Art Detail | Ilham Gallery
Run, Malaysia, Run (Print)
Run, Malaysia, Run (Print)

Vincent Leong’s 2009 video Run, Malaysia, Run caricatures a cross-section of Malaysian society, depicted as stock figures dressed in their respective cultural attire. The characters are seen in a white room, running around in circles, without any goal in sight. The work is typical of Vincent’s humorous jibe at Malaysian cultural propaganda. Here he lampoons how official campaigns promoting racial harmony fall back on the most stereotypical form of representation, ultimately performing and rehearsing a cultural identity that is already prescribed, instead of fostering individual expression and independent thinking. 

Digital c-type print on aluminium composites
90 x 60 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Vincent Leong
About Vincent Leong

Vincent Leong (b. 1979, Kuala Lumpur) is an iconoclast and saboteur whose works in video, assemblage and site-specific installation often pare down experience to sets of structures and systems. By selecting aspects of the ordinary and the popular, Vincent investigates social misconceptions within a larger cultural context. He earned a BFA from Goldsmiths College, University of London (2000–04), receiving the BT Goldsmiths Prize in digital media in 2004. Vincent has also had artist residencies at Asian Cultural Contents Creation Center Workshop, Gwangju, South Korea (2006), Sculpture Square, Singapore (2007) and Koganecho Bazaar, Yokohama, Japan (2009). In 2012, Vincent participated in the Guggenheim UBS Map Global Art Initiative’s No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia at the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Learning Section

  • Look at the people who the artist has chosen to represent Malaysia. What social and ethnic groups are included? What age are the people in this artwork? How is each person dressed?  Do you think they have chosen to dress this way? Think about the people you meet, see and interact with over the course of a week. Are they similar to this group of people? How are they different? Are there groups which are not represented in this artwork? Why are they not included?

  • The title of this artwork is Run, Malaysia, Run. What does this artwork tell us about the meaning of the artwork? Why are the people in the artwork running? Are they running away from something or towards something? Explain your answer. What point do you think Vincent Leong is trying to make about his country with this artwork?

  • Imagine you are one of the people in the artwork. What would you choose to wear to express your identity? How would it feel to be in the group of people? How would it feel to run continuously in circles? What would make you stop running?