Malaysian Director Creating Beach Art In Langkawi

Creating art takes a lot of investment, whether it’s energy, creativity, or developing your skills. Ask any artist and they’ll also tell you that good art takes time, but this Malaysian artist is in a slightly different position – his art is a race against time.

Pang Sern Yong, a local artist based in Langkawi, saw the beach shore as a natural canvas where he could draw on artistic patterns. Because his web is large, so are his masterpieces, which can only be truly appreciated when viewed through a drone.

Now we’re not going to lie: when we first heard about Pang, we were like, “Is this guy too free, or what?” But there was more to him than just a guy drawing in the sand with sticks.

The circles got bigger as he got more invested

Before his full-time life on the beach, Pang moved to Singapore at the age of 5 and grew up there. He then returned to Kuala Lumpur in 2020 to develop his media company, Gorilla Pictures, which he established in Singapore.

When CMCO arrived he realized that he wouldn’t be able to network as much for his business, so he went for a mini vacation to Langkawi, which he always wanted to visit but didn’t. ‘never had the opportunity to do. While on vacation in Langkawi, he felt compelled to make art on the beach.

“I started by drawing circles with small sticks on the sand. Over the days, my urge to return to artistic creation has grown stronger, ”Pang shared with Vulcan Post.

“I started acquiring other tools, making larger and more complex parts, and using a drone to document the parts. My artwork started to gain traction online, as well as curious beach goers who inquired about what I was doing on the beach.

Drones play no role in the direction of his art, however; he trusts his own precision and intuition to execute the trade according to what he has in mind.

He calls himself a beach artist rather than a sand artist because for him the art he makes is not just about sand but other elements of the beach like sunlight, trees and its surroundings, which are the things it includes in the antenna. photograph he takes of art.

From sticks to a whole rake / Image credit: Pang Sern Yong

“I see that all of these individual elements are interconnected, and without any of these, beach art would not be possible to exist,” he explained.

A man against the tides

Despite the size of his artwork, Pang creates it on his own, from conceptualization and production to documenting the piece using drones.

The tools he currently uses are a reusable nylon string for making simple measurements, an iron rake mounted on a wooden stick he uses to draw, and a drone. He assured us that all these tools are non-polluting for the beach.

What his art from the ground VS from the air looks like / Image credit: Pang Sern Yong

Now the other challenge with creating beach art is that it will really take a race against the clock to complete the piece due to the tides on the beach.

Beach art can only be done on wet sand, Pang explained, because sand that is further away from the tide is always dry and has an inconsistent texture, making it more difficult to draw.

On the beach where he works, each tidal cycle lasts about 6 hours, so there is a 2-3 hour low tide delay that allows him to make art on wet sand. Pang makes sure his designs aren’t too fancy, so he can finish it on time before high tide.

“With experience, I have become faster at creating my art before the tide absorbs the piece, and also better at producing realistic designs to be completed within that time frame. I also try to make the pieces a certain distance from the water so that they are not affected by small changes in the tide, ”he explained.

One of her pieces, Retro Heart, which the tide had started to engulf … but Pang managed to save her and get the picture she wanted / Image Credit: Pang Sern Yong

More than tools and talent

Having the tools and the talent to make these masterpieces isn’t all there is to beach art, he shared. Environment and timing are also important, most of which he cannot in fact control.

The ideal environment is when the beach is at low tide with no rain and the sand is wet. Pang monitors these changes by checking the weekly tide schedule.

Usually he is able to craft one or two a day, but on days when low tides don’t occur at sunrise or sunset, he may produce none.

Lighting plays an important role in the presentation of his artwork, therefore, Pang will typically produce his pieces early in the morning at 7-9 a.m., or early in the evening at 5-7 p.m. These are the times of the day with the best lighting for his art while still being cool enough for him to work.

More of his work / Image credit: Pang Sern Yong

No art easier than the other

“I don’t think a piece was easy to create due to the difficult nature of this art form,” Pang told Vulcan Post.

One of the most difficult pieces was that of the fans of the Orient. It was a 30m x 10m room, which was the biggest he had ever made. It took him 3 separate attempts to perfect himself, and 3 hours for each time he was there.

His most difficult feat yet, Fans of the Orient / Image credit: Pang Sern Yong

At the moment, Pang has yet to gain that passion, but he has already received personal requests to make art for birthdays, memorials, as well as requests from companies to make art. from the beach for marketing purposes.

Therefore, Pang focuses on educating Malaysians about this art form and its ins and outs. “I am looking for patrons, sponsors and partners to work together to use beach art to raise environmental awareness on Malaysian beaches, due to its captivating quality due to its monumental size,” said Pang .

A workshop he held recently to teach people how to make beach art / Image credit: Pang Sern Yong

Moreover, he also seeks to do exhibitions like these in KL and Penang through partnerships and collaborations. On a larger scale, he hopes to collaborate with hotels and tourism agencies to revive Langkawi’s tourism and hospitality industry through beach art.

To make more of these projects come true on a larger scale, he is also open to training young talents to make beach art through workshops and festivals, which he hopes will will develop a local beach art network.

After falling in love with the beach and the work he does there, Pang now resides permanently in Langkawi to continue working on his beach art.

  • You can read more about Pang Sern Yong here and check out his beach art on Instagram here.
  • You can read more of the art articles we’ve written here.

Featured Image Credit: Pang Sern Yong


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Jothi Venkat

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