Graffiti scene in Malaysia has been on a flourishing trend over the recent years. What was once considered by many to be vandalism has begun to be appreciated as an art form today. Ranging from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, graffiti are drawings that have been painted on a wall or other building surface. Categorised as one of the elements of hip-hop culture, graffiti is more than just expression of social messages but display of artistic imagination using spray paint. Here are 10 Malaysians Graffiti Artists that have carved their niche as some of the finest street artists.
1) Kenji Chai @mr_kenjichai
Born and raised in the city of simplicity, Sandakan, Sabah, Kenji is definitely one of the solid figures in the Malaysian pop culture. With his brave tagging, Kenji is famous for his graffiti work that captures exciting imaginations, vibrant colours and positive vibes. You are most likely to recognize Kenji’s alter ego character, Chaigo (the stray character with his favourite colour turquoise) on one of those of the walls in town.
Currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Kenji was bred on comics, cartoons and storybooks from an early age and he spent his days rummaging into these worlds of imagination. Passionate about graffiti mural, art and tattoo, Kenji is available for graffiti mural projects for shops, cafes, etc.
2) Anokayer @akid_one
Meet Anokayer, one of the “dopest” graffiti and street-art artists from Kuala Lumpur. Known for his portrait style murals, Anokayer loves to combine elements of pop culture, people and energy in his graffiti work. Cool, calm and tranquil are some of the words we would like to use to describe Anokayer and his masterpieces.
Anokayer is making a name for himself on the walls of different cities in the world especially Melbourne where he resides. Backed by a never ending list of achievements up his sleeves, Anokayer has over the years been involved in projects ranging from small to large walls. Anokayer’s talent extends beyond portrait style as he also covers 3D painting.
3) Abdul Rashade @abdulrashade
Hailing from a small town in Penang called Balik Pulau, Abdul Rashade is possessed with a talented soul. Currently based in Kuala Lumpur, he works as a graphic designer at one of the top animation production house in Malaysia – Les Copaque. But when he is not designing graphics, he plays with acrylic and spray paint at the outdoor.
Since discovering spray painting, he has fallen in love with graffiti. While Abdul Rashade describes graffiti as a new element that complete his soul, he mixes a taste from the Nusantara culture with lots of floral design in his graffiti letters design. Besides graffiti, Abdul Rashade is also acquainted with creations of vector, lomography, digital works and many more.
4) Mohd Zaki @escapeva
Mohd Zaki b. Nordin or better known as Escape Va which is his pseudonym has been around the block since 2006. We would like to describe Escape Va as the post-modern visual artist asserting his revolutionary agenda on the endless maze of virgin exterior walls of our urban landscape and he does it with great taste and silky skills. If you browse thru Escape Va’s, you’ll likely to notice his strength lies in creative portraits and figurative.
Escape Va’s work spurs colorful imagination and his ability to combine different elements in the characters of his graffiti is top notch. Beyond graffiti, Escape Va is also profound in Graphic Design, Digital or Manual Illustration, 3D and Realism Illustration.
5) Mohd Mahfudz @snozze
Dubbed as one of KL’s most noteworthy graffiti artists, Snozze is adored for his gifted talent in art since his young age. Mohd Mahfudz Bin Abd Rashid, a former student from the Malaysian Institute of Art, first approached graffiti at the age of 16 by sketching on the walls of his house and school with only crayons and water color. Discovering huge interest, he then decided to become a graffiti artist by joining a Street Art Group called “KAMI”. Since then, his career took off.
One of his milestones during the early days include the cross over with Nike to create the Nike Bearbrick Windrunner Jacket. When asked about his dream, he hopes to create street art across Asian countries such as Japan, Korea and Indonesia.
6) Loo Lok Chern @cloakwork
Loo Lok Chern aka Cloakwork dreams of inspiring people through his murals, both locally and abroad. Currently based in Kuala Lumpur, the talented artist started graffiti painting as an outlet to unleash his creativity when college classes didn’t excite him. Today, at the age of 24, this young graffiti artist also an illustrator, has completed numerous graffiti work in KL and overseas, including Singapore, Australia, Japan and Indonesia. And he’s not stopping there.
According to Cloakwork, his style of graffiti is urban, playful, colourful and also ‘hipster’. Living by the moto of “No Paint, No Gain”, Cloakwork wants to channel his positive energy through his work and to decorate the walls in every country he visits to help make the city more exciting.
7) Amirul Shah @asmoeroc
A graffiti writer, Amirul or rather known as Asmoe Roc specializes in typography and he does it by infusing hip-hop and originality in it. When you do something, be very good at it. Asmoe Roc is a graffiti artist who believes in this mentality and that is why he chooses graffiti lettering as his niche forte. With his specialty, he complements the team “Medium Touch” with his typography skills. For your info, Medium Touch is one of the active graffiti crews in Malaysia, alongside with other greats such as Anokayer, Medea, Pakey and so on.
8) Pakey @pakeyone
If Asmoeroc is the typography guy, then Pakey is the portrait drawer. Discovered his talent in doing portrait using spraycans when he was 16, Pakey prides himself on his natural sense of playing with colours and high attention to details. Besides being part of the crew of Medium Touch, Pakey is also involved in Wild Sticking Syndicate (WSS), a group of himself and teammate Reeze who write graffiti since the year 2006. Pakey also specializes in painting photorealistic graffiti, portraiture, nature and other realistic elements. You are most likely to have seen Pakey’s favourite Rat graffiti character on one of the walls in town.
Muhammad Fakhrul Akmal has been involved in the graffiti art scene since 2000. Being labelled as a professional graffiti writer in the graffiti community, mile09 said passion remains his main driving force in pursuing graffiti art given the fact that not everyone appreciates graffiti. Among the biggest projects that mile09 has done is for Petronas and Red Bull. Mile09 believes what give him the strength to become a graffiti artist is the appreciation he receives from the public. Besides painting on wall, Mile09 also does graffiti writing on t-shirt design and more.
10) Emy Falizal Mohd Saidzul @medeaprojekt
It is not rare to spot this graffiti artist with five-foot-long dreadlocks and a paint-tipped bushy goatee painting the walls of Klang Valley. Been involved in some of the big projects in town, Medea, started his career in graffiti art since 2004. Medea is completely self-taught, armed with inspiration from magazines and the Internet. Before he started off with graffiti in 2004, Medea was a technician, but already well-versed in acrylic paint and water-colors. He also maintains a steady crew of artists known as Medium Touch.