Single Story

Recently, I  watched this Tedtalks video by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie titled ‘The Danger of A Single Story’ which I found was really useful for my research and project that I am currently working on as it touches the subject of ‘cultural authenticity’

According to Adichie, she stated that most of us gets immersed with the media where it only tell us a single story. People tend to get influenced by media and believe how the (media) portray a person or a culture, just because that is the only single story that they’ve heard. Adichie challenged us to expand more in terms of knowing a person and their cultures  by getting to know other things better than a single story.

This reminded me of situations when my friends who are from the Peninsula (west) Malaysia thought about East Malaysia (which consists of Sabah and Sarawak state). My friends who have never been to East Malaysia has always thought that the people over there live on trees, having a vision that Sabah and Sarawak are one big tropical forest. This is one of the examples on how a single story could influence people’s perception on something like how Adichie described as well.

In researching about cultural authenticity, I believe there are ways for us to break the stereotype thinking of ones culture. It is also important for us to always understand who we are and identify with our own culture as well. Towards the end of Adichie’s talk, she added that if we can reject a single story anywhere, we will regain some kind of paradise.

Video link:

[visited on 16 January 2014]



Some work in progress from my sketchbook for FAT1 project. Started from a mind map and then continued on with visual research, illustration and hand lettering.

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FAT1 Project

For my FAT1 project, I have selected my keyword ‘Authentic’ as a start of point in this project. I plan to create a mini booklet to promote the local open market in my hometown, Sabah Borneo. In this open market, there are quite a number of authentic goods that are being sold there. While the indigenous people are familiar with the goods, there are still some (especially tourist and non-local people) who are still unaware of these unique authentic goods. These authentic goods truly represent the Kadazandusun people in my hometown and since these goods are not mass produced to the big markets, it can only be found in the open market, which the locals fondly called it ‘Tamu’.

I’ve created 3 possible spreads for this booklet, with the idea of making the spreads to have a raw-like feel to it hence the technique that I’ve used is more traditional (ie. drawing, painting & handlettering). The colour mood for this booklet is also vibrant as to represent the people and the environment of the open market. I personally feel my concept and the linkage of my keyword still seem a little bit ‘loose’ although my tutor Kerry mentioned that the whole idea is workable. I am planning to continue this project in FAT2, but probably will go into a different direction in terms of the art style.