THE race to have the prettiest new village is heating up as communities rush to add the finishing touches before sending in their submissions for the 2022 Selangor My New Village Chinese New Year decoration contest.
Organized by the Selangor New Village Development Committee, the competition aims to amplify the Lunar New Year festivities.
StarMetro visited a few participating villages to discover their decoration concepts and talk to the people involved in the projects.
Kampung Bagan Hailam
Chinese lanterns and decorative lights, a bright red metal sculpture in the shape of a tree, and a charming hut filled with nostalgic objects are among the decorations that greet visitors when they reach Kampung Bagan Hailam in Port Klang.
Enthusiastic villagers started planning their Chinese New Year decorations last year, ahead of their third consecutive year of participating in the contest.
“Winning is not our primary objective. We are decorating our village with the intention of creating a festive Chinese New Year atmosphere to entice those who have moved to come back and visit us,” said Kampung Bagan Hailam village chief Loo Cheng Boon.
The village managed to land a special prize after being named a finalist in last year’s competition.
A group of 10 volunteers spent almost four weekends decorating a hut near the Bagan Hailam pier.
In keeping with the contest’s scoring incentive to reuse recyclables, decorations were mostly made from recyclable or junk items.
“There is a large ‘I Love Bagan Hailam’ sign on the side of the hut, which is made from discarded plastic bottles that have been painted in the colors of the Malaysian flag.
“We also created a tiger head sculpture, using pages from several damaged books from our library, which was affected by last year’s flood,” said volunteer Ashley Nah Tze Hwa.
She provides updates on the project on the village’s Facebook page, which is called “Mudskipper’s Memories.”
Other decorations include two Chinese opera costumes, traditional Chinese wine bottles, traditional Chinese medicine wrappers and an oil paper umbrella.
Interspersed along the walls of the hut are several works of art depicting the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac and colorful Chinese opera masks by local talent Tan Chee Geok.
“Our artistic inspirations usually come from the places we travel to,” said Vincent Loo Chin Wee, secretary of the Bagan Hailam Village Community Management Board (MPKK).
“The competition’s requirement to incorporate recyclable elements is familiar to us.
“In fact, we encourage recycling in Bagan Hailam and have regular collection service by Tzu Chi Group,” Chin Wee said.
Chee Geok said, “If we win a prize, we will use the money to improve the infrastructure of the village such as its wooden walkways or even build a community garden to beautify the village.
Kampung Baru Seri Kembangan A mighty tiger head sculpture stands next to a colorful tree, nicknamed the ‘Wishing Tree’, along Jalan Kuyuh in Kampung Baru Seri Kembangan.
The decorations are located near one end of the Rainbow Bridge, a pedestrian bridge connecting Jalan Kuyuh to Jalan SR 1/1.
The works of art were made by a group of art and architecture students, with the help of the inhabitants of the village.
Following encouragement from Seri Kembangan Assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah to decorate the village, Kampung Baru Seri Kembangan Village Chief Eric Hong said they turned to the art teacher Hew Tze Kien for help.
Hew enlisted his former students, many of whom grew up in the village, to carry out the project.
They were divided into two groups led by Yap Li Chen and Lim Pui San.
“After talking with our mentor Hew, we wanted to do something colorful.
“We took the idea of a ‘Wishing Tree’ but used colored strips of ribbons instead of a single color,” said Yap, a university professor of 3D design and project lead for the element. decorative of the tree.
“We researched ideas online, outlined the concept, hand-cut and tied each ribbon onto the branches and trunk of the tree.
“The hardest part was making sure all the ribbons were the same length. We had to make sure the ribbons were cut evenly and tied tightly so they wouldn’t fall off.
Yap said the balls and strips of ribbon in a light blue hue served as highlights and stood out among other ribbons in shades of red, pink, orange and peach.
The 30-year-old added that the project was a great opportunity for him to reunite with his old classmates.
Lim, who is currently studying for his master’s degree in architecture, served as the project manager for the tiger head sculpture.
“Although we knew we were creating something with a tiger element, we wanted to go for something more metaphorical, which represents a more contemporary style and connects with the younger generation.
“The whole process, from design and conceptualization to installing the tiger head, took about two months.
“We built a rough model of the tiger head on a computer so we could get a better idea of how to make it,” she said.
A wire mesh enveloping a metal frame serves as the foundation of the structure. Plastic bottles were then added to give it more depth, followed by LED lights and paper to add color and complete the tiger element.
“The whole project was difficult, as there were different challenges for each component. But luckily we had enough manpower to finish it,” Lim, 26, said.
Hong is happy the decorations have become a local attraction, with residents and visitors stopping to admire and take photos of the artwork.
Kampung Baru Sungai Way
Kampung Baru Sungai Way MPKK, also known as Kampung Baru Seri Setia, has decorated an alley near its Kampung Baru Seri Setia History Corridor mini-museum.
Village head Ding Eow Chai said he decided to place the decorations in the back lane to connect it to the mini-museum and because the lane had the basic layout required for the festive display.
Yuri Tan, the project manager, had worked as an art teacher before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
“Since using recyclable materials was a requirement of the contest, we incorporated them into our decorations,” she said.
“For example, we turned coconut shells into lanterns. We’ve also tied old CDs to a hanging net at roof level, which creates a swan’s shadow whenever the sun shines on it.
“Most of the recyclable materials were brought in by residents. The idea was to create something beautiful out of objects that people no longer wanted.
“To create the tiger sculpture, we used wire to shape its base frame. We then filled it with polystyrene foam, covered it with newspaper and cement, and finally painted it orange, black and white.
“It took me about two weeks to work on the tiger sculpture as I was only free at night. I concentrated on carving the tiger’s head, while the residents helped shape its body,” said Yuri, who worked with 10 volunteers.
Ding appreciates the residents’ efforts and said the project has helped residents bond around the beautification of an alleyway that was previously cleaned up by the community.
“We hope that people who visit the historic hallway of Kampung Baru Seri Setia will take the time to see the Chinese New Year decorations.
“The mini-museum showcases the history of our village and most of its artifacts were donated by residents,” he said.
Kampung Baru Sungai Way won second prize in last year’s competition.
The contest originally started at the district level two years ago before expanding statewide last year.
It is divided into three categories – individuals or people residing in villages (Group A), open group like associations, schools, host families and community organizations (Group B) and finally, MPKK.
Submissions will be judged on creativity (50%), overall presentation (30%) and inclusion of environmentally friendly elements (20%).
An additional 20% will be awarded to those who include a short film with their submission.
Seven prizes will be awarded in the individual category. Each winner will receive RM888.
The winner of the open group category will receive RM1,688 while the champion of the MPKK category will take home RM1,888.
There is also a best presentation award of RM1,088.
An online award ceremony will be held on February 27 at 3 p.m. on the Facebook page of Selangor local government, public transport and the new chairman of the village development committee, Ng Sze Han.