BMW Malaysia will be sending out a fleet of all-new BMW vehicles to the streets of Kuala Lumpur. This fleet of undisclosed model(s) will also debut unique local artwork designed by local businesses, volunteer groups and NGOs. Over the next few weeks, the camouflaged all-new BMWs will help to give these groups a bigger voice and to pay tribute to their contributions and community initiatives during the pandemic.
If you happen to spot these uniquely camouflaged BMW vehicles, you also stand to win exclusive prizes.
“Covid-19 challenges many of us to be out of our elements, but we at BMW also saw many individuals and businesses who have pivoted to thrive in such challenging times. We are inspired by them. Collaborating with emerging local businesses, we want to highlight their individual dynamic independent spirit, their sheer determination and resilience – all of which have allowed them to rise above the adversity and challenges ahead of us,” said Sashi Ambi, Head of Corporate Communications of BMW Group Malaysia.
The groups whose artwork will decorate the BMWs are Komuniti Tukang Jahit, Changgih Designs, INKAA, and Kanoe. Each of these local groups designed an art piece that is unique to them.
Komuniti Tukang Jahit – Empowering The B40 Women Community
Komuniti Tukang Jahit (KTJ) is a social enterprise that empowers the women (single women, single mothers, OKU, and stay-at-home mothers) in the B40 income group. KTJ provides certified up-skill training and job opportunities for home-based tailors to earn a sustainable income through sewing orders. During the Movement Control Order (MCO), KTJ had joined forces with several local non-profit organisations to help overcome the shortage of face masks for frontliners, the marginalised, and underprivileged communities. KTJ also taught its community of home-based tailors to sew washable, reusable, and practical face masks through online training and tutorials.
KTJ’s exclusive art piece for BMW Malaysia is inspired by Kak Azie, a founding member and seamstress with KTJ for almost two years. With this design, KTJ celebrates her commitment and determination as a woman of the household. It is also representative of the hearts of all the strong women and mothers fighting for a better life, especially in these challenging times. The woman with the face mask represents empowerment, while the tigress and her cub are the embodiment of a mother’s love, which prevails even through the greatest dangers. Furthermore, the batik design which intertwines with the hibiscus serve to remind us of what a beauty Malaysia is.
Changgih Designs -Modern Fashion Meets Borneon Heritage
Two new, passionate mothers from Sabah, Joanna Moss and Bethany Dawson, founded Changgih Designs as they wanted to create crafts for their children. They were then inspired to help mothers from villages with vocational training and job opportunities. Today, the social enterprise blends the heritage of Borneo with contemporary fashion in a collection of hand-stitched handbags, wallets, scarves, accessories, masks, and wearable art made by artisans in villages across Sabah.
During the pandemic, Changgih Designs also rallied other local Sabahan businesses to start a fundraiser to help the community. Their Give10toSabah programme dedicated 10% of proceeds from sales to purchase food bundles for families in need.
Their Binonduk design for BMW Malaysia combines two motifs from the Rungus people of Sabah. As incredible storytellers, the Rungus have been using traditional motifs to educate and remind their future generations of the wisdom and character traits they desire to impart on them.
There are two traditional designs in the featured Binonduk artwork. The first is the small strip running down the back of the car – ‘Binonduk Peningkuku’, which resembles a wilting tree that easily sways following the wind. This traditional motif speaks to ‘pendirian’. It teaches the next generation to be anything but the tree. Instead, one should do the right thing, be willing to fight for what one believes in, and to not be swayed by popular opinion.
Meanwhile, the second design is a combination of two – the ‘Vinusak’ and ‘Binonduk Pindahamad’. It describes a bird flying sideways on a hillside, not following any direction or rules but does what it desires instead. These two designs make for a perfect combination to nurture confident leaders, as they are the artisans and sculptors of the new tomorrow.
INKAA – Celebrating People & Appreciating The Power Of Storytelling
INKAA is a collaborative effort by grassroots organisations and artisans in Malaysia. Their beautiful creations are aimed at promoting more understanding and communication between individuals and the people they work with. It is a brand that honours artisans and preserves heritage. INKAA sources traditional “batik cop” (block batik) textiles hand-made by three artisans in Terengganu, creating unique fabric designs where no two pieces are the same.
INKAA is also committed to creating new opportunities for the communities by promoting sustainable income, and reinvesting proceeds into empowerment projects. It believes that diversity and craftsmanship should be celebrated as does every contribution deserves appreciation. Hence, every product is hand-signed by the person who made it, to connect the product to their makers.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, INKAA continues to create not just beautiful products but income opportunities for the community of Mang Tha, a women-led refugee empowerment group in Kuala Lumpur. The income generated through each product sale benefits 30 to 45 women in supporting their families.
With a contemporary touch, the design from INKAA on the new vehicle from BMW Malaysia merges traditional floral and geometrical-based motifs inspired by Malaysian batik. The repetitive motifs reflect the terap (stamping) technique commonly used in Terengganu and Kelantan, while the arrangement of the design is largely inspired by the “batik sarong”. It consists of kepala kain (the central panel), apit kain (the vertical frame), and badan kain (the main body). Subtly incorporated into the design is INKAA’s logo, which is based on the pilcrow symbol signifying ‘the beginning of a new train of thought’.
Kanoe – Beautiful Garments From Natural Fibre
Kanoe is a homegrown brand that sets out to promote better living through their design and production process, to ensure that everyone involved, from the beginning to the end, benefits from it. Thus, Kanoe’s garments are made from natural fibres and are designed in-house. The business also works with local businesses, artisans, and communities in need to promote handmade work, a healthy working environment, and fair wages.
Its hand-stamped batik print will be feature on the new vehicle from BMW Malaysia. This design represents a starry night, and hope in darkness. It is a reminder for us to look for the light that shines brightest in the darkest hour – a reminder during these unprecedented times to always keep hope in our hearts.
Catch sight of this fleet of all-new BMW vehicles, and stay tuned to BMW Malaysia’s Facebook or Instagram page to win exclusively designed BMW merchandise created in collaboration with Komuniti Tukang Jahit, Changgih Designs, INKAA and Kanoe.