Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Brunei Town

Concrete canvas

Graffiti art transforms streets into creative hub.

Local graffiti artists from different groups were recently invited to participate in Street Stroke 2023, held at Lorong Sentosa, Kampung Air, in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia co-organised by the Kota Kinabalu City Hall and Cracko Art.

Brunei representatives with other Southeast Asian graffiti artists in a group photo. PHOTO: GUERILLA ARTCHITECTS

This initiative was aimed to breathe new life into the heart of Kota Kinabalu, turning a once-shaded area into a vibrant, dynamic destination.

Among the Brunei representatives were Sketch One, Spaz, Mad Nycer and Nerd Ink, who joined forces with counterparts from South Korea (Sage), France (Disek), Australia (INK HUNTER & PROFET), Vietnam (LiarBen), and other Southeast Asian countries.

According to Spaz, the event was no ordinary graffiti jam as it was to transform the area into a vibrant tourist spot, inviting people to immerse themselves in the fascinating world of street art.

A van’s exterior filled with graffiti art. PHOTO: GUERILLA ARCHITECTS

“Street Stroke 2023 represents how the convergence of artistic expression and diverse cultural influences can breathe new life into a city, turning it into a hub for creativity and visual storytelling,” he added.

Hosted by Sabah-based artist and friend, Cracko, the event holds a special place in their hearts.

“Whenever we visit the area, we make it a point to convene and indulge in some artistic endeavours. “While I actively engage in painting, I also take pleasure in supplying spray cans to Cracko and street artists across Sabah during our visits,” shared Spaz.

He feels that this collaborative effort exceeds mere artistic expression as it serves as a form of artistic charity.

An artist uses spray to make graffiti. PHOTO: GUERILLA ARCHITECTS

“For us, art is a conduit for spreading positivity among ourselves and the communities we touch. Street art, in particular, is akin to an open-hearted gift. We create freely, not just for our own enjoyment but also for the delight of the audience. It imbues us with a sense of positivity that radiates far and wide,” Spaz explained.

He shared that the transformation we witnessed is nothing short of magical. What was once a dull and somewhat dodgy locale is now infused with life and beauty, all thanks to their creative endeavours. “With art adorning the space, it enjoys heightened protection and surveillance, making it a safer and more inviting place for all. This is the true power of art in our lives and the communities we touch,” Spaz added.

An artist sketches graffiti on a wall. PHOTO: GUERILLA ARCHITECTS

With walls adorned by captivating graffiti art, the programme brought together a diverse assembly of 30 artists, spanning a multitude of nationalities.

Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Korea, Brunei, Singapore, France, Australia and Malaysian talents united to reshape the urban landscape and amplify its cultural vibrancy. – Izah Azahari