Alya Hatta is a multi-disciplinary artist who is currently focusing on society. Within her work, she likes to delve into cultural patterns and tropes, questioning these stereotypes in a satirical manner. She primarily looks into Southeast Asian, specifically Malaysian, culture as this is where she was born and spent her teenage years. On the other end of the spectrum, the artist is also focused on the individual - using herself and her memories in vulnerable self-confessional art - picking over her past and reflecting on a romanticized childhood.
“6:30 AM” is a piece of generative art that generates, on each iteration, a unique living and moving community based on both stereotypes and actual instances of Malaysian culture. The work features the most common stereotypes in the forms of object, movement, speech integrated with the same that has happened and was recorded in real life at the large park behind the artist’s house in Malaysia.
More specifically, the work challenges the ideas of what it means to be Malaysian behind the trope of ‘1Malaysia’, a phrase coined by politicians to unite the Malaysian people.
“I find that in many instances, 1Malaysia (despite having a positive message behind it) is often laced with political undertones and could even be said to be reductionist of what Malaysian culture really means - it can be seen as being a blanket term for the views and interactions between the Malaysian population. Being a Malaysian citizen, I have always found myself acknowledging the micro-interactions Malaysians have on a daily basis, whether it be the conversations had at the food stalls on a late night, or the old folks aerobics groups that take place at the park every morning. Things like this stand for much realer and intimate descriptions of what it means to live in this country. The idea of community on a much smaller level, the dramatic woes and arguments on residential community group chats, for example, is what really unites us as people.” (Alya Hatta)