Ink and Photoshop
11 x 14 inches
A portrait commissioned to celebrate the 80th birthday of Dr. Syed Husin Ali, academician, politician, and activist. I wanted to incorporate a sense of how his life and work spanned public, academic, and political spheres, often intersecting in many ways. Frames and boundaries seemed an appropriate visual metaphor for that; they also bring to mind the pages of books and letters, as well as banners and buntings. Eight frames for eight decades of a life well-lived.
Sumi ink and brush
Created as an accompanying illustration for Nitra Wisdom's story 'Purple Wings' in Hidden Youth: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. It's a speculative fiction anthology about marginalized youth across history, published by Crossed Genres.
I enjoyed the story very much, and am glad to have had the chance to be part of this anthology, alongside many wonderful writers and artists.
Head over to http://crossedgenres.com/titles/hidden-youth/ to grab a print or ebook copy; here's the blurb:
"In 1862, a teenaged engineer fights murderous traitors with steam-powered war machines for the sake of the Union. In 1750 Poland, a police officer picks a fight with the wrong bagel vendor. In 1874, a young clerk investigating the use of Chinese laborers in Cuba finds herself working for the dead as much as for the living.
The sequel to the World Fantasy and Locus Award-nominated anthology Long Hidden, Hidden Youth focuses on children: underage protagonists marginalized in their time. 22 excellent stories ranging across nearly 2,400 years and spanning the globe, Hidden Youth reveals the stories of young people whose lives have been pushed to the margins of history."
Chinese calligraphy ink on watercolour paper
5.83 x 8.27″
Irene Fernandez was an activist in Malaysia who championed women and migrants’ rights for decades. This earned her the respect and recognition of human rights organisations at home and abroad, and the ire of the Malaysian government. I wanted to paint a portrait that framed her within the context of the people she worked with - using items like a farmers’ straw hat, a child’s shirt, batik sarong, and hard hat - and which seemed like a snapshot. This was created for and later withdrawn from an undisclosed project.
Cover and interior art for various issues of the Scientific Malaysian magazine.
Classroom of the Universe
Photoshop, 13 x 19cm (folded)
GILA: A Journey Through Moods & Madness is published by Gerakbudaya Enterprise.
Hanna Alkaf’s book offers insight into the Malaysian mental health industry, and I was fortunate to be able to illustrate and lay out the cover. The batik-inspired art hints at both the stigma which society places upon those who suffer from mental illnesses, and at the wealth of experiences put forward by the book.
16.5 x 23.4 in
Created for the Reflections 25.4.16 exhibition, a cross-media storytelling project focusing on Nepal in the year since the April 2015 earthquake. I created a portrait of Biju Shresta based on an interview conducted with him by Tsering Lama, and photography by Mitch Ward. Biju is a shopkeeper in Kathmandu who helped with immediate relief efforts in the days after the earthquake.
The bright red cluster of rhododendrons, the national flower of Nepal, symbolizes both the loss of life due to the tragedy, as well as how communities rallied in the aftermath, as Biju describes in his interview. Contour lines reflect the geography of the region and serve as a reminder of the ties that bind us as humans together.
See the rest of the portraits and stories at http://reflections.org.np/
Merit Award winner, 3x3 International Illustration Show No.13
SCIENTRAITS: A series dedicated to scientists, puns, and idiosyncrasies.
Mesearcher is driven by a longing to understand the furthest recesses of the universe within her.
Meeteorologist can predict the spiciness of your soup just by looking at the turbidity of the liquid and the currents swirling within.
Biyologist had always been reckless, but even his peers were shocked when he grafted an endangered flower onto his head “to save it”.
Fitsicist can pound iron and smash atoms with the best of them.
Poorlitical Scientist strayed out of academia and hasn’t been able to get back in since.
Zentomologist finds peace in the quiet, clicking, company of critters.
There’s a special part of my heart for science, since I got a degree in it and spent time pottering around in a plant laboratory. When Raksasa Studio in Bangsar put out a call for entries for their upcoming Mad Science show, I was inspired to create these, thanks to late night discussions with another scientist pal. ‘Meeteorologist’ was part of the show, which opened on August 22nd 2015.
You can buy prints of the scientraits (with the exception of Meeteorologist) for your favourite sciencey/punny people on Inprnt.
India ink, quill nib, colours in Photoshop
Original ink lines 9x12 inches
Created when I was an undergraduate studying biochemistry, this illustration was inspired by Persian miniature paintings as well as the way constellations are depicted in art. The five groups of amino acid sidechains are depicted here as various beings, with the sidechains linked to their poses. From the top left, clockwise: non-polar aliphatic, aromatic, polar (uncharged), basic (positively charged), acidic (negatively charged).
I’ve always been in love with Persian miniatures, but I first set out researching old European star maps. While they were interesting, they didn’t exactly grab the viewer immediately. I then discovered the Book of the Birth of Iskandar, which has a gorgeous spread where the twelve constellations are depicted in humanoid form. My image is very closely-related to that form.
These are traditional Indonesian and Malaysian garments designed after geeky themes like Pacific Rim, The Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings, Mass Effect, and Watchmen. There are baju Melayu, Punjabi suits, and even an áo dài.
The designs were exhibited at the University of Malaya Art Gallery in August 2015. They've also been featured on Poskod.my and Mashable Asia. You can read notes on each design here.
If anyone would like to collaborate on making these a physical reality (or just chat about them), I’d love to hear from you!
Sumi ink and brush, Photoshop
14 x 19 cm (folded)
Illustrated the wraparound cover for Gerakbudaya's edition of 'A Life Beyond Boundaries', the memoir by Benedict Anderson. He wrote 'Imagined Communities', probably the most widely read text on nationalism, and his life's work demonstrates the inseparability of politics and scholarship.
Pencil and Photoshop
Fully-illustrated children's book for Magicbird Publishing and Midvalley Megamall's 2014 Christmas celebrations. The text was written by Quek Sue Yian.
The mall also created life-size decor based on designs from the book, such as the arch-swing, and the origami reindeer.
Ink & brush, Photoshop
’As You Like It’ is a Shakespeare play which features exiled persons, the creation of new personas, and the usual romance. Produced by Head Trick Theatre and directed by Rebecca Maxfield.
After Rebecca and I discussed the themes of possible magic in the play, the tension between court and forest, and the sacrifice required for Rosalind to give up her Ganymede personality, we decided to go with an image which shows both of her personas and the forest of Arden. Thoroughly enjoyed working on this!