Artist says removed painting was meant to be more than anti-Umno
The painting had the words “ABU=ASHES” sprayed across it, depicting what could be taken as a famous anti-Umno slogan – Asalkan Bukan Umno – a phrase coined at the last general election as a catchy campaign slogan to boot out Umno. I was playing with the idea of painting space, exhibition space and political stance in an institutional space,” Cheng was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini. Cheng Yengpheng's painting, “alksnaabknuaunmo”, was removed just
before the award ceremony on Wednesday night, which was attended by Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz. The 32-year-old Cheng claimed she only realised that her piece had been removed when she went into the exhibition hall after the awards ceremony. “ABU is a strong civil society (movement), so maybe I can say that I borrowed this strong icon without permission. Cheng's painting was a finalist in the premier art competition for up and coming Malaysian artists. “The artwork is not talking about (the protest movement) Asalkan Bukan Umno, but is an icon of people's power.