By Jeremy Khalil on May 7, 2015
Galeri PETRONAS celebrates the historic and intellectual achievement of Gila-Gila, the national humour magazine by showcasing LAGI-LAGI GILA-GILA exhibition to offer visitors, particularly long-time comic readers, a rare and unique appreciation of the rise of Gila-Gila in the late 70s, and to explore its literary, cultural and entertainment value, and influence on Malaysian culture.
Featuring over 200 pieces of iconic and original artworks, LAGI-LAGI GILA-GILA exhibition marks the largest exhibition of Gila-Gila in Malaysia and also the maiden collaboration between Galeri PETRONAS and nationally renowned cartoonists to present the retrospective of the national humour magazine.
According to Encik Rosli Abdul Rahim, Galeri PETRONAS’ Director, cartoons, like art forms, provide and endless opportunity to express individual creativity and thoughts. “Comics are fun and powerful, but at the same time, they are also a true form of literature asking questions of readers, forcing reflection and consideration, or creating and promoting laughter.
“The success of Gila-Gila shows us that there is more to cartoon art than just a talent for drawing caricatures. We believe that with the combined efforts of the art organisations and passion of the cartoonists, we can educate people in the true value of cartoons as an art form,” he said.
Exhibits consist of early copies of Gila-Gila magazines, quotes, editorial cartoons, cartoon strips, intellectual write-ups and cartoon character standees, many of which are the most popular and recognised segments by its readers.
Among the popular segments of Gila-Gila featured in the exhibition include “Jungle Jokes” and “Kalau” by Jaafar Taib, “Perwira Mat Gila” by Rejabhad, “From Taiping With Love” by Rasyid Asmawi, “Lagak A. Mahmud” by Fatah Ngah, “Falsampah Gila-Gila”, “Soal Jawab PST” and more.
Fun and exciting activities in the gallery such as caricature drawing by the artists, public programmes, creative cartoon cut-outs for great photo opportunities, “Lipat Lepat” (fold-in) corner and designing own Gila-Gila magazine cover. The gallery also organises LAGI-LAGI GILA-GILA contest whereby visitors can fill in dialogues in the comics and stand the chance to win limited edition of Gila-Gila premium merchandises.
This exceptional exhibition highlights the intellectual capabilities of our national cartoonists in using comical expressions of humour and humanity, or hilarious perspectives on social, political and economic issues to illustrate the uniqueness of being Malaysian.
While the original sourced material for the exhibition is old comics, the strong Malaysian identity and lifestyle captured in the scenes are all vividly familiar in the public’s collective memories of a past popular culture. Visitors can thus participate in the artist’s sense of nostalgia while also examining the works as fresh and new.
First circulated on 1 April 1978, Gila-Gila magazine is published monthly by Creative Enterprise. It is a socially-accepted novelty and an important piece of history that embodies the brilliant minds of Malaysia’s top cartoonists.
During the past 20 years, Gila-Gila has contended for the honour of having the largest the number of readers in Malaysia and has retained its audience by addressing a wide variety of cultural, social, economic, and political issues in delightful and humorous ways. To date, Gila-Gila has produced 770 issues.
The LAGI-LAGI GILA-GILA exhibition is currently open for viewing at Galeri PETRONAS, Level 3, Suria KLCC from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday. The exhibition ends on 15 July 2015. Admission is free.
Exhibitions and programmes by Galeri PETRONAS are in line with PETRONAS’ philosophy that embodies the organisation’s long-term commitment towards nurturing local artists and promoting art development in Malaysia.