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  • Writer's pictureMich Zhi Xin

'Climate Crisis is Food Crisis' Artwork on Balai Seni Maybank!

Climate change communication is essential to cultivate the general public's proclivity to engage in climate actions. After the Time To Rice project, here's my attempt in using art as a tool to communicate this very important topic.

My artwork "Climate Crisis is Food Crisis: Save our Nasi Lemak!" has been selected as one of the finalists for the ASM ArtScience Prize and is currently exhibiting in Balai Seni Maybank.

The problem we face while communicating climate change to the public is that the event

seems to be too distant for the public to relate its consequences to an individual level. Hence, other than the long-standing polar bear icon, we need a compelling and relevant icon, to help the people in this part of the world to feel the imminent climate crisis.

In South East Asia, one of the best ways to begin understanding its relevance is by looking at the food we eat. Food is the key to a Malaysian’s heart. Malaysians may not be too bothered if we're told that the average temperature will rise by 1.5°C in 50 years' time, but would most probably be anxious if we were told that we might not be able to have our beloved Nasi Lemak ever again!

Given the possible reduction in rice production, fish stock, and egg production due to heavy precipitation, flood, temperature rise, ocean warming, and heat stress in chickens, the future of our national dish is at stake!

Utilizing organic ingredients (rice, dried chilies, banana leaf, coconut husk, eggshells), the creation of this artwork is to provide an alternate, closer-to-home (and heart) narrative for Malaysians to look at the causal relationships between climate change and the food system.

This artwork also encompasses my ambition, which hopefully could emerge as a call for the artist community in Malaysia to recreate strong, compelling, and relevant icons, to help the people in this part of the world to feel the climate emergency and empower actions at the individual level!

Special thanks to the Academy of Sciences Malaysia for providing a platform for me to showcase my artwork!


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