Mahjong is a fast-paced and addictive game where four players attempt to form sets of three or four matching or sequenced tiles.
Over good food and endless chattering, Mahjong is often played within families during celebrations and gatherings. Each tile represents a motif that is tied to Chinese culture and its cultural significance is held dearly by those who play it.
However, this does not mean that Mahjong has not gone through some modifications over the years. From being gentrified to being ridiculously overpriced, the game has definitely seen some not so great changes.
With that, as a way to reinvigorate the new generation’s love and passion for the game, Malaysian architect Kaiyi Wong decided to add a fresh localised twist by integrating new motifs.
During the pandemic, Kaiyi was introduced to Mahjong by his sister and soon after became addicted to it. He noticed how exciting the game was to play within his community and wishes to share that sense of unity with different races in Malaysia.
With a background in architecture, Kaiyi utilised his skillset to venture into the art industry. Using a laser engraving method, he designed the motifs and engraved them onto the wooden tiles.
Deeply rooted in the multicultural, multilingual and multiethnic background of Malaysia, these Mahjong tiles are peppered with endearing cultural callbacks stemming from the Malay, Chinese and Indian communities.
Not only are there engravings of the Wau Bulan, dragon head and Kolam but there is also an amusing tile that depicts a certain infamous political figure in clown make-up.
Take a look:
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The final Mahjong set includes 88 tiles, 3 dices and a few mahjong rulers.
As of right now, only the prototype is available and it was exhibited at The Back Room KL, Zhong Shan building back in April.
Who knows? Maybe Kaiyi will make some for the local market soon… ’til then, stay tuned to JUICE for more updates and cool finds.