Ezrena Marwan is the founder of Malaysia Design Archive, a platform that aims to give context to the history of graphic design in Malaysia. Through this platform she encourages discourse on the role of graphic design in nation building and national identity. She is also the convener of Perempuan Pereka, a collective for women designers in Malaysia & Indonesia, as well as co-founder of Sejarah Wanita, an archive of women’s history. Ezrena is a graphic designer passionate about women’s rights, history and design. She upholds the 1964 Design Manifesto that calls for “a reversal of consumerism and profit driven priorities in favor of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communications”.
Jac sm Kee is a feminist activist, writer, researcher as well as the founder of Malaysia Design Archive. She is also a co-Director for the Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia, a non-profit organisation working on issues of media freedom and the right to freedom of expression and information towards a just, free and democratic society. She is the Manager of the Association for Progressive Communications, Women’s Rights Programme, a global civil society networked organisation advocating for free and open access to the internet towards social justice, gender equality and fundamental human rights. She was a selected winner of the Stieg Larsson Prize 2016 “for her struggle for women’s right to a free online environment and for an open and equal information society based on the potential of the internet.”
Simon Soon is a researcher and Senior Lecturer in the Visual Art Department of the Cultural Centre, University of Malaya. Simon joined Malaysia Design Archive in 2016. He completed a Ph.D. in Art History at the University of Sydney under an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship. His thesis ‘What is Left of Art?’ investigates the spatial-visual cultures at the intersection between left-leaning politicised art movements and the emergent modern publics of Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines from 1950s–1970s. His broader areas of interest include comparative modernities in art, urban histories, history of photography and art historiography. He has written on various topics related to 20th-century art across Asia and occasionally curates exhibitions, most recently Love Me in My Batik: Modern Batik Art from Malaysia and Beyond. He is also co-editor of Narratives of Malaysian Art Vol. 4. From 2015–16, he is a participant in the Power Institute’s ‘Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art’, funded by Getty Foundation’s ‘Connecting Art Histories’ initiative. He is also an editorial member of SOUTHEAST OF NOW: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art, a peer-review journal published by NUS Press.
Dill Malik is a researcher / archivist at MDA. After finishing her internship at the Annexe Gallery, she has worked with House of Matahati (HOM), ARTeri and RogueArt. In the day time, she works as a UX/UI developer, gaining experience at Media Prima Digital, BBDLabs and Digi-X. She loves history, user experience design and ginger kittens.
Chua Pei Ying is a junior archivist in the Malaysia Design Archive. She is a linguistics graduate from University College London with an interest in art and design since a young age. She has interned at Wei-Ling Gallery and volunteered in several art museums in London. Her goal in life is to do anything and everything, creative.
Nadia Nasaruddin is a journalism graduate who loves history and archive-worthy things. She is currently addicted to Sudoku and a zealot of movies with lots of twisted plots in it.
Jun Ng is an archive assistant at Malaysia Design Archive. She is a recent graduate from Taiwan National Chengchi University. Jun produced a documentary titled “Tanah Airku” on Ulu Yam New Village as part of her graduate research.
Jason Chan Jing Shen is an archive assistant at Malaysia Design Archive. He enjoys learning about the history of Malaysia through the medium of art and design as it aids him in pursuing his communication degree. His special interests in this field include the Japanese Occupation of Malaya and their attempts to gentrify the country to their own. More and more art is being created every day, thus increasing the importance of preserving the creations that represent our history and culture.
Sheau Yun Lim is an aspiring architectural historian. She is broadly interested in the relationship between form and representation – in art, architecture, history or otherwise. She graduated from Yale with a BA in Architecture. Her graduating thesis, “The Specter of Borobudur,” won the John Addison Porter Prize. Find her at MDA having spent too much money on tea.
OUR TEAM OF NERDS
Dennis Ong dreams of time-travelling to experience history as it unfolds.
Kevin Chan is a freelance web / graphic designer focusing his practice on arts and cultural projects. His interest in art history and visual culture lead him to pursue a Masters degree in Visual Art in University of Malaya, researching on Japanese visual propaganda materials during the occupation of Malaya and their alignment with the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere ideology.
Mei Chia is a linguistic graduate with keen interest in architecture, anthropology and visual history. She is a regular attendee of MDA insightful workshops and talks. She now volunteers with MDA in her spare time.
Nazir Harith Fadzilah is the founder of an Tintabudi Bookshop. An independent bookshop focusing on philosophy, literature and arts. Currently he is collecting and researching on modern Malay literature book cover’s illustration.
Por Heong Hong is currently a Research Fellow at University of Malaya. She is an interdisciplinary scholar who makes use a wide range of conceptual and analytical tools from across various disciplines of Humanities and Social Sciences. Her research interests lie at the convergence of postcolonial inquiries and cultural studies of questions pertaining to medicine, health and diseases, bodies, gender, modernity and nationalism. Recently, she has also taken interest and published works on politics of memories.
Qaleeda Talib read History at the University of Oxford. She lists religious studies, the relationship between organised religion and State, doctrinal debates, and written and visual representations of piety as her main interests.
Syar S. Alia is a writer and organizer. She’s interested in collaborative and collective creating, changemaking and solidarity with marginalized peoples, connecting to shared histories and modern struggles within Southeast Asia, and exploring language and behaviours in digital spaces.
Yap Lay Sheng is a LSE-trained political scientist whose interests are spread out over continental theory, cinema, art, gender and politics. He is also a graphic design hobbyist and flaneur who take long walks contemplating landscapes.
ZH Liew (Joe) received his PhD in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. His dissertation, “The Spectral Nanyang: Recollection, Nation and the Genealogy of Chineseness” explored the intersection of history, fiction and the politics of Chineseness among contemporary Malaysian Chinese writers, and argued for a denationalizing perspective on several flashpoints of Malaysian history. He is an incoming fellow for the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University from 2018-2019, where he will be working on a project to rethink the resettlement archives of the Malayan Emergency (1948-1960).