Shahrul Hisham Ahmad Tarmizi
Swamp Dweller
1920px x 1080px, 30 fps Animation
2020

‘Swamp Dweller’ is my animation where I introduce to the world my perception after having read Hikayat Raja Pasai. The hippo bathing in the swamp symbolically refers to the passage in Hikayat Raja Pasai:

“Apa nama negeri ini?” Maka sahut orang mengail itu, “adapun nama negeri ini Pasai”. Maka kata orang dalam jong itu, “Apa khabar dalam negeri ini?” Maka sahut orang mengail itu, “Adapun khabar dalam negeri ini, badak makan anaknya”.

The phrase 'badak makan anaknya' intrinsically refers to the story of a king who killed his two sons to commit incest with his daughters. I draw myself emerging out of the swamp and releasing eagles (a predator animal) from my mouth to indicate that conflict.

I animated myself as diving and sneaking into the kingdom of Pasai, representing investigation. The appearance of the application windows and the Photoshop toolbar buzzing and blinking reflects question marks. The dark side of Sultan Pasai reminded me of a story from Greek mythology which was about King Oedipus. Both of the kings brought a threshold of psychological problems in ancient times. The noise, graphic interface, ambiguous background, and grain effect with a robot engages with my memory about a blurry situation just like how an old, broken television, viruses and worms in a computer would. They are all moving and interacting within my mind whether consciously or unconsciously. For me, computer software is a set of signals that guides us to our triumphs. My computer screen acts as a threshold guardian that reveals the saga of my quest to the world.