Friday, May 8, 2009

A Death Omen

A strange but true story here...

One day, I had the sudden inspiration to paint the wall of an old building that was formerly used as a dreaded Kempeti (Military police) interrogation centre by the occupying Japanese army during World War 2. The building is located in a graveyard which holds the remains of many foreigners and locals. Most of the foreigners were Aussies, Britons and Canadians, unfortunate victims of rampant diseases as workers in the newly discovered oilfields. The area is close to Sarawak's Miri's most famous landmark, aptly called Canada Hill in honor of many Canadians coming from oil rich Alberta in Canada who had been hired as oil workers.

So back to my story... the walls of the building had been painted with a faded pink and there were black fungi patches all over it. The walls used to be painted in grim black.

I decided to paint sea creatures all over the wall to enliven everything a bit in view of the grim graves and a solitary war memorial that housed the remains of 28 innocent foreign and local civilians-including my granduncle- who were brutally tortured and executed by the barbaric WW2 Japs.

The result of the mural work was colorful sea creatures were randomly splashed everywhere, including the sting ray as shown in the pic.

It was an instant image in my mind that a sting-ray, which my friend and I had had an encounter with back in the late '70s (resulting in his emergency treatment) would serve as a scary warning of its potential devilish dangerous and harmful capabilities beneath its benign appearance ...

Not too long after this, the world would shockingly lose one of our courageous animal rights heroes, Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin when he had a rare careless encounter with a sting-ray in Australia .... Could this be a premonition of his death?

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