Launched on April Fool’s Day in 1978, the iconic national humour magazine Gila-Gila (which literally means ‘mad’) has been cracking up locals for almost four decades and is still going strong today. Now, after an incredible run of 37 years, Galeria PETRONAS is paying tribute to the comic book with an extensive exhibition – the largest of its kind in Malaysia – that runs until 15 July.
The exhibition, titled ‘Lagi-Lagi Gila-Gila’, features over 200 pieces of original artwork, handpicked by exhibition curator Badrolhisam M. Tahir and his team, from the magazine’s huge back catalogue. The colourful walls are lined with yellow-edged and crinkled early copies of Gila-Gila magazines, quotes, editorial cartoons, cartoon strips, intellectual write-ups and cartoon character standees.
There to launch the exhibition recently was legendary local cartoonist Dato’ Mohammad Nor Khalid, more popularly known as Lat, who said: “For me, this exhibition is more than a grand celebration of the outstanding artistic expression in the comic arts. This is indeed a timely tribute to our local cartoonists for their historic and intellectual contribution towards the development of the contemporary arts and its influence on Malaysian culture.”
Lat went on to recount anecdotes in his illustrious career while paying tribute to the founder of Gila-Gila and long-time friend, Jaafar Taib. The driving force behind the magazine, Jaafar was also responsible for influential sections including Cili Api and Panaurama which depicted his views on global issues.
Other popular magazine segments include ‘Jungle Jokes’ and ‘Kalau’ by Jaafar, ‘Perwira Mat Gila’ by Rejabhad, ‘From Taiping With Love’ by Rasyid Asmawi, ‘Lagak A. Mahmud’ by Fatah Ngah, ‘Falsampah Gila-Gila’, ‘Soal Jawab PST’.
Slapstick in nature with the artwork drawing comparisons to the seminal MAD magazine of the western world, Gila-Gila addresses contemporary cultural, social, economic and political issues.
These are presented in easily digestible ways making the topics ones that readers can easily relate to. Side-splitting spins set on common themes like roadblocks, bribery, environmental issues, racial harmony and relationships expose readers to a variety of everyday issues.
Published monthly by Creative Enterprise, Gila-Gila has helped to foster the talents of some of Malaysia’s most important cartoonists, including Azman Yusof, Fatah Ngah, Imuda, Jaafar, Rejabhad, Reggie Lee, Tarzidi, and Zamri Abu who have become synonymous with Malaysian humour.
Complementing the artwork on display are a number of fun activities. There is a contest where visitors can fill in dialogue in the comics with the chance to win limited edition Gila-Gila merchandise; a ‘Design You Own Gila-Gila Magazine Cover’ corner; photo opportunities with creative cartoon cut-outs, and live caricature drawing.
Don’t miss the chance to discover the rich and hilarious world of Lagi-Lagi in this retrospective exhibition that will leave you with a deeper appreciation of the Malaysia’s lively, cartoon history.
WHERE Galeri PETRONAS, Level 3 Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang
WHEN 10am-8pm (Tue-Sun)
TEL 03 2051 7770