It’s that time of the year again. That one day where we remember the hardships and sacrifices our forefathers had to go through to birth this nation. It’s a day to celebrate the blessings, privileges and opportunities we have as citizens of Malaysia. It’s easy to forget that we live in a beautiful country with all the hate and clouded judgement surrounding us lately. We’re quick to complain about the haze, the economics, the politics, the security and so many more, but why don’t we take a moment to reflect on the things our country has that others might not? Even if just for today.

In conjunction with the Merdeka spirit and all that, I took some time to visit the #EhWauBulan Art Showcase organized by Red Bull at the White Box, Publika last night. The exhibition featured 59 selected artworks in light of our 59th year of independence. These 59 amazing artworks were chosen in a blind selection process from over 332 unique submissions by a distinguished panel of experts, namely street artist Fritilldea, contemporary artist Ivan Lam, and National Visual Arts Development Board trustee and artist Phillip Wong.

From left: Fritilldea, Phillip Wong & Ivan Lam

From left: Fritilldea, Phillip Wong & Ivan Lam

Fritilldea who designed Red Bull’s first ever limited edition Malaysian can expressed his artistic views and his pride for the country through the intricacies of the traditional wau bulan. The artists were then encouraged to submit their original artwork(s) revolving the inspiration of their own journey.

I’m no art connoisseur, but it wasn’t difficult to appreciate the variety, colours and individualism that can be seen in every artwork. The highlight of the event was the announcing of the winner from the 59 shortlisted artists, who will have the opportunity to undertake an art programme that will hone and nurture their skills. The prize deservingly belonged to Abd Latif Maulan whose artworks attracted a lot of positive attention.

Abd Latif Maulan sharing the stage with the panel

Abd Latif Maulan sharing the stage with the panel

The Principle by Abd Latif Maulan

The Principle by Abd Latif Maulan

The Principle II by Abd Latif Maulan

The Principle II by Abd Latif Maulan

Held in partnership and with the support of The National Visual Arts Gallery, Red Bull’s #EhWauBulan art outreach aims to cultivate Malaysia’s art scene and to empower local artists with wings to document their journey through art. Don’t forget to spare a day to check out these artworks if you need a little reminder of what Malaysia is to you. The showcase will run from 30 August to 7 September at White Box, Publika.

Tapir by Haris Rashid

Tapir by Haris Rashid

Skillful Grandma by Foong Yeng Yeng

Skillful Grandma by Foong Yeng Yeng

I Can't Hear You by Syukur Rani

I Can’t Hear You by Syukur Rani

Rumah by Cwnd Dien

Rumah by Cwnd Dien

For more information about Red Bull’s #EhWauBulan, head to ehwaubulan.redbull.com.