Pixel GIFs by Shika Corona/ Shieko Reto
“I've been inspired by pixel art and 80s B-grade sci-fi movies during the 80s and during college times in the 80s, playing my housemates computer games like the Lucas Art's 'Full Throttle', 'Day of Tentacle', 'Sam&Max hit the road', 'Street Fighter2', 'Raiden', '1942', 'Prince of Persia' etc, etc, and some other classics pixel games totally inspired me further”, remarks Shika Corona/ Shieko Reto in a blog posting one month ago. The artist has since gone on a roll to post her pixel GIF creations, starting with signature motifs such as the unicorn and the polar bear, to film noir scenes, to superb “DUSH!” and “TEBABO!” animated sequences.
Shika’s use of pixel GIFs is a wonderful extension to her art repertoire, which complements a vivid and incisive style; it is also an especially relevant medium to comment on current issues. A religious officer bursts into a transgender beauty pageant, only to be awarded ‘best dressed’. An iconic image of the Merdeka declaration, sees tears streaming down one Prime Minister’s face. Light reflects off the ‘Puncak Purnama’ sculptures, to give a federal minister an eyesore. Pokemon Go is hilariously translated into Malay, with a poke at religious authorities to boot. Irreverent colloquialisms like the Malaysian favourite 'otw' (on the way) also get an animated update, the medium particularly great for representing speed.
Scenes with rainfall are particularly poignant, be it to illustrate a calm lookout point, or a dark stormy night. Personal favourites so far are those with a futuristic and/ or surreal perspective, such as the Kuala Lumpur towers submerged in a desert (‘arabisasi…’), and ‘Post-apoKLip-Jaya 2’. The latter features a popular clown face, one silhouette of a building used for political conventions, exploding zombie heads, flashing lightning overhead, the eye of Sauron, culminating with a homage to cult classic Escape from L.A. All in seven seconds. Shieko’s pixel GIFs are nostalgic and recalls a time when personal computer games garnered mainstream appeal with urban kids. The aesthetic may be innocent, but her topics are always relevant. TEBABO!