Since the beginning of the pandemic, change has arguably been the only constant. However, as we live in a diverse global society, it would be naive to say that everyone has had the same experiences. Therefore, to share the stories of youth through various creative mediums, the Far East Jamat launched its first digital art gallery, titled 'Altered Expressions.' With over 32 submissions across the ages 14-40, the digital art gallery garnered some insightful, diverse, and stunning pieces all embodying one commonality — an artistic expression of reflection and gratitude. These pieces include “Self Composure” by Sana Gilani, “Colour My World” by Anum Khoja, and “Island Life” by Rahim Salim.
Digital Art: Self Composure by Sana Gilani
Sana is a new mother who has experienced many emotions that didn't seem to 'balance out' — hence the unbalanced beams in her artwork. As a new mother, Sana faced various experiences that ended up piling up on her mental and physical well-being. The pandemic reminded Sana that she, like all of us, is only human and experiences emotions. As a self-taught graphic designer, Sana created this genuinely mesmerizing yet minimalist piece using Adobe Illustrator. Sana notes that “there is no right or wrong in art” and encourages anyone, regardless of age or gender, to give it a shot.
Fine Art: Colour My World by Anum Khoja
For many, rangoli art is novel and unheard of, but for Anum, it has been something she has always wanted to try. When attending the colourful festival of lights in Kuala Lumpur, Anum was reminded of her love for art that secular tethers do not bind — we can all express how we feel using various mediums. When pondering upon the year of 2020, Anum took the phase 'on the bright side' quite literally and reflected upon all her joyful and precious moments. She noted that it's almost “unjustifiable to focus on the darker side of life amidst all the blessings we have,” hence the use of bright and bold colors in her rangoli art. Anum mentioned that while some art forms may take days to create, it is vital to “keep your connection with the idea, and persevere through all challenges!”
Photography: Island Life by Rahim Salim
Rahim identifies as an islander — not because he often travels to some of the world's most exotic locations, but because he eats, sleeps, and breathes on these wondrous tropical paradises. For Rahim, this photograph symbolises his move to the island of Koh Samui in Thailand — a decision he is hugely grateful he could make. This aesthetically stimulating photograph is far from simple; Rahim noted that he had to time the photograph with the waves to achieve the perfect shot. Though many are fearful of making decisions that completely change the way they live, Rahim noted that he always felt that he “belongs to the island, now and forever!” He aims to spread the hidden beauties of the world through his photography to those unable to travel with his Instagram page entitled 'One World Different Views’.
While these are just three of the many marvelous submissions, they all embody themes that reflect our community: expression, emotion, and service. Sana, Anum, and Rahim are eager to inspire, create, and share their experiences. In a continually changing world, reflecting is vital, and whether one does this through paint, photo, or computer programme, we must all reflect.
To attend the digital gallery, click on this link: http://bit.ly/alteredexpressionsFE