Reimagined Kuching excites social media
By:Goh Pei Pei
Date:
KCH-Reimagined-Kuching (1)

LAST week, for the first time, Malaysia faced a hung Parliament situation after the 15th general election (GE 15) on Nov 19, where no single coalition or political party had the simple majority to form the next government.

Not knowing what to expect, many people turned to social media for news updates, and to monitor the latest developments. Reports, whether true or unverified, also go viral on social media while some people were divided due to different political opinions.

During one of the most critical weeks in the country, a 30-year-old designer and calligrapher, managed to bring the people together, especially Sarawakians, with images of Kuching city.

Dhiya Roslan, 30, a designer and calligrapher from Kuching.

Dhiya Roslan uploaded the images onto his Facebook account on Nov 21 and it has since been widely shared on social media, receiving hundreds of positive comments. At the time of writing, it has been shared more than 10,000 times.

Speaking to New Sarawak Tribune, he said that the images were produced using an artificial intelligence (AI) software tool. The outcome or the final results were based on the text prompts he entered (into the software).

Text prompt, he said, referring to the words that he used to describe his idea or image he wanted to produce ‘as precise as possible; while the images could be sourced from the internet or uploaded by him.

For example, a text prompt could be “Kuching Waterfront in anime style during sunset, Borneo landscape, flowing river, minimal people, traditional urban areas ….” he said.

Although the images could be generated within minutes, Dhiya said getting what he wanted was a time-killer.

“It gives you variations of photos and ideas and from there you choose to remix it or start over with modification on the text prompt or choice of words – to be as accurate as possible,” he said.

“So there’s a lot of experiment needed to get the desired images,” he explained.

The designer was surprised that his post, which contains 21 images, has been making its rounds on social media and he noticed that a lot of people felt the connection and relate to those images.

Images of Kuching city generated using an artificial intelligence (AI) software tool by Dhiya Roslan.

“I never thought it would go viral, to be honest. I was just posting it casually like how I usually post my work. I did not expect things would blow up.

“The comments are exactly how I felt about when creating the images and it was great to learn that so many of them would feel the same way,” he said.

Apart from that, he believed the post has been going viral as the images could provide peace of mind and calmness as well as triggers creativity among the people in the city– especially during the time (last week) when everyone was still waiting for the next ruling government to be announced while some were already stressed out for days.

He was moved by all the positive comments from the beautiful people around Sarawak as well as other Malaysians; who requested him to create images of other cities and states in the country as well.

He added that it somehow resonates with most people how they would love to see their cities from a different perspective.

Images of Kuching city generated using an artificial intelligence (AI) software tool by Dhiya Roslan.

How did it start?

Dhiya came across AI while he was looking for some inspiration to do his work and it took him a few months to finally master it, which allows him to have more creative ideas and imagination.

“I always use it to refine my work ideation and concept. It is merely for work purposes until one day I was thinking and reimagining Kuching in a different style.

“The same questions keep popping into my mind, thus I decided to try out on the city,” he said.

On the 21 images that went viral on social media recently, he said they were “just a small part” of his whole experiment as he had generated hundreds of AI images to finally get what he wanted.

He said the images produced by the software based on the text prompt were totally out of the box and beyond what the human mind can do. However, he would still recommend it to be used as a reference only as a human can do a better job, especially on the final touch of an artwork.

He hoped to continue to produce more creative artwork that can connect people in the future.

Dhiya studied graphic design and digital media at UiTM Kota Samarahan (Diploma) and UiTM Puncak Alam (Degree), is also doing visual brand strategy as a freelancer and Calligraffiti for full time as an artist in his company Letterhythm.

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New Sarawak Tribune is a Sarawakian news portal that highlights Sarawak-centric news and other stories of relevance to Sarawak.

Today, New Sarawak Tribune focuses on happenings in Sarawak’s cities, towns and small places no matter how remote these are and events of relevance in other states of Malaysia and other countries.