Thursday, 4 February 2016

24. Here Be Giants: Supersized Street Art in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, as we've mentioned in a few earlier posts, is home to one of the longest stretches of street art in the world. But KL's outdoor mural scene isn't just about width, it's also about height and artistic beauty. That's probably not surprising given that the Malaysian capital is also home to the PETRONAS  Towers - still the tallest and grandest twin towers in the world.

In the spirit of elevated grandeur, we're going to close out our series on KL with a small sampling of the city's largest street murals. Some of these giants were created as part of the 2014 Tanah Hairku (Our Homeland) celebration of Malaysia's Independence Day.This includes our favourite, a six-storey inspirational piece by Anokayer and Yumz, members of the MediumTouch crew:

The mural is loaded with symbolism: the tiger represents Malaysia; the child embodies the spirit of the tiger; and the iPad symbolizes Malaysia's future.

Another big one brought to life for Independence Day was this one by street artist Kenji (Chai), and artist and illustrator Cloakwork. It's called "The Village and The City" and that's Kenji caricaturing himself on the right and Cloakwork doing the same on the left.

And there was this festive one by K.I.S., called "The Smile", displaying a variety of Malaysian symbols:

K.I.S. is the pseudonym for Escape Va, who we spotlighted in our last post, and Perol.

Other larger-than-life pieces were designed with more commercial purposes in mind, like this atmospheric one by Ernest Zacherevic. His massive 69 x 81 ft. artwork, which covers more than four stories, was commissioned by the Allianz insurance company as the centrepiece of its launch festivities for a new plan aimed at rural communities:

The Lithuanian-born Zacherevic now makes his home in George Town on Penang Island. Sometimes referred to as "Malaysia's Banksy" he is credited with almost single-handedly kick-starting the country's street-art movement in 2012. His work now appears across Malaysia and Singapore, and we'll be showing you much more of it down the road.

Another obviously commercially inspired piece was this 2,100 sq. ft. mural spray-painted by Kenji on the corporate headquarters of chicken franchise Nando's:

Fortunately, Kenji is much better known for his efforts to draw attention to the plight of stray dogs in Southeast Asia through numerous paintings of his trademark dog, Chaigo:

We'll close now with this absolutely sensational work. It isn't actually in Kuala Lumpur - but in Johor Bahru, the first Malaysian city north of Singapore. The mural, called "We Protect Together", salutes the friendship between the two cities:
The hands cradling the towers represent Malaysia's diverse population, while the colourful Lego blocks are a nod to Johor Bahru being the home of Asia's first Legoland. It was painted by duo Taib Aur (a founding member of Johor Sketchers) and Jeps. We look forward to discovering more of their work.

No comments:

Post a Comment