The Jewel of Johor

The Jewel of Johor’ is an art installation located in Medini Bandar Iskandar, Johor Bahru.

How was it made?

This metal structure consists of metal rods and plates which were welded together to form a jewel-like form. The metal plates were cut using our waterjet from a large 3mm metal sheet. The surface of the plates were grinded with an array of patterns to add a bit of character.

The team had to first test the strength and durability of the materials which, in this case, consisted mostly of metal rods. After trying out five different thicknesses, it was decided that the 12mm rods would be used for the structure.

Once orders for the materials were placed, simple jigs were made to aid the cutting process. A Jig is like a template which acts as a guide when it comes to cutting materials to a specified size in a large amount.

After all the rods were cut, then came the process of welding everything together. The Jigs were helpful at the next stage of welding the the shorter rods together into a fixed rectangular shape. The basic structure of the installation was a repetition of two rectangles connected by long metal rods at a 45 degree angle.

By this stage, we begin to see everything come together and all that remains is to wash and paint the structure. A wipe down of the structure with thinner ensured the metal received an even layer of paint.

The Installation

Then came the day of transporting the structure to site and finally installing it into place.

Almost every abled-man in the Klang workshop had to manually lift and transfer the structure onto the lorry. It was a proud team effort as everyone bore the weight of the structure together.

Once we reached Johor, all that was left was to raise the ‘jewel’ and fix it to the ground. For this part, we definitely needed the crane!

The Hands and Head

There were many skilled hands and head involved. We had designers to interpret the request from our client. They are the ones who will create the first draft and provide a visual of it. Once the design has been approved, the builders will have to then come up with a technical design. This is a necessary step for it gives us a clearer picture on how we can transfer the idea from drawings to real life. All in all, it’s a combination of designers, master builders, welders and quoting operators.

Behind the Design

The concept behind the design of this project came from the etymology of the word “Johor”. The word “Johor” came from the arabic word “Jauhar” which means “Jem Stone”. Thus, the metaphor “Jem Stone” was converted into an art sculptural installation.

Challenge Accepted

With every great task comes also great risk and challenges. One of the challenging part of the creative process is to convert a metaphor that is abstract into something 3-Dimensional, tangible and real. In terms of build, the challenge is actually making sure that the structure will be able to stand for years to come, withstanding both man and climate.

Concerning the Community

This structure and its design engages with the community through dialogues since most people don’t know the history or the origin story of Johor. So by seeing it, people will start questioning “What is it about?” and people will eventually discovery the historicity of the word Johor which is “Jem Stone” and as people interact with it, as they walk around the installation, the view changes as it is seen from different perspectives. Thus, it also engages the community visually.

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