by Chong Mei Yee

Assertiveness is a communication skill. People who are assertive are able to communicate their wants, needs and positions to others in a way that involves respect for the boundaries of oneself and of others.

The work features two designs, with emphasis on recognising and respecting boundaries. Especially in relation to communities and the natural environment.

The design featuring the Bornean sun bear superimposed with a human in a forest (pictured left), aims to highlight the need for defending one’s own points of view. However, such a stance should be approached from a place of inner peace, without aggression, for the sake of clarity.

With such assertive ability, a more effective communication would perhaps be possible, allowing for greater cooperation on the issues that matter most in the world. The example portrayed in this design relates to the protection of threatened animals, habitats and ecosystems.

The design featuring two human profiles consisting of fallen leaves (pictured right) further convey the need for conserving and rehabilitating a natural world in peril. While the two faces may be in opposition to each other, assertive communication has the power to overcome disagreements, for the sake of a greater good.

In recognising the value of the other’s position, two opposing parties may find common ground with which to move forward. This design presents the falling leaves as the common ground between two opposing faces.

Never apologize for being oversensitive and emotional when defending the welfare of wildlife. Let this be a sign that you have a big heart and aren’t afraid to show your true feelings. These emotions give you the strength to fight for what is right and to be the voice of those who cannot be heard.

—Paul Oxton

Born in Tawau, Chong Mei Yee is an artist and designer, currently pursuing her Master’s degree at the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA School) in London.

She began her art journey at the age of 7, when her parents sent her to art class. Over the years, she has developed a strong passion and interest in art, and currently practises art as a hobby.

Her best painting medium lies in acrylic and oil paintings, and nature is her favourite theme. She is a wildlife lover and nature enthusiast.

Having once worked under Ar. Ken Yeang, an architect best known for his ecological architecture and ecomasterplans, her career vision is to be able to create spaces that focus on the biointegration of the human-made with nature, a place that bonds the communities with the nature.

In addition, she is also an active volunteer for WWF-Malaysia’s ocean and forest projects. She believes that public art can be a powerful tool in engaging and inspiring communities towards a greater appreciation for Mother Earth.