Hyrul Anuar’s Visceral Visual Interpretation of Malay Proverbs

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Hyrul Anuar is currently an Art Director at Mullen Lowe Malaysia, and has even worked in Italy for Fabrica – a communication research centre under United Colours of Benetton. However, Hyrul is a man who grew up in the small town of Sabak Bernam consuming traditional Malay art as influenced by his father. Coming upon these forms of music, literature, and poetry now, they would transform him back to those days of innocence. Though one may think that his time in Italy would be quite an exciting opportunity – it may very well be – it was a tumultuous period for him. Not only did he have to learn a foreign language, he did not even have a firm mastery of English to begin with. Language barrier aside, Hyrul was surrounded by great talents at work, which caused him a sense of insecurity. “I got stressed out trying to prove to people that I’m as talented as them and I didn’t want to let my friends and family down,” he shared before adding, “all that stress and pressure made me lose myself.” He missed his friends and family who had encouraged and buoyed him with positivity.

In his state of internal struggle, he searched back to his childhood and started this project where he’d translate traditional Malay proverbs into visuals on his Samsung Galaxy Note 3, each visualisation capturing a certain moment or place in his life. For instance there is one interpretation of the proverb “Meludah ke langit, akhirnya muka sendiri yang basah,” (pictured above) which represents a time when he became so taken by spite and animosity against a friend and colleague that it caused him to do something he deeply regretted. “I was very angry and started talking badly about her. But after all that, I realised I was the villain of the incident, not her,” he confessed. Hyrul has made amends with her and made that art piece as a way of repenting that poisonous misdeed of his. In addition to being able to channel his brimming, restless creative mind, he’s grateful for this project’s role in bettering himself as a human being.

Take a look at his work below:

“Sambil Menyelam Minum Air”

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“Tikam Belakang”

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“Monyet Mendapat Bunga”

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More of Hyrul Anuar’s work can be found here

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