This Malaysian Mahjong Set Has Designs Of Wau, Kolam, And Even ‘Clown Najib’ On Its Tile
Although the game of Mahjong originated in China, it has since evolved internationally these days and it can even be considered as an important part of Malaysian culture. Whether it’s being played with family members during celebrations or with friends during gatherings, Mahjong is best paired with good company and even better gossip.
Those who play Mahjong would be able to identify the traditional tiles that usually contain pictures of bamboos, circles or Chinese characters to represent the numbers one to nine. There are also tiles that have the directions of North, South, East, and West written in Chinese characters, followed by dragon tiles, and the bonus flower and season tiles.
For the longest time, this is how Mahjong tiles are expected to look like (unless you’re like these American women who decided to recreate the tiles with their own “prettier” design). That said, it can be difficult to introduce this fun game to our friends who are not able to read the Chinese characters.
That reasoning was what motivated Malaysian architect Kaiyi Wong to create Mahjong tiles that are more localised to our culture and more accessible to the rest of the community. Thanks to his background in architecture, Kaiyi was able to put his skills to work by designing new motifs and engraving them onto the wooden Mahjong tiles, using a laser engraving method.
Just like the culture in Malaysia, these Mahjong tiles feature elements from our multiracial Malay, Chinese, and Indian communities. You can find motifs of the Wau Bulan from Malay culture, or a lion head from the Chinese lion dance, as well as the iconic Kolam design one would usually see during Deepavali on these tiles!
On top of that, there’s even a special tile with the infamous “Clown Najib” satirical design that was originally created by local political graphic designer Fahmi Reza.
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The full Mahjong set by Kaiyi includes 88 tiles, 3 dices, and a few mahjong rulers. Sadly, it is not for sale at the moment as only the prototype is available and it was exhibited at The Back Room KL, Zhong Shan building back in April.
Would you ever buy this Mahjong set if it becomes available?