Pangrok Sulap is a Malaysian collective of artists, musicians and social activists with a mission to empower rural communities and the marginalized through art. Founded in 2010, ‘Pangrok’ is the local pronunciation of ‘punk rock’, and ‘Sulap’ is a hut or a resting place usually used by farmers in Sabah, Borneo.
Since 2013 woodcut prints have become the Collective’s main tool in spreading social messages, through large scale exhibition works as well as handmade merchandise including cloth badges, tote bags, t-shirts and commissioned banners for events. The Collective are strong advocates for the DIY concept hence the slogan 'Jangan Beli, Bikin Sendiri' (Don't Buy, Do-it-yourself).
Work often focuses on telling the narrative of rural communities of Borneo, endangered ways of life, forests, and flora and fauna and captures light hearted moments of human interaction, as well as exploring more hard hitting content such as human rights, political corruption and environmental exploitation. Created collectively by its numerous members, many hands create an aesthetically cohesive style and voice.
A strong element in Pangrok Sulap’s process is community participation. The Collective collaborate with community members to collect indigenous narratives and experiences and create artworks that tell their stories. Members of the public are encouraged to join in the communal production of art works and the printing process; a performance for which the Collective plays original and contemporary folk music while participants are invited to dance in circles on the woodcut performing the traditional ‘Sumazau’ folk dance of Sabah. The crowd’s weight transfers ink onto the finished print, which is then revealed on the spot.