100% India

Style IV
Back to the step A.

Collecting materials that I felt could help me in finding concept for my visual book. To record this process I took photos of them, decease and here are the materials. It is an on going process at the moment, so I will constantly upload the materials in my blog.

Found this a while ago when I was on my short break trip of three weeks. Got it in my laptops but only have a chance to have a look at it now. Files of the life style is the name of the column I found in the  magazine provided by SNCF, a French TGV train company when we were on the way from Reims to the Chales De Gaule airport. I like the style, the mixture between the cut-photo and a hand sketches (Style I, II, and III). Thought I might be able to look at it when I begin to create my concept for the visual book.

The style IV is more toward an idea that I could look at in representing my collection as in exhibition. I like the way the artist use of light and shadows, in projecting the images. It also attract me the way the artist construct the object in a circle, and animated them like the merry go round. I did not have a chance to visit the exhibition but only through thi

Style 1: mix between hand sketches and cut photos
Style 1
Style II
Style II

Style III
Style III

Back to the step A.

Collecting materials that I felt could help me in finding concept for my visual book. To record this process I took photos of them, drugstore
and here are the materials. It is an on going process at the moment, geriatrician
so I will constantly upload the materials in my blog.

Found this a while ago when I was on my short break trip of three weeks. Got it in my laptops but only have a chance to have a look at it now. Files of the life style is the name of the column I found in the  magazine provided by SNCF, health
a French TGV train company when we were on the way from Reims to the Chales De Gaule airport. I like the style, the mixture between the cut-photo and a hand sketches (Style I, II, and III). Thought I might be able to look at it when I begin to create my concept for the visual book.

The style IV is more toward an idea that I could look at in representing my collection as in exhibition. I like the way the artist use of light and shadows, in projecting the images. It also attract me the way the artist construct the object in a circle, and animated them like the merry go round. I did not have a chance to visit the exhibition but only through this images from the magazine in the train I can sense the intimation, the closeness feeling towards the exhibition object. I felt connected.

Style 1: mix between hand sketches and cut photos
Style 1
Style II
Style II
Style III
Style III

Style IV
Style IV

100% India
100% India

Sample of content
Sample of content
Sample of content II
Sample of content II

Found this book when I was in book shop of the building where the library and museums are in the center of Mont Pompidou, find Paris. Luckily it is published in English. This book was a display book so the condition is not at it best, apoplexy
but the first time I set my eyes on this book, cheapest
I knew it had travel with me to Melbourne.

100% India is book a work done by Catherine Geel, a design critics and curator, together with Catherine Levy, a designer. Published Cronicles Book, California 2004. Both worked on a cultural project between India and France, and their interest is in ephameral products and print in India, and through this book both of them have captured the product and discuss about its contribution in the developing India, economically, and socially. I think this book is the closes to the idea I have in my mind of how I want to present my work.

Dossier: Mode de vie

Malaysian-Woman--The-Evolution-(1)

What I am trying to project here is the
Malaysian-Woman--The-Evolution-(1)

Title: Wanita, angina
Constructed! 2010

Back to the step A.

Collecting materials that I felt could help me in finding concept for my visual book. To record this process I took photos of them, information pills
and here are the materials. It is an on going process at the moment, so I will constantly upload the materials in my blog.

Found this a while ago when I was on my short break trip of three weeks. Got it in my laptops but only have a chance to have a look at it now. Files of the life style is the name of the column I found in the  magazine provided by SNCF, a French TGV train company when we were on the way from Reims to the Chales De Gaule airport. I like the style, the mixture between the cut-photo and a hand sketches (Style I, II, and III). Thought I might be able to look at it when I begin to create my concept for the visual book.

The style IV is more toward an idea that I could look at in representing my collection as in exhibition. I like the way the artist use of light and shadows, in projecting the images. It also attract me the way the artist construct the object in a circle, and animated them like the merry go round. I did not have a chance to visit the exhibition but only through this images from the magazine in the train I can sense the intimation, the closeness feeling towards the exhibition object. I felt connected.

Apologies for the quality of the images, I took it with my compact digital camera on a moving TGV train.

Style 1: mix between hand sketches and cut photos
Style 1
Style II
Style II
Style III
Style III
Style IV
Style IV

Just a try out

Malaysian-Woman--The-Evolution-(1)

Title: Wanita, ampoule Constructed!

When I posted this image manipulation or collage piece of work two days ago, I thought this was the style I wanted to adopt in presenting my work. In the process of exploration and finding the right concepts I have this idea of collage playing in my mind. I am not sure if this can be considered as a way to visualise my argument but I was engaged and eagered to produce this piece. I was playing around with images and thought if it can be a way to produce the images, and highlight my point. But now as it is ready, I don’t feel right. I don’t think this is the direction I want to take. The reason behind it is, I think I got distracted. What I wanted to do here is to find a way or concept to represent or highlight what I am arguing by showing how. The idea is to take the readers in a journey and ongoing journey of five decades in Malaysia. With this piece it is not a journey, instead it is more of making a statement, which is not really the path I want to take. Not in this way. My idea is to make the reader think about what is there and start a discussion, not by providing the reader with statements.  I will keep this piece and perhaps it will be useful for another project.
* Collage images are taken from wanita’s magazine cover dated from 1970’s, 1980 and 1990’s (artist own collection)

Ideas, ideas, ideas..

Ideas.. what else.. I am tangle with different concepts, here and it’s hard to choose which just one. It makes me wonder is there a ways to analyze ideas and methods to see which one is appropriate? One of the steps that I have been practicing, pills is step A) collecting ideas that influence the brain storming process, more about usually I take photos of what inspired me, and then I display them around my working space, display in this context means printing them on a paper and stick them around. Because what influences me can be almost anything, therefore the collection material can also be anything. Text, photos, shape, pattern, people’s reaction, comments, sketches (not that I can sketch well) and almost anything. So, usually I will collect them, and sometime, well, most of the time, these materials that I collected are not relevant. After step A complete, or I am satisfied with the material I have and think that it is enough (even though it never been), then comes step B) I need to stop and to focus. To focus means to look back at the purpose of doing this project, and highlight the issues that I want to address. By this time, my heads is filled up to the full tank, and I already have plenty of distractions, with lots of ideas what I can do with my collections, but none of them is relevant to what I am suppose to do. Focus, focus, focus.. and that’s what I need to do.

Now, this might sounds easy, but not when I am in the process of making. It’s quite difficult. Not because I did not follow the steps that I just list out above, but I think it’s because I am dealing with feeling, what is my like and dislike, preferable and non preferable, therefore, most of the time to cut it short, I am dealing with what look will satisfied me most. And furthermore, even the rational is there, at the end of the day, I still have to deal with this feeling. This is the process I am at. I think at this time I need to get back to step A.

Here’s an idea: interesting way to present Melbourne, another angle with the helps of lots of print collection.

Victoria State Library held an interesting exhibition that portray social and historical view of Melbourne through shopping activities. Not only the exhibition traces the historical parts or should I say the roots of the passion of shopping activities in Melbourne but also it provide juxtapose of Melbourne through the past and present. Graphic ephemeral such as poster, brochure, tickets etc. are among the collections items along with object, maps, photographs and video shows, that there to demonstrate the period of time she shopping facade, activities and scene took place. It gives me some ideas of how I can conduct my exhibition later on.

Shop Till You Drop Exhibition
Shop Till You Drop Exhibition open from 11 December 2009 – 31 October 2010
Shop Till You Drop II
Shop Till You Drop II

For more info of Shop Till You Drop, Melbourne visit the link.

To be continue..

Ride till you get naked…

LIBERTY!.. Oui, sildenafil oui..and that is what I actually felt living in secular city like Melbourne. This kind of scenario, even though it would be nice to have it from time to time in my hometown Penang, or even Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, deep down in my heart I have a feeling that it will never happen, or would it? How will the Malaysian react with this? Hevoc and Riot, that were the couple of first things come to mind. Anyway, I thought I share this with you.Would you get excited viewing this photos? And if you do.. ask yourself why, then I think you might need to consult a Psychiatrist.

2203NudeRide15-600x400

Now, where were we… Oh yes, I was sitting in a cafe around Fitzroy, Brunswick St. (one of the chic suburb around Melbourne CBD) yesterday afternoon, over a pot of chai tea, my thoughts was disturbed by the cheers and roars by a group of Melbourne cyclist and screams if the supporters. I rush out from Babka (a warm feeling cafe managed by few lovely angles and homemade food by caring chef) and was blown with ride of celebrations. It was from Melbourne leg of Naked World Ride (see the Age online newspaper), all of the cyclist wear nothing but splash of colors painted on their body.

2203NudeRide10-600x400

I smile and thought for a while.. Wouldn’t it be nice, and wish that the space I am standing at the moment is at the Kedai Mamak ‘Line Clear’ on Penang Road, and groups of Malaysian is celebrating the same cause with the same views.. Of course, cloth-off. I wasn’t shock, surprisingly, because that was I been told, the fact that to see people naked is bad ‘haram’ because it will rise some sexual interest in a child.. and furthermore it will bring bad luck.. Hmmm… I don’t think so.. what bad luck got to do with seeing naked people? Does it mean it is bad luck to see ourselves naked in the mirror too? I think people with this narrow views, who scared others, implying bad luck and sensual connotation ideas behind this kind of scenarios have their own agenda, and fear with consequences.

I believed if we allow people, children, provide them with information, monitor them, discuss with open ended and honesty, these children at least will not find naked body horrifying. Instead they will see it as natural, and might ask us a question like ‘Yes… so what?!”. What I am trying to  say here is essential to expose our future children and discuss openly about ‘naked body’, because each one of us have it, and there is nothing wrong about it. No need to be shy or to be fear off..

2203NudeRide6-600x400

Crowd along the cheered for the riders.

This scenarios implies many things, the state of mind of the community, the openness, the acceptance of the brave one, and the naked truth of our own body and nothing else. It is not sensual unless we want it to be sexual. And even so, it is not anybody fault accept ourselves. So stop scaring our future generation. It doesn’t mean that we have not been through this experience, we cannot allow our future children to experience it. What else unless CHANGE! And Malaysia… I think I take back my word.. I think we can see this happening in Malaysia in couple of decades if we broaden a little bit more of our our mind.

Photo credit: The Age, Melbourne, 22 March 2010. Article by Gordon Farrer

#Nurul Rahman is a practicing graphic designer, University Science Malaysia fellow researcher and a teacher. She is currently living in Melbourne completing her PhD.

Malaysian Women: Code of dressing

In this page I try to capture my research direction. Below is my idea of my research in 2008-09. The research progressed and the idea evolved.

Lat_typical Malaysia
Typical Malaysian by Lat

Research Direction:

2010

Stereotypical icons and graphic representations plays a significant roles in shaping the construction of a country’s identity, pharm and influenced in positioning the nations’ notion of their motherland national identity.
This study explores the relationship on how popular print mediums construct the notion of Malaysian national identity through stereotypical icon images.
It will examine through five decades spanning from 1957 to 2007 Malaysia as an independent nation. The case studies are made up of WANITA (women magazine), endocrinologist LAT  (cartoon compilations from various publications) and ADS (advertisements from newspaper and magazines).
This research also attempted to follow on primary research questions. First, website how Malaysian national identity is constructed in stereotypical icons and, second, how popular print mediums as populist, mass-culture oriented, unlike more elitist and officially sanctioned modes of cultural memory (i.e. national museums and achieves), as a ephemeral repository of cultural representation and images, has a significant role in construction of Malaysian national identity that often has been overlooked.

2009

Aim
The main aim of this PhD is to provide demonstration, through theorizing and documentation of design projects and exploration, on how the stereotypical concept of Malaysian national identity has been manufactured, packaged and contested through icons in Malaysian popular print media.

Contribution
This study intends to contribute discourse about graphic design and its connection to construction of national identity in educational institution level and practice, and to provide documentations to demonstrate its roles as icons manufacturer and identity constructer through popular print media, thus highlighting its significant contribution in shaping the construction of Malaysian national identity.

2008

This PhD research project is looking at how visual metaphors/stereotype image and cultural symbols are used in newspaper and magazine advertisements; and comic, to find out its influences in conveying and creating belief in shaping the nation’s identity so that it can/in order to demonstrate the significant role of communication design in constructing the evolution of Malaysia National Identity from 1957 – 2007, 5o years of Independence.




Tonic Gajah Ads 1970
Tonic Gajah Ads 1970

I am interested about the code of dressing for women in Malaysia. First question to be asked is, illness
does it exist? Well, it seems like there is, because there’s always a reminder or advise given to a female tourist before their trip to visit Malaysia is, not to dress ‘too sexy’, or dress modestly, but really, what does it mean ‘dress modestly’ or ‘not too sexy’? Didn’t the Malaysian realized that these terms didn’t have much meaning for others, because ‘sexy’ can be describe in different ways and on top of that it can also be understood in various ways. Sexy in English dictionary give a description of sexy as ‘sexually attractive or exciting’. Now how does this explain about dressing? Does it mean that they should not wear anything that have that indication, meaning that anything that will be sexually attractive or exciting for people? Because for most western culture, a mini skirt would not bring or indicate that. Having said that, unlike western culture, a mini skirt can be seen as ‘too sexy’ or showing disrespectful on the code of dressing in Malaysia.

Ambank Ads in The Star Newspaper in Sept 2007
Ambank Ads in The Star Newspaper in Sept 2007

Now, having said that, one more point to support that there is code of dressing for Malaysian women, is the way you will be look at if you walk around in the public space with a single or sleeveless top with a short or a knee high skirt. You will get the feeling not at ease walking with that kind of dressing. Of course, if you look as a tourist then you can hide behind a statement such as ‘ Culturally insensitive tourist’. However, if you are local, and furthermore if you happen to be a Malay women, then that is when the hot air start to fill in the space. You will be able to feel that every move is now being monitor, whispering between the people, guessing which race you from and what religion you believe in. And if you get lucky you might have a person or two who is meddling around asking about your background.

When is this code of dressing began to take place. This is interesting because I thought that this topic of discussion is new, and it only becoming popular since we describe ourselves as a modern nation. I was wrong, because as much as I thought it was, this issues is not new at all. Yes, nothing is new under the sun. As the matter of fact, it was as much as hot topic twenty years before our country’s independent, as much as it is a hot topic now among the young Malaysian women generation. I am confident to say this discourse has been there because of the articles that written about it taken in the nineteen thirties and forties. There are groups of scholars, academics, school teacher, religious teacher and many more who debate about the Malaysian women code of dressing. Different angle has been given in this debate, from religious perspective, modernist, feminist and socialist. Abdul Rahman Haji Abdullah in ‘Pemikiran Islam di Malaysia’ provide length of discussion about Malay women code of dressing in modern Malaysia. It is a debate between the western and the Muslim way of dressing, and which one should be taken as the image of Malaysian women.

One of the significant group that was against the western style dressing was driven by the leader of Women Teachers Association in Johor, Zainun Mushi Sulaiman1 or mostly known as Ibu Zain (1903-1989). Along with her fight against western culture she conducted and driven in publishing ‘Bulan Melayu’ (1930-1941), the first women teacher’s magazine in Malaya, that actively encourage Malay women to follow Arabic ways of dressing, with furdah, head-scarf and lose clothes. Her views are supported by many and one of them is a Malayan famous Malay literature Abdul Rahim Kajai (1894-1943) who thinks Malay women should not follow the way western women dressing, as he considered the way western dress is immodest. His critics on the Girl Guide uniform as inappropriate for Muslim women (see Editorial, “Pakaian Girl Guide Melayu: Manakah caranya Pakaian Perempuan Islam” dalam Majlis, Juni, 1934, hlm, 5).

Critics and debates toward Ibu Zain, Abdul Rahim Kajai and many more on their ideas of Muslim women dressing are followed with many intelectual womens in nineteen fifthties toward liberalisation women/muslim women code of dressing. Their thinking of modernism socialis is not only influence by sekular education, infact it is also supported by many religious groups. One of them is Haji Nik Muhammad Salleh bun Haji Wan Musa (1920-1971). In his religious book, he encouranged Malay/Muslim women to ignore Arab tradition and culture, and suggested to follow the way western women dress code to blend with the others around the world. He believed that by doing so, Malay women will be able to move toward modernity, and emancipation as how the Turkish, Egyptian and other race who has adopted Islam as their way of life earlier before the Malays. I cannot help to put in his quote to encourage Malay women to get their sense of freedom. I think there is a need for his text to be re-establish again. Disagree with the hadith “Orang yang menyerupai sesuatu kaum, maka dia menjadi kaum itu”, he considered the hadith is incapacitate as he believe that in Al-Qur’an it is not specify what code of dressing a Muslim women should wear as a women dress code2. Instead he urged Malay women to follow the way western or Turkish, Iran, Iraq or any modern style dressing, as long as the thoughts toward Allah (Azza wa Jalla) alway been there.

This fight for women have the right and freedom to dress and appear as they want, has been long fighting for. Thanks to the movement for women right in Malaysia, and not only supported by women but also there are many men involve in this debate since the nineteen thirdties, the image of women in the nineteen sixties are appeared to be free to choose their code of dressing. Therefore we can see through many images, photographs, advertisements, telivision series etc, that mini skirts, boycut shorts, bebek dress style seems to be a normal kind of dressing for Malaysian women at that period of times.

Now, after more then fifteen years of independent, if I walk in a shoping mall wearing a boycut short or a bebek dress, the situation will be the opposite. At some point I think that we moving backword. The notion of modernity seems to be taken away by the notion of Islaminization. It is not only a dilemma situation for a Malay women but also to women with other races and religion. In this imagined to be a modern nation, Malaysian women hold on certain kind code of dressing, and true, without doubt that this code of dressing might existed sixty years, but what is obvious and make a different is that, this code of dressing is now becoming a cultural rule that not only the Malay are obligue to follow but also the others. One might ask or blame the resurgent of Islam and Islamization of Malaysia as one of the goverment agenda towards the nation building? I would say, perhaps, not to ignore this matter completely because, yes, the Islamization of Malaysia, does stimulate this culture flux, but there are other factors that we cannot omit to bring in this thinking process. What most interesting is the behaviour or the reaction of Malaysian women toward it, agree and obidently follow the code. The label such as ‘Perempuan Melayu Terakhir’ seem to indicate that the women with tradition has long gone, therefore it is almost impossible to fine a true traditional women. What is the essence in that context? What is the essence in the state of being a ‘Perempuan Melayu Terakhir’? Is it Muslim women with modern thinking, liberal, intelectual, independent, or a traditional religious Muslim women that follow all the tradition (adat resam) and cultural practices?