Librarian who Transforms Scrap Into Stunning Festival Art: The Fascinating Story of Asyrafi

Muhammad Asyrafi bin Muhamad Pozi
July 26, 2023
Librarians, Sustainability

In the heart of the bustling Han Chiang University College of Communication Library, an extraordinary librarian named Asyrafi works his artistic magic. He transforms scrap materials into stunning festival art, making the library a captivating hub of creativity and cultural awareness.

Asyrafi's artistic journey began during his secondary school years. Despite being a science student, his passion for literature and art led him to excel in art visual, earning him an A in his SPM exams. During his university years, he discovered his true calling by participating in library contests such as InDelib, which fostered a deep connection with the world of books and knowledge.

As fate would have it, the stars aligned, and Asyrafi's path led him to become a librarian—a "bookkeeper," as he fondly refers to himself. He had no idea that his creative endeavours and his role as a librarian would collide to produce something truly remarkable.

When Inspiration comes knocking

Secret Santa decoration for Christmas celebrations at the HCUC library (photo by Asyrafi)

Asyrafi found inspiration in Malaysia's diverse cultural fabric, a country that celebrates unity through various festivals. He envisioned the library as a vibrant space that celebrated cultural diversity as well as knowledge.

He creates an interactive and engaging atmosphere by infusing the library with festival-themed decor. Patrons of the library can now discover the essence of various Malaysian festivals and pique their interest.  Sharing cultural traditions brings joy to both students and faculty, because it allows them to connect with their roots,  transforming the library into a celebration of unity.

From Discards to Masterpieces

Before and after transformation of the new year decoration created by Asyrafi (photo by Asyrafi)

Asyrafi's vision goes beyond cultural celebration to include sustainability as a guiding principle. With a limited budget and resources, he is out on a mission to use recyclable materials in his designs. He repurposes discarded items and breathes new life into them by using scrap materials.

While the process was difficult, he remained determined, realising that sustainability and creativity could coexist peacefully. The best part he mentions, was how he sends the scrap material leftover post an event for recycling and mint some money out of it which he eventually uses to get new props for the next event. His creative approach not only made the festival decor visually stunning, but it also promoted environmental awareness in the community.

The Artistic process revealed

Asyrafi's workstation at the HCUC library (photo by Asyrafi)

Asyrafi's creative journey began with a spark of inspiration. He carefully researches and conceptualises his festival art ideas, drawing inspiration from various platforms on the internet, including YouTube. He also makes sure to get feedback and opinions from the library team to ensure that his creations reflect the essence of the library.

From cardboard to bottles, every scrap material found a use in Asyrafi's artistic universe. The librarian transformed ordinary objects into stunning works of art, demonstrating the power of recycling and upcycling. 

A feast for the senses

Asyrafi’s festival art not only breathed new life into the library space, but also served a as a bridge between the seemingly traditional image of libraries and the vibrant spirit of creativity.

Gone were the days, where libraries were perceived as dull and lifeless places; what Asyrafi managed to achieve with his artistic prowess was transform the library into a place of excitement and wonder.

His creative drive and initiatives became a catalyst for change, as library-goers were given a new discovery that the library can be a sanctuary of both learning and leisure. It lead to patrons wanting to linger and delve deeper into the world of books and enjoy the atmosphere of festivity.

Art with a purpose

Village scenery miniature decoration for the Raya Aidilfitri month showing the traditional malay house, mountain, and paddy field (photos by Asyrafi)

Aside from its aesthetic value, his project served as a catalyst for increasing public awareness of the potential of recycled materials. Visitors to the library were astounded to learn that the beautiful art installations were made from everyday scrap items. 

His project sparked an interest in environmental awareness among library patrons and the broader community, emphasising the importance of small but significant contributions to sustainability.

Creating challenges rooted in art

An HCUC library patron posing for the Bookface challenge (photo by HCUC Library)

Asyrafi doesn't only use art as a decorative tool. As someone who understands the impact art has on people's lives, especially those who surround themselves with books, he creates library programs in the form of challenges that bring together book and various art forms. As an example, he created a Bookface challenge, where HCUC library patrons would have the chance to take a picture of themselves with their favourite book, but pose in a way that connects their face or expression with the book cover.

An HCUC library patron posing for the Bookface challenge (photo by HCUC Library)

The creative path ahead

The artistic journey of Asyrafi provides us with profound insights and valuable lessons. It emphasises the importance of creativity in promoting cultural understanding and unity. 

Asyrafi aspires to create even grander festival art in the future, strengthening the bond between the library and its users, through art and unwavering dedication.

Parting thoughts

The story of Asyrafi, a librarian who turns scrap into stunning festival art, exemplifies the power of creativity and sustainability. His imaginative thinking has not only enhanced his library space, but it has also inspired others to explore their own creative potential. 

Let Asyrafi's story serve as a call to action for readers and other librarians to embrace their own artistic passions and join the journey towards a more sustainable and culturally aware world as we celebrate the magic of recycling.

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About the Author

This article is part of a collaborative series between GR Techand industry leaders, aimed at bringing new ideas andinsights to our readers.

Muhammad Asyrafi bin Muhamad Pozi

project manager

Currently working as a Librarian at Han Chiang University College of Communication, Muhammad Asyrafi is an an extraordinary librarian transforms scrap materials into stunning festival art, making the library a captivating hub of creativity and cultural awareness. he has a bachelor's degree in Library Science, and work actively to make the library a less boring place.