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Just a year ago, Belveen Singh won the hearts of Malaysian netizens following his hilarious memes during Bersih 4, ultimately becoming Malaysia’s first official meme artist.
A year-on, the 28-year-old reveals to Eksentrika that he is done with memes. For good.
“I’m done with making memes to be honest. It was fun at first but I feel they were getting too stale and repetitive,” the Selayang born reveals.
Belveen caught the attention of Malaysian netizens in August 2015 when he uploaded an entire photo album onto his Facebook profile consisting of memes. He named it, The Emo Protestor.
Clothed in the national team’s yellow jersey, Belveen poked fun at himself for being single and at the same time comically singled out Najib’s regime in his puns.
Belveen says it was a spur of the moment thing where the jokes and puns naturally kept coming.
“The Bersih memes went viral by accident. I wasn’t expecting them to be well received to be honest, I just made them for fun and for my self-amusement.
“I guess what makes the Bersih memes special is the fact that it is dark humour.”
He explains that he was merely making light out of two depressing situations; one being the state of the country and the scandals that surrounds it and the other is his lack of love life.
As it turns out, the self-depreciating memes were a form of coping mechanism for Belveen, who reveals that he does indeed battle with loneliness and depression from time to time.
His arsenal are his jokes and the memes served him well.
“I deal with my loneliness with jokes to make it seem less depressing. Making these jokes for many years now, it sort of comes naturally.”
His life did turn for the better too. As Belveen reveals, being popular did wonders for his self-esteem. However, he admits he is still pretty shy overall and is a continuous work in progress.
“But it’s nice to be more confident around women these days,” he quips, adding that he is attracted to cinephiles with a good sense of humour.
In the span of one year, Belveen said he was heartened to see many people enjoy his work.
“Sometimes when I attend events or whenever I’m on a train ride, I’ve had people coming up to me saying they appreciate my memes. Some take selfies with me and it makes me feel wonderful.
“It’s nice to know that your work has made people laugh or smile, even if it was for a brief moment. The feeling is priceless.”
To date, he has poked fun of the Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Star Wars, and even.. satay??
But it is all now over. Belveen aims to pursue other projects.
“I’ve recently dabbled in stand up comedies and poetry and did fairly okay,” he says, adding that he is constantly on the look out to try out new stuff.
“I am considering of doing Youtube videos to do movie reviews too. I enjoy watching movies and love travelling.”
Apart from that, Belveen is also actively working with The Rojak Projek to spur Malaysians to be united through food.
Art, Belveen says, is an escape from the miserable and mundane realities of life.
He is among the growing many who sees the redundancy of clocking in at 9am and clocking out from work at 5pm on a daily basis – dubbing it a repetitive depressing cycle.
Through art, we can experience that brief escape from the gray mundaneness of such a life.”
However, the golden question on everyone’s mind is; has he been on dates?
“This might shock and disappoint many of my fans but yes I have been on a few dates! But I’m still single though.”
The good news is that the Emo Protestor now protests in different ways. Recently, he gave a talk with cartoonist Zunar at Gerakbudaya’s recently held Mimbar session titled “Laughter as Protest: Humor & Malaysian Politics”.
To keep in touch with Belveen and view his memes (or even ask him out on a date), add him as a friend on Facebook. Are you an artist who loves art and wishes to share your art pieces with the world? Drop us an email along with samples of your artworks to firstname.lastname@example.org You will be credited!