These 6 Malaysian Female Artists Will Captivate Your Heart
Feature photo by mural artist Nor Asyikin binti Abdullah.
Art enraptures us into a different world. It challenges us to think beyond the box, and most of all, it captivates our hearts.
Being an artist isn’t easy, especially in a world that values sciences over the arts. You’ve probably heard of Frida Kahlo, one of the world’s most renowned female artists. Malaysia has our very own iconic female artists too, ones who paint the world beautiful in their own creative ways.
We’ve listed six Malaysian female artists who will inspire you to pick up your paintbrush and start getting creative!
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“Teh Tarik Man” – an installation made of 20,000 dipped tea bags. Swipe to last photo to see what inspired the piece! I wanted to create a piece that reminds Malaysians of home – both in image and scent. A man making pulled-tea (Teh Tarik) is an everyday local scene that Malaysians can relate to, I hoped that the particular tea scent and sepia tone would magnify the feeling of nostalgia among Malaysians who visited the piece, and introduce visitors to a little whiff of our celebrated Malaysian drink and culture. Created for display at @worldeconomicforum Davos 2015. . A large part of my work includes documenting my work process on video in time-lapse. That was how my work spread when I posted my videos back in 2012. Since then I’ve used a variety of other methods and platforms to communicate my work, but videos just bring my audience closer to my work and me, the artist. I’m lucky I got to work with @goldypix who filmed and directed this piece (swipe slide 2). Oh and those pizza boxes were used to store and transport my tiles of stapled teabags. 😊 Thank you for the intro, @samuelerics! . Reposting some older work but I will be revealing a new piece this Friday. Can’t wait to show you! . 📷: @goldypix @jeremyblodephotography and 123rf.com
1. Red Hong Yi
Red captivated the world with her stunning artpieces, most of which, was ‘painted’ with everyday household objects. For example, one of her first artpieces that went viral on the Internet is the one where she dipped a basketball in red paint to create a portrait of basketball star, Yao Ming. Now, her creativity and expertise is sought-out all over the world. Award-winning action film actor Jackie Chan even commissioned her to create a portrait of himself with 64,000 chopsticks for his 60th birthday. She presented her portrait of a “Teh Tarik Man” made with 20,000 steeped tea bags at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. Now, she even has her own TV show on National Geographic called “Artventure.” There’s just no telling what this young woman is gonna do next!
2. Nor Asyikin binti Abdullah
This law graduate turned mural artist brings her art to life with such intricate details. You may have seen (and Instagrammed) her detailed murals at KL Eco City, Segi University and JW Marriott Hotel KL, among other places. As a teenager, Asyikin loved tattoos, and seeing that it was never going to be an option, she channelled her creativity into drawings on her friends’ arms. Her foray into the art scene started off as a favour to her friend. “When I graduated from law school, a friend asked if I could draw on the back alley wall of her cafe. I did, and I haven’t stopped since,” she said. Asyikin’s parents were skeptical at first, as most Asian parents would be. The plucky girl stayed true to her parents’ wishes and was even called to the bar, but the same time, she poured her heart out into her art. Two years passed, and everyone eventually came to support her creative pursuits. As they should – her murals are captivating!
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My creative process involves weeks of solitary confinement to which I will produce hundreds of paintings of all shapes, sizes and styles. Its my favorite part of @projectmirro ! But for now, I must do what needs to be done : Marketing & PR. Haven't done this in a while (2 years!!) Im back to online advertising campaigns and influencer marketing! Question : do you guys still read newsletters? 🤔
3. Miriam Omar
This textile designer, artist and entrepreneur paints murals, creates abstract acrylic paintings and is the founder of Project MIRRO – an ethical lifestyle brand that prioritizes sustainability over trends and mass production. Her passion and vision for her brand is evident as she gave up most of her worldly possessions to start Project MIRRO. Miriam wears many hats – besides being a textile designer and creative entrepreneur, she’s also a lecturer at Raffles Design Institute, and was part of the organizing team at Urbanscapes, Malaysia’s most anticipated art showcase. Her collections on Project MIRRO are inspired by nature, people, books and patterns. As a result of the creative process, artists tend to not use most of their ideas, of course. To this, Miriam says, “Even if I don’t use 90% of my ideas, I keep them around for future projects.”
4. Nawwar Shukria Ali a.k.a. Bono Stellar
If you’ve been in the art scene long enough, you’ve probably heard of Bono Stellar. Her fascinating and geometric art installations were ever-present at Urbanscapes and ZALORAYA 2018, among other spaces. Bono works with unconventional mediums including acrylics, iridescent films, and mirrors; to Bono, the world is her canvas. “There are no boundaries in creating,” she said. “Art took me to places beyond my dreams. To be able to enjoy what I do, and make a living out of it is such a blessing to me.”
5. Sophia Kamal
Not a stranger in the art scene, Sophia graduated from the University of East London with a BA in Fine Arts in 2015. Drawing inspiration from her travels, childhood memories and fairy tales, she describes her paintings as a modest representation of the female subject. “I’m interested in the voice of a modern Malaysian woman in the 21st century and keen to explore the changes that occur in contemporary Malaysia,” she said. By studying the facial expressions, gestures, and body image of different women, Sophia states that she is able to capture the abundant beauty of the female identity and convey the true emotions that lies within her eyes.
6. Chan Yee Von
Searching for a whimsical illustration of adorable woodland creatures? Chan Yee Von, better known as Whimsy Whimsical, is the artist behind these adorable creations. She illustrates her creatures on paper goods, whether they’re bunnies, hedgehogs or foxes that just love to please. It’s nothing short of a trip to an enchanted forest in any one of Enid Blyton’s books. Her creatures gently remind us that we should treasure every whimsical moment with love and joy. They’re so adorable, oh how I wish they were animated!
These iconic female artists are proof that there’s no limit to creating a beautiful life for yourself and everyone else around you too. Who is your favourite female artist? Tell us all about her in the comments below!