Lights On is a virtual projection mapping installation and one-month-long virtual residency, which aims to showcase George Town’s cultural and historical landscapes through lights and swimming patterns projected onto a mock-up of the heritage city. My work, Pulau Ka Satu: An Alternate Reality was developed during my time as a residency artist. 


Artist Residency   

3D Fabrication


Pulau Ka Satu: An Alternate Reality was my first project working with motion. I joined media art collective Filamen’s virtual residency program during the pandemic with nine artists from Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico and Romania. Together with Indonesian motion artist, Kery Utomo, we developed Pulau Ka Satu: An Alternate Reality, which illustrates the history of Georgetown, with an alternate twist.

This project is part of Georgetown Festival 2021 and was originally planned to be projected onto the facade of historical buildings in Georgetown, Penang. However, due to covid restrictions, the organisers had adapted it into a virtual projection mapping experience. 


“In 1786, headed by Francis Light, the British East India Company arrived on the shores of what was known as at that time, Pulau Ka Satu. To clean up the swamp(the area which is now called the Esplanade), Francis Light loaded his ships with cannons and fired silver coins into the swamps to motivate labourers. A town was established and named George Town, and slowly, prospered into one of the major free ports in Southeast Asia by the end of the 19th century...”

Most Malaysians, especially Penangnites are familiar with this story. Like many Commonwealth countries, the history of Penang was often told, starting with the arrival of the British, through the lens of an outsider.

However, for the commoner, most know little about the piece of land we’re standing on. What did Penang look like in the past? Was it a fishing village? Were they any sort of civilisation? What if the British never came?

Taking inspiration from landscape oil paintings of local sceneries by British painters from the 18th to 19th century, often presenting an idyllic illusion, and paying tribute to the Javanese Wayang Kulit, a shadow puppet that was particularly popular in both Java and Johor, where both Kery and Yunroo are from, the artist duo created a piece which narrates the modern history of Penang, while exploring the possibilities of what could have been.

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All work ⓒ Yunroo
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