Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Malaysian Insider: Search for MH370

Looking at this article from The Malaysian Insider online, I have illustrated some of the photographs portraying the heartache of the relatives of the missing plane, MH370.

 Search for MH370, The Malaysian Insider

'A woman praying for passengers of the missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370 at a prayer session organised by the Mahindrama Buddhist temple in George Town for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 passengers on March 11, 2014. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Hansnoor Hussain, April 8, 2014.'

I chose to illustrate this particular photograph as I felt the close up composition was heart-felt and touching, reminding the viewer that it is not just the passengers on board flight MH370 who have suffered. The watercolour I have used is more subtle and less intrusive than the original photograph with lighter more friendly tones.

This illustration is very effective as it holds so much emotion but in a sensitve way. The image conveys hope, loss, prayer and anguish, feelings left over by the unknown whereabouts of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. This is what is important at this time and should not be ignored.

'A Malaysian Muslim woman wiping her tears during a special prayer for the passengers on board missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang on March 13, 2014. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, April 8, 2014.'

A slightly different approach to this illustration, using mainly line to portray the saddened woman. The space around the woman gives the impression that there is a loss which has caused her saddness. Selective tone emphasises certain aspects of detail with this particular style. It also reflects how Kugler and Butler illustrate their imagery, leaving out unnecessary aspects of the image and focusing on what matters.

'People holding up balloons carrying messages during a vigil for the passengers on board missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur on March 18, 2014. The search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has now been expanded to a massive 2.24 million square nautical miles, says acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, April 8, 2014.'

This image intrigued me a lot in relation to the relatives heartache over the missing passengers of flight MH370. No faces are seen and the messages could not be read, though there is still a sense of pain and loss. The tones I have used to illustrate the original photograph are bold but not over-powering. My illustrate is more abstract allowing the viewer to interpret what they can see. With the caption from the original article which described the scene, the image suddenly gains a background. Without it, there is mystery and interpretation- just like the entire ordeal over the missing flight MH370.

Overall, I believe these illustrations have been a success. I have learned which images to portray in my reportage illustration to help gain a better insight into the emotions of the relatives and friends of the 239 missing passengers. It is important to know which parts to illustrate and I think I have achieved this well here. Watercolour immediately creates a sense of subtly and sensitivity which some photographs and hard facts cannot achieve. My illustrations give the viewer a chance to approach the subject on an emotional level even without the text involved and without knowing the full story. After all, the full story is not yet known and may not be for a long time, so it is absolutely essential to focus on the people who are suffering in the present and the losses they have had to face.