The Presidential Elections in January was epochal. Not only did Sri Lanka break free from an authoritative rule, but it also piqued the interest of the selfie-taking Millennials. Putting their mobile phones aside for a few minutes they casted their vote though seconds later they had their phones out as they Instagrammed and tweeted their indelible ink-ed pinkies.
Exercising their franchise for a second time this year; prepared to take their future into their hands yet again, they casted their vote on Monday (17). Followed again with Instagram posts, twitter pictures, and hashtags galore!
Elections Inspired a Lowbrow artist
A week before the general election, one millennial, P413, a well-known lowbrow/graffiti artist, noticed the sudden interest in politics among his friends. He began to ask himself questions, such as why people – who were apathetic in the previous elections— are concerned now? What does this election mean to them? What’s with the pinky-selfie trend? Why do millennials feel the need to make a show of having performed their civic duty?
Turning to the internet, P413 swiftly put together a survey and mailed it out to all his contacts. As the responses rolled in P413 analysed and studied the results before interpreting his findings into works of art.
“The results I got were mostly from people in Colombo, so it’s a decent cross-section of young people in Colombo” explains P413. “There were some interesting findings. I was trying to find a relationship between aspects of the questionnaire, for example, I compared responses based on gender – male versus female. I gave them questions based on two opposite ends of the spectrum, whether they were really excited about the elections or whether they couldn’t care less”.
P413’s survey explored several interesting ideas. He wanted to know how many young people are influenced by their parents’, whether they cared more for the candidate they were voting for or the party. Explaining his findings he shared, “people who are influenced by their parents are more likely to vote for the party, and the people who said they wanted to make an independent choice were more inclined towards voting for the candidate.
P413 like many other young people understood that the elections are important but weren’t quite sure how to make a solid decision on whom to vote for. He says the personal art project came about as he wanted to find out if there were others who felt the same frustration.
Results portrayed on Dunny
Soon after the general elections, P413 began interpreting the results of his survey into digital art pieces. His style being more street art, he used Dunny as a canvas.
Dunny is a blank rabbit canvas by kidrobot.com. “It was an artistic challenge for me, I had to figure out how I would depict the results about the elections in a street art form, while restricting what I wanted to express in that shape”, says P413, adding “it’s fun, it’s light-hearted, you don’t have to take it too seriously”.
When asked if he would be selling prints, P413 says he doesn’t know, as it’s a personal art project. He was simply trying to find out if there were others who felt the way he did about the elections and he wanted to know where he fit in.; in his quest to find answers he created little works of arts.