Mural, mural on the wall
By Danielle Sendou Ringgit & Patricia Hului
@danitbpseeds & @pattbpseeds
Penang has always been ahead when it comes to giving new life to its building facades. More recently, they led the way when it came to embracing murals or street art.
Here in Sarawak, Kuching and Sibu also got swept up in the rush of creating murals as public attractions.
For the love of art, Borneo Post SEEDS made it a mission to hunt down the murals along streets of Kuching. Here are just a few of them:
One cannot write about murals in Malaysia without mentioning Lithuanian street artist Ernest Zacharevic.
In 2012, he was first commissioned to draw street art as part as the George Town Culture Festival which somehow started the craze over murals.
He left his mark in and around Kuching all thanks to Spago Property Sdn Bhd back in 2014.
It was part of the company’s initiative to the community by energising the arts and culture scene in Kuching.
The first piece was at Jalan Power, called ‘Ape-scape’ depicting eight baby orang utan in a wheelbarrow and using an actual wheelbarrow cut in half as a prop which people can hold and pose for photos.
Then at the corner of the wall, there is a painted orang utan swinging from a rain gutter.
Another of Zacharevic’s works can be found at Annah Rais Longhouse, Puncak Borneo depicting a child playing in a sampan.
‘Tanah Airku 3.0’ series
Petronas launched the #tanahairku campaign to promote and strengthen social cohesion in Malaysia last year.
Here in Kuching, the project was mentored by Kenji Chai in three different locations around the city.
At Lebuh Carpenter, visitors can be amazed by the majestic mural of a domestic cat with the hind of a clouded leopard wearing traditional Iban headgear.
The mural is called ‘Leaping Feline’ meticulously done by Sonia Luhong and Amy Amin.
‘Hornbill, Hibiscus and Harmony’ is a mural done by Dewi Mio and Mohd Nor Shaddiq Mohamad Hamsah located at the Handicraft Wall of Jalan Main Bazaar.
The mural represents the spirit of famous Iban saying ‘Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban’ which is loosely translated as to never give up.
The third mural illustrates children faces of Malaysia as the future generation having a great impact in shaping the face of the nation.
It is simply called ‘Children’, the handiwork of Mohd Afiruddin (Dean R) and Amey Sheikh Ali located at Lebuh Wayang.
Volunteer Malaysia 2015
Under the Volunteer Malaysia 2015 programme, 300 volunteers showed up early on Saturday morning to clean up the rubbish along Kuching Waterfront area.
But most volunteers were more interested in mural painting, which was part of the programme at three different walls along Gambier Street.
The event was supported by Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) in line with the commission’s ‘Clean, Beautiful and Safe (CBS) City 2017’ goal.
According to DBKU board member Dato Maznah Dasmi, the murals works on some buildings in these heritage sites, which depict our icons and unique history, do give soul to the city, very much the essence of DBKU’s CBS plan.
Here is another DBKU project, this time they were teaming up with non-profit organisation F’Art (For Art) in a Community Art Project (CAP).
F’Art founder and artist Lucy Pearman with the help of few locals painted few murals under this project around Kuching and Buntal.
Pearman was quoted speaking to The Borneo Post that her goal in Kuching was to instigate some community interest and engagement with artwork through street murals.
“My presence here is an instigator for other ideas, and I hope to start a conversation with the people of Kuching about their hopes and vision for their city.”
The NGO’s works can be found at Kai Joo Lane, Buntal Esplanade and Kuching Waterfront.
Jalan Taman Budaya
Depicting Sarawak’s flora and fauna such as Rafflesia, orang utan and hornbills, the groups started drawing in December 2014 and completed it a month later.
It was soon vandalised much to the anger of the public before being restored again to its initial beauty.
Feast and Furious
Featuring popular motorsport personalities such as the late Formula One champion Ayrton Senna, MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi, motorcycle racer Giacomo Agostini and their racing machines, the mural down at Jalan Abell are the work of artist Daphne Siaw, 27, and Janani Premchandh, 24, from Chennai, India.
The mural was commissioned by musician and motorsports enthusiast Alex Wong to decorate the outside of his eatery – Feast & Furious Cafe.
The café’s latest addition to the mural were Sarawak Olympian diver Pandelela Rinong and a little Pikachu.
Journey to the Glory
‘Journey To The Glory’ was a mural inspired by classical Chinese novel, ‘Journey To The West’ located at Wayang Street.
The mural was initiated through a project by GEEKpledge, a crowdfunding website focusing on raising funds for community place-making projects.
Founders Mohd Saifullah Haini otherwise fondly known as Seph, Sulie Abell and Mohd Azhar Rashid, managed to pull a RM300 fund from the Tunas Usahawan Belia Bumiputera (Tube) community, an government entrepreneurship initiative programme, in order to complete the mural.
The monkeys symbolises the cleverness and cheekiness of the adorable creatures while celebrating the lunar year of the monkey.
Its placement on a pillar with the view of Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) in the background is also no coincidence as it symbolises that the monkeys are also climbing towards something powerful.
Kenyalang 3D mural
The painting of the Kenyalang 3D Mural was headed by Sarawak Arts Society vice-president Gerald Goh, local artists David Chew and Angelina Bong.
The 3D mural has a hornbill flying through a window towards an Orang Ulu girl to the side.
There are also two sets of hornbill feather fans (‘kirip’ in Kayan) painted next to an Orang Ulu dancer for people to place their hands under for a cute photo-op.
Anymore murals for The Borneo Post SEEDS to highlight? Let us know through the comments box.