Promoting public art culture one mural at a time

Izah Azahari

Two local graffiti artists aim to bring colour and vibrance to buildings through Project Cascade, a non-profit graffiti art group, which aims to create a public art culture with their first mural done in Pekan Muara recently.

Graffiti artists for over 10 years Nazmi Souyono and Rahmat Jamil recently co-founded Project Cascade after an extensive amount of experience painting in neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Bangkok.

Noticing the contributions of public murals and art spaces to both the creative industry development and tourism, their first mural for the project – an artwork concept that surrounds the Muara Beach scenery – was done with the permission of the property owner.

They hope to collaborate with many other local artists for future mural productions.

“We consider our murals as contributions to the general public – to bring wonderment and colour to the everyday life,” said Nazmi. “We’ve received positive feedback from the local community and even some from Kuala Belait dropped by during the painting of our mural.”

The artists believe that there is a social responsibility aspect of art where it creates value, inspiration and igniting ideas, which doesn’t always have to be commercially driven, but rather to give an artist the capacity to create something from the heart for the people.

In recent years, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching have also seen a boom in public murals and street art which can be seen on social media. Many of the artists involved manage to successfully create a brand around their art and assist to market themselves commercially.

“The local creative industry has seen an increase in gallery exhibitions and events, attracting crowds. But at the same time, art can have such a personal impact when you remove the crowds and the hype. The feeling of being inspired can be so silent but yet so meaningful,” added Nazmi.

Anyone with a publicly accessible commercial space who would like to volunteer to transform it into a mural wall can reach Project Cascade through their Instagram or email to [email protected]

Project Cascade co-founders Nazmi Souyono and Rahmat Jamil paint a mural. PHOTOS: PROJECT CASCADE