Artist Statement

Che Det Mural Instagram effect (Download/Muat Turun)

(Click here for English translation)

Baru-baru ini, tular satu lukisan di dinding bangunan di Shah Alam yang memaparkan wajah Yang di-Pertuan Agong,  dan orang kenamaan lain, apabila Yang di-Pertuan Agong sendiri pergi bergambar dengan mural itu. Saya dengar, kononnya, Majlis Bandaraya pada mulanya hendak denda pelukis mural kerana melukis di bangunan tanpa permit. Selepas itu, mural itu diconteng dengan perkataan yang tidak elok. Tular pula satu video CCTV kononnya menunjukkan pelaku yang menconteng mural. Mutakhir, ketika esei ini ditulis, surat khabar melaporkan polis sedang mencari penconteng.

Rentetan peristiwa ini memberi ilham kepada saya untuk membuat mural maya “Che Det di Mana-Mana”. Mural maya ini adalah sebuah Instragram effect memaparkan mural Tun Dr Mahatir Mohammad yang dilukis di Pekan Cina/Melayu di Alor Setar. Instagram effect ini membolehkan pengguna bergambar dengan berlatar belakangkan mural Che Det di mana-mana sahaja mereka berada.

Mural of Tun Dr Mahathir as Instagram Effect

Hasil seni ini mengupas persoalan tentang ruang, pengalaman manusia dan penguatkuasaan undang-undang. Boleh dikatakan, ramai yang melihat mural di Shah Alam hanya melalui telefon pintar mereka. Sekiranya mereka berada di hadapan mural itu pun, pasti mereka merekodkannya di media sosial. Etika, peraturan dan penguatkuasaan di alam maya adalah isu yang sedang berkembang dan berubah. Hasil seni ini menconteng dinding secara maya. Siapa yang mengawal contengan maya di bangunan? Di ruang maya, siapa yang melukis dan siapa yang menconteng atau merosakkan? Jika mural maya dicemarkan, siapa yang akan ambil tindakan?

Gunakan hashtag #chedetdimanamana atau #chedetiseverywhere untuk kongsi gambar Instagram anda dengan mural Tun Mahathir.

Kenapa Che Det?

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad adalah penulis yang giat. Che Det adalah nama pena Tun Mahathir. Saya membaca buku-buku oleh Tun Mahathir, yang saya pinjam dari perpustakaan The University of Queensland, ketika saya berada di sana. Dalam memoir beliau, Tun Dr Mahathir ada menulis:

“The President [of Kedah Malay Chamber of Commerce] was Hanipah S. Alauddin, a prominent Kedah businessman and a close friend.”(Mahathir Mohammad, 2012, p. 264)

(Presiden Dewan Perniagan Melayu Kedah ketika itu ialah Hanipah S. Alauddin, peniaga Kedah yang terkemuka, dan juga seorang kawan yang rapat.)

Ketika saya kanak-kanak, saya kerap berada di rumah Tuan Hanipah S. Alauddin. Saya masih ingat, di rumah beliau ada gelanggang tenis dan air pancut di halaman. Ketika orang dewasa sedang rancak berbual, masak-memasak, saya akan masuk ke bilik pejabat rumah, bersendirian, dan mengamati perabot dan objek di dalamnya.

Oleh itu kenapa Che Det? Saya pilih untuk buat Instagram filter mural Che Det kerana saya suka hasil penulisannya yang jelas dan logik dan kerana six degrees of separation, yang mengingatkan saya kepada zaman kanak-kanak saya.

English Translation:

Recently, a street art in Shah Alam depicting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and other prominent people went viral when the King himself took a photo with the mural. I heard, allegedly, the city council initially wanted to penalise the artist for drawing on a building without a permit. Then, the artwork was defaced with profanities. A CCTV video went viral, allegedly showing the artwork gratified by two persons. At the time of writing of this article, the newspapers reported that police are searching for them.

This chain of events is an inspiration for the artwork called “Che Det di Mana-Mana (Che Det is Everywhere)”. This work is essentially an augmented reality mural in the form of Instagram effect. Instagram users can get the effect here, and then take photos of in front of a virtual Che Det’s mural on any wall they prefer.

This work explores the phenomena of space, human experience and law enforcement. It can be safely assumed that most people experience the mural in Shah Alam through their smartphones. If they were to be physically present near the mural, they were very likely to take photos of it and shared them on social media. Thus, the experience is transferred to the digital realm, to be experienced again digitally. Ethics, rules, laws and law enforcement in the digital realm are currently evolving. This artwork “vandalises” a physical wall with augmented reality. Who is responsible to monitor the legitimacy of graffiti/mural/street art in the digital world? In the virtual world, who become the artists and who become the vandals? If an augmented reality mural is ‘vandalised’, who will take action?

Use #chedetiseverywhere or #chedetdimanamana to share you Instagram photo with Che Det mural effect.

Why Che Det?

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad is a prolific author, who also uses the pen name Che Det. When I was at the University of Queensland, I read books by Tun Mahathir which can be borrowed from the university’s library. In his memoir Tun Mahathir wrote:

“The President [of Kedah Malay Chamber of Commerce] was Hanipah S. Alauddin, a prominent Kedah businessman and a close friend.” (Mahathir Mohammad, 2012, p. 264)

As a child, I was often at Hanipah S. Alauddin’s house. I remember the tennis court and the fountain in the courtyard. While the adults were chatting and cooking, I would go into the home office, alone, to observe with curiosity the furniture and objects in it.

So why Che Det? I chose to make Tun Mahathir’s mural as an Instagram effect because I love his writing style. He writes with logic and clarity. I also chose Che Det because of six degrees of separation,  which reminds me of my childhood.

Rujukan/Reference:

Mohammad, M. (2012). A Doctor in the House: The Memoirs of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (3rd ed.). Petaling Jaya: MPH Group Publishing Sdn Bhd.