Food is arguably what unites Malaysians together, and coupled with our multicultural identity as a whole, it is tough to see otherwise. Some fellow Malaysians who make up The Rojak Projek clearly believed so too, when they started up their page on Facebook as well as Instagram profile, which has since collectively garnered more than 2,000 followers.
Utilising delicious Malaysian meals such as nasi lemak, sirap bandung, muruku and char kuay teow, the masterminds behind the project were able to bring to life portraits of ordinary Malaysians. By placing one fried anchovy here, and a few grains of rice there, they were able to create images that are portraits of fellow Malaysians and each portrait is accompanied with a quote about that person’s vision for Malaysia. There are also some food portraits of some famous people like Frank Sinatra and Fred Astaire.
The team has stated on their Instagram profile that the name The Rojak Projek is chosen because, “the term ‘Rojak’ is Malay for mixture. It is used as a colloquial expression for an eclectic mix, in particular as a word describing the multi-ethnic character of Malaysian society.”
They also mentioned through their Facebook page that the aim of The Rojak Projek is brought on by their desire to “cut out all the noise dividing Malaysians and remind people what being a united nation means”. The way by which they relay their message is through the simplest form of food, which is basically how every Malaysian is able to relate to one another.
“Malaysians are made up of regular people that have every possible shade of skin colour. We all belong to uncountable cultures and traditions. That’s just how different and diverse we are as a nation. People would think that the way to achieve unity among these differences is to be a colour-blind nation, however, we, The Rojak team, think otherwise,” they said.
It’s interesting to see the types of food which is utilised and most importantly the underlying message behind the images. On one of the pictures portraying a portrait utilising soya cincau, it portrayed a fellow Malaysian who shared his message alongside his image.
He said, “Hello and good day, My name is Zairis and my vision for Malaysia is for all to fully embody the essence of 1Malaysia. I wish to see the younger generation grow up with a natural sense of unity towards others and fully accept people from all walks of life. With this, it would pave a pathway for us as a nation to truly grow and move forward. Cheers! Malaysia boleh!”
By giving an avenue for Malaysians to voice out their opinion all with the element of food, it is interesting to see what’s next for the team at The Rojak Projek and what other Malaysian foods and stories they would ultimately bring to life with their project.
For more really cool food portraits, check out The Rojak Projek’s Facebook page here.