In this age of instant gratification, waiting for something in the mail has turned into checking your inbox multiple times throughout the day until…it’s there.
Once upon a time, the anticipation involved a few more exciting steps, such as the arrival of the postman, which gave chance to a possibly friendly perhaps flirty banter before something physical presented into your hands.
Juxtaposed like that, which would you prefer?
I don’t know about you but I grew up believing that receiving pretty stationery inscribed with a personal message, to be one of the hallmarks of romance.
And I’m thrilled that The Post Card Project in Penang are in pursuit of reviving this old school romance.
At first, it was simply one person’s effort to share the artworks he had made on his backpacking travels.
Elween Loke, a 29-year-old university lecturer, nurtures a penchant for paintings and had created numerous inspirations fresh from his foray at the land of the rising sun.
“In 2014, I had quit my job as a journalist and went around Japan for three weeks. Inspired by art pieces in the local galleries and exhibitions, I spent days doing a lot of Japanese-themed paintings. When I returned to Malaysia, I thought, why not convert these works into post cards? Through post cards, I can share my paintings with a wider audience,” Elween tells Eksentrika.
He printed 20 pieces of these and gave some away as souvenirs on further travels to India and Thailand. However, upon a spring cleaning session at his home in March this year, Elween discovered a few leftover pieces of these post cards and immediately felt the need to infuse them with greater purpose.
That’s how he founded the House of Fabulousness to run the Post Card Project. The group is basically a network of friends, students and acquaintances from the local arts and crafts community anchored together by Elween.
What’s interesting about these postcards is the artworks illustrating them; Not your average standard of pretty as espounsed in their tagline “We bring fierceness to post cards”.
The art on the post cards are a collective effort, featuring seasoned as well as amateur artists.
When asked to define “fierce” Elween says he believes it is in having the power of attraction while staying true to originality.
For me, fierce art must never be boring. Ideas are important – even the lines, the depth and the texture of paintings or drawings should have their own stories. And ideas should not be mass replicated. It’s like, I know antler flower crown is pretty, ok great, but does everyone need to reproduce the same idea over and over again? That ain’t fierce bruh.
“We’re determined, some say stubbornly, to source designs that are out-of-the box and sometimes even ‘crude’.
The conventional pretty designs, obviously can sell better to the masses but we’re trying very hard not to go down that road or else The Post Card Project will lose it essence,” says Elween.
As with any artist resolute to protect their artistic integrity, there are challenges and for the House of Fabulousness it is mainly funding.
“We need more people to appreciate our artists’ masterpieces and also the beauty of post card mailing.
“The Post Card Project is actually a non-profit platform. Even the commission we received from artists is just to cover booth rental at markets. Most of the times, we barely make ends meet. It would be of great help if we can get sufficient funding to cover that. We need Clientele!,” he adds.
Being located in Penang, Elween says, is a blessing due to the state’s ubiquitous support for arts and culture. This keeps them motivated to sustain The Post Card Project.
“Penang island, where I currently reside in, is just artistically rich. The incredible art scenes consistently motivate me and my fellow artists to keep the fire burning.
“The support received from tourists is also a source of encouragement, many whom are impressed with our unconventional post cards,” he says.
As it happens, the House of Fabulousness also welcomes artists, even non-profesional ones, to collaborate on The Post Card Project.
“We wish to encourage non-professional ones as a chance to get their art works out to the public. We also hope more people will take notice of our humble initiative, and support us by purchasing our works.
Do you dare take up on the fierce offer to have your artwork printed on a post card? If you are, we highly suggest you get in touch with The Post Card Project. You can also contact Elween further via email@example.com and maybe from then on, send him and us a postcard or two?
Have you got an artistic labour of love brewing somewhere in Malaysia? We’d love to hear it, tell us more at firstname.lastname@example.org