Shahrul Hisham Ahmad Tarmizi
Meurah and The Elephant
1920px x 1080px, 30 fps Animation
2020

 

This work is an interpretation and adaptation of a passage from Hikayat Raja Pasai;


“Maka dinantinya oleh Raja Ahmad itu. Maka pada sa’at itu juga datanglah seekor gajah terlalu besyar. Maka ada saorang kanak-kanak duduk di atas kepalanya. Maka dimandikan ke sungai. Setelah sudah dimandikan maka dihantarkannya pulak ke tebing sungai itu. Maka pergilah ia pulak memandikan dirinya. Setelah sudah ia mandi maka ‘dimuatkannya’ akan kanak-kanak itu atas kepalanya.”


The word ‘dimuatkannya’ that is found in the passage brings the meaning of ‘to pick up something quickly’, gave me the perception of ‘loading, uploading and downloading’. I visualized and animated application window panels & a calendar panel to allow me to teleport the story into a current mythological context. I recall an instance during the months prior to the year 2000, a computer system flaw (the Millennium bug) caused many computer users to panic as it could have caused a glitch in the coding of computer systems. Like how Meurah and The Elephant also symbolizes glitches, offence and guilt but also becomes the trigger for victory and defeat. Whereas with the image of the mausoleum (surau),

I interpreted it in a spinning motion (anti clockwise) at the centre, representing the concept of circular rituals. Just like how Muslims perform the act of Tawaf during Umrah and Hajj.