pronounced it. So, the phrase Ngap Sayot means to “eat vegetables”. It is to signify that it’s easy for you to take down your opponent if you do not let fear get in your way, in short, taking down your opponent is as easy as eating vegetables. Tropical flora and fauna are used in this piece to signify the greeneries of both the original meaning of Sayot (vegetables) and the state Sarawak which is rich in its biodiversity. It may not be the exact representation of what the phrase actually means but through this experimental work, I wanted to show the relatable culture and accidentally common words in the languages, as all these have harmonised and blended to create a truly Bornean identity.
Paper on paper, 23" x 33"