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'Buat Rumah Sendiri' installation by Sherwan Rozan (OUTLET x Nelissa Hilman)

As part of Outlet's pop-up shop collaboration with Nelissa Hilman, our first window installation was created by Malaysian graphic artist Sherwan Rozan which ran from November 2021 until January 2022.

Conceptualised during the pandemic, being forced to stay indoors gave the phrase “make yourself at home” or “buat rumah sendiri" a totally different meaning. “Buat Rumah Sendiri” can mean as an inviting gesture to guests but could also be used as an intrusive way of people making themselves at home too comfortably – overstepping boundaries.

"Your daily or weekly routines are always centred around work outside of the home and coming back to your comfort zone is a form of retreat and a place of rest and relaxation", says Sherwan. "But when you conflate these two spaces at home, some of us struggle to have that balance, creating new boundaries for ourselves. With the anxiety of the pandemic as well, you are forced to make do with what you have at home – to kind of readjust or realign yourself to being at home."

The significance of the interlocking plastic chains is like a metaphor for these past two pandemic years – we are all connected and responsible for putting a stop to this virus with everyone playing their part. I produced familiar household objects using the plastic chains for the installation like the lamps and vases as a reminder of being at home. The flowers are a celebratory gesture – somewhat like a vigil for the past two years.

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