‘Design in the service of control and influence’: Is that so?..what about communication?
Found this site www.labna.org while browsing around looking for some interesting Malaysian graphic design work. Am I that naive? It’s like waiting for the moon to fall on your lab (direct translation from Malay proverb) ‘Umpama menanti bulan jatuh ke riba’, which mean, almost nearly 99% it will not happen. But it does not mean that 1% just sit still. So yes, my 1% hope on Malaysian graphic design movements finally comes true. May be it was there for a long time, it’s just I have not been looking far or deep enough (cari dengan mata lutut! is what my mother from time to time said to me when I cannot find things around the kitchen, which does have a deep personal connotation behind it, and we’re don’t want to go there).
It appeared to me that this new emerging of Malaysian graphic design have a new strong vigorous voices of being Malaysian through their graphic work. It makes me wonder when was this turning point began. Definately the internet and new media have played a significant roles in opening doors for Malaysian graphic designer. Internet allows most Malaysian graphic designer aware of social, economy, and politics issues. Also realising that this medium that people called idea holds a strong magical power behind it, and that as a graphic designer they are able not only to express their personal opinion toward the community and political issues, but also to convey and communicate the ideas to community.
Since middle December I have been working on my imagery collection. Well, this process is divided on difference stages. Stage I is organising the images which are parts of three difference case study, cartoon collection from Lat since 1979, Wanita magazine cover from 1970’s and collections of advertisements gathered from magazines and newspapers from the day the people of Malaya were announced their independence, in 1957. Organising it not just mean put them together, at this stage is more on the details of the digital collection I have, meaning to name the files, the year it was published and the source of the publication. This takes a while after all I have almost more than 500 digital images in my data storage. Then once this process is done, as I put them in difference name folder, I have to begin the process of editing the files. Now some of this files are scanned, or captured using just a compact digital camera. Their sizes are vary and their condition is pretty bad. I have to touch-up and clear some of the sketches and marks on them. That takes around two weeks.
Later I created a layout and began to place the images in one size, so that they would be presented in only one size. This size is 13.7cm x 94 cm. Only this process took more then 3 weeks. Later this images are cropped and then pasted on a thin box card board. Now the idea behind this process it to have the images presented like a playing card, just that this playing card is not like the normal playing card, it’s a little bit bigger. The reason is because if it is too small like a playing card then I will not be able to see the images clearly and will not be able to do what I wanted to do.
The objective of doing this is to be able to lay the collection of the images on a table so I will be able to analyzed the images from three different case study. It is in the plan of Stage II of this process that I should be able to analyzed and then get some details information on the collection.
I break the collection through period of time. They are separated in 5, as in 1957 to 67, 67-1977, 77-1987- 87 – 1997, and 97-2007. What I want to find out is whether is there a certain kind of icons that emerged in each decade, or is it not? If there is then what is it? Is this icons reappeared again in different forms and shapes but still the content can be clearly seen?
Friday 16th Jan 2010, I spend more then 7 hours with my supervisor Nasya analyzing this collection that I managed to lay it out on few table. Luckily there are plenty of the table and there is space. The result is fascinating. I am exited! I cannot wait to share this finding with others and start writing about it. However, I also discovered for each of my case study this approached of analyzing, in order to get further information I needed to use difference methods. Lat for example, because I have mainly all his books, that means I have more then 500 images of Lat by itself, it allow me to analyzed each of the images closely and also allow me to count how many time it appear?
Next stage – Stage III, I shall work on Lat and continue adding some of the images in advertisements, as there are some gaps that need to be fill in, around the 80’s and 90’s. I also interested to see if there are other elements that appear in those images and why is it vary?
Once could wonder how many magazine Malaysia have produced? Some of them I don’t even know when it begin to published. like mushrooms.. This site of MPA Malaysia shows many Malaysian publishers and their published magazines.
By the way, Happy New Year! Hope this year will brings lots of happiness and love. Peace!