Puntung the Sumatran rhino immortalised in painting

KOTA KINABALU: A 16-year-old girl has immortalised the near-extinct Sumatran rhino in her painting.

Monica Vun Yi Jing titled her artwork “Kenangan si Puntung bersama alam semula jadi” (A memory of Puntung with nature) to commemorate the loss of Puntung, one of the country’s last remaining Sumatran rhinos.

Puntung, a female Sumatran rhino that lived at the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Lahad Datu, suffered from skin cancer and was put down in June.

Vun said she was saddened over Puntung’s demise, and that she was inspired to produce the painting for the 32th Annual Artworks held in conjunction with the Yang di-Pertua Negeri’s official birthday.

“The drawing depicts the endangered species in the wild and the local motifs drawn on Puntung’s body represent the various ethnic groups in Sabah.

“I spent about RM135 to complete this art within a month and a half,” she said during the prize presentation ceremony at Sabah Art Gallery here today.

Vun’s artwork is among 614 entries submitted by students and members of the public from the southwest coast division.

Also present were Deputy Sabah Cultural Board chairman Datuk Jaimin Samitah and the gallery’s curator Jennifer Linggi.

Jaimin said the event required participants to do study subjects related to the state before translating them into paintings.

“There will be 90 artworks to be chosen to be displayed at the gallery.

“The public will have the opportunity to visit the three-month-long exhibition at the gallery here after the final awards presentation in September.”