The world is facing COVID-19 pandemic. To date, no cure has been found to be effective in preventing the spread of this disease. Every day death cases are reported to continue. Frontliners such as the Medical Team, Security Team (Police, Army and Security personnel at the organization level) Students Affairs in public and private educational institutions forget about their personal interests and put aside family priorities, on duty with dedication.
Impressed and amazed by this extraordinary spirit, those who are talented in drawing, painting, and writing come with a variety of poster designs and poetic lines ablaze with expressions showing their gratitude as a gesture of praise and appreciation to this frontline team.
Lecturer in Fine Arts, Faculty of Creative Technology and Heritage, University Malaysia Kelantan (UMK), En. Haris Abadi Abdul Rahim is one of the most gifted. Haris Abadi was moved when his digital painting 'COVID Memorial -19' became a hit on social media and gained widespread public attention.
The photo shared on his social site dated 25 March 2020, says “Good morning. Completed a week of quarantine. Thanks to the front-line heroes of the country who risk their lives! #salute #frontliners # covid19 #stayhome ”, began to spread and was shared by various parties including His Majesty's son, His Highness Tengku Puteri Raja Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan binti Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
Haris Abadi concludes that positive values and humanity can also be as "viral" as the virus, which is a symbol of the great hope of Malaysians.
He said 2.5 million shares were on Facebook alone, excluding Instagram and Twitter.
"I am glad that this message has finally reached the frontliners and they appreciate this support," he said.
According to Haris Abadi, the inspiration for producing this work came from my reflection on frontliners who sacrificed their time and energy solely to prevent the outbreak of the COVID -19 virus.
He said the work focused on the phrase 'sacrifice' which used the monument as a symbol.
“I started doing a manual sketch in about 10 minutes and digitally edited it in 40 minutes in a small studio at home.
“My artwork reflects the times and situations in which it was produced and in its original context was to donate from home during the Movement Control Order (MCO). It gives hope and spirit to the community, especially the frontliners who are struggling,” he said, who is a lecturer for the Fine Arts subjects at FTKW including drawing, paintings and sculpture classes.
After being viral and receiving widespread coverage, Haris Abadi felt his small contribution did not match the sacrifices shed by the frontline personnel.
“My service is nothing compared to the sacrifice of the frontliners who left their families for the country.
"Many have contacted me to share on their own social media including Agrobank who made the cover on their Instagram page. And, most recently, Public Health Malaysia used this as a profile picture for their official Facebook page with the #will we win tagline.
“It makes me feel so moved and excited when the message in my work reached and penetrated the community. And that is why the original purpose of this painting was made using a digital medium that is easy to transfer and widely shared,” he said, who is currently pursuing his doctoral degree at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
Talking on his latest plans, Haris Abadi could conclude that the message of the monument's symbol was relatable to the patriotic spirit of the people.
“I have planned to extend this acknowledgement through the COVID-19 Memorial to print the work in the physical form including limited edition prints and t-shirts for sale to the public where the proceeds of the sale will be channelled to the COVID Frontliner Fund – 19.
He said the process of preparing the basic ingredients had already been prepared and the product would be sold online.
“The 100 percent profit will be channelled to the frontliners' fund.
“My friends at FTKW are also working together to help sew and produce personal protective equipment, PPE suits and face protection for health and safety personnel. So, this is the only way I can contribute remotely in my own way,” he said.