Culture & heritage

Malaysian Designer Creates Intricate Mahjong Tiles from Wood

Image Credit: Kaiyi Wong
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In wanting to see the Chinese game of mahjong become more inclusive and accessible to others, Kaiyi Wong is building bridges one tile at a time.

Architect graduate, artist, and designer Kaiyi Wong has been receiving a number of private orders after sharing images of his latest project: limited edition Malaysian wood mahjong sets.

Mahjong is a tile-based game from China that gained popularity throughout the world by the 20th century, particularly in countries with significant Chinese populations, like Malaysia. Being a social game, it’s commonly played to pass time, just as it is important to indulge in during festive occasions.

If any non-Chinese person was ever interested in mahjong, but had reservations about learning, well, Wong has wondered the same thing which led him to start the ‘Myjong Project.’

Image Credit: Kaiyi Wong Instagram
Image Credit: Kaiyi Wong Instagram

Talking about Myjong, Wong tells us, “Being introduced to this highly addictive game lately got me thinking about the meaning and objective of mahjong, which is simply about strategy and calculation. On the table, we could briefly grasp the opponent’s character and personality.

“The small talk around the table is the gist of the game for socialising and bonding. Mahjong culture was brought over by our ancestors from China long ago, but it is only [in more recent generations] circulating around the Chinese community. I wonder about the depiction of different races sitting together playing the game.”

A full-time artist and designer, Wong’s architecture background also played a part in creating each tile for his Myjong Project.

Image Credit: Kaiyi Wong Instagram
Image Credit: Kaiyi Wong Instagram

MALAYSIA-FYING MAHJONG WITH MYJONG

Using familiar techniques, Wong’s mahjong sets are primarily made of wood with patterns laser engraved on them. Additionally, a total of three pieces were individually glued together by hand to make up one mahjong block.

Image Credit: Kaiyi Wong Instagram
Image Credit: Kaiyi Wong
Image Credit: Kaiyi Wong Instagram
Image Credit: Kaiyi Wong Instagram

Wong’s work of art was displayed alongside his other passion projects in an exhibition called ‘Thank God It’s Monday!’, located in the Zhongshan Building in Kuala Lumpur back in April.

Find out more about Wong’s Myjong Project here.




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