Creative artists are gifted with the skills and talents to create a myriad of fine artistic works that include paintings, drawings, sculpting and even musical compositions. They have great imagination and their inspiration is derived from their personal experiences, emotions, environment surroundings or objects found in daily life. Their amazing artworks are a great inspiration to others and some of them even help to spread awareness on issues like the importance of preserving Malaysia’s local heritage and environment for the future generation. Here, Top 10 of Malaysia shares its list of the country’s top ten creative talents, presented in random order, who have showcased and expressed their creativity through their works.
Umibaizurah Mahir Ismail
Umibaizurah Mahir Ismail is an award-winning contemporary ceramic sculptor who is well-known for her playful artistic sculptures inspired by Malaysian traditions and pop culture. In addition, she is also the co-founder of Patisatu Studio, an initiative that promotes ceramic art creations and also introduce Malaysian ceramic art abroad. These are accomplished through exchange art workshops, art residency and exhibitions programmes. Umibaizurah represented Malaysia in the Jakarta Biennale 2000, Cheongju Craft Biennale 2011 and Asia Ceramics Network 2009 in South Korea. In 2016, she organized a solo exhibition of her ceramic sculptures, paintings and mixed media collage at The Edge Gallerie Kuala Lumpur.
Jamil Zakaria is a fine art artist who uses steel wires to weave his installations and sculptures. The first step taken by this creative artist would be to create moulds and later weaving the wires based on the moulds and creating textures. Thus, the final result is the solid form of his artwork. One of his well-known artwork is the “Mat Bunga”, a large scale primate wearing a pair of sunglasses and holding a flower. The primate is oversized and it is placed on a white sofa. Jamil linked his artwork to the famous Malay idiom “like an ape getting flowers”, which means someone who takes things for granted.
Esther Yap is Malaysia’s talented sand animation artist and she has been performing her craft for ten years. She is a Malaysia Book of Records’ holder for “the first 2D/3D sand art animation for ten drawings in five minutes”. Esther drew ten iconic landmarks which includes the Sydney Theatre by using sand. As a famous sand animation artist, she was invited by well-known corporate organizations to showcase her talents at their annual dinners.
Chong Siew Ying
Well-known for her dynamic expressive oil paintings of faces and figures painted with bold brush strokes, award-winning artist, Chong Siew Ying uses art as a form of visual poetry and she is described as a lyrical and elegant painter. Her artworks embrace themes such as nature, human sentiments, literary themes and concepts. Her series of works “The Home and the World” were painted by using large-scaled charcoal and acrylic emulsion on paper mounted canvases portraying landscapes and signifying herself being in a familiar yet distant world. Another well-known painting is the “Crying with Trees” series that describes the pain she feels from noticing the destruction of our environment.
Award-winning Sharon Kow is a well-known colour pencil artist cum contemporary realism artist who is recognised for her beautiful and realistic colour pencil artworks, focusing on details, values and nuances. Her artworks have been published in various magazines and websites. Besides, Sharon also contributed to a number of step-by-step instruction or guide book for colour pencil art and participated in the Art Biennale 2016 organized by Malaysia and also the Taiwan International Art Exchange Exhibition 2017. She is the first colour pencil artist in South East Asia to earn the “Signature Status” with the Colored Pencil Society of America in 2016.
Architectural designer turned artist, Raja Azeem Idzham or better known as Ajim Juxta is a visual artist known for his works of pen and ink painting, found-object sculptures and canvas painting. His artworks mainly focus on architecture and conceptual, abstract art and dystopian realities. Besides, he is also the founder of of Titikmerah, a collective which hosts art shows and programmes in Publika. Ajim has won various awards and received residencies as a full time artist.
Haffendi Anuar is a contemporary artist who focuses on sculptures, objects, installations, drawings, paintings and photographs which are inspired by vernacular urban architecture, sheens and surfaces of the environment and nature. The creative artist is famous for his sculptures which are form, material and object-based. The talented sculptor also creates sculptural forms out of fabrics, ropes and fibres and he has created an outdoor sculpture for the Battersea Power Station development in London in 2017. Haffendi’s works are also portrayed in the public collections of Khazanah Nasional, the Singapore Art Muzeum and the Cass Sculpture Foundation in the United Kingdom.
Agnes Lau is an award-winning multi-disciplinary artist who focuses in drawing, printmaking and painting on different materials such as paper, canvas, ceramic and objects found in daily life. Her work has been exhibited at local galleries such as Taksu Gallery, G13 Gallery, Segaris Art Centre and TitikMerah Gallery. Well-known as a printmaking artist, her famous printmaking works were “100,000 eyebrows”, which was selected as an exhibiting piece in Kuala Lumpur Miniprint Exhibition at the National Art Gallery and the “Manuscript of Nature” series which was exhibited at the 2nd Macau Printmaking Research Centre of Macau.
Red Hong Yi
Known as the artist who paints without a paintbrush, Red Hong Yi uses everyday items such as teabags and chopsticks to produce her works. She even made a portrait of Jay Chou with coffee mug stains. Hong Yi rose to fame after uploading a video on You Tube of herself dipping a basketball in red paint and creating a portrait of Yao Ming, a retired National Basketball Association celebrity. Other famous works created by Hong Yi is the creation of actor, Jackie Chan’s portrait by using 64,000 chopsticks, assembling an image of Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei by using 20,000 sunflower seeds and using a bunch of feathers to form the silhouette of Chewbacca.
Lim Pui Wan
Lim Pui Wan is an artist who creates miniature art from food to furniture, tiny gadgets, buildings, kitchenware and even cookware based on Malaysia culture. Her food designs are created out of resin clay and the process involves mixing colours of clays followed by sculpting, texturing, painting and glossing in order to create a detailed work of art in the correct size. Among Pui Wan’s well-known artworks are a fully-stocked snack shop, scenes of Kuala Lumpur such as a kopitiam and a coffee shop that has been demolished. Her clients include big organizations such as museums and individuals who seek to immortalise family treasures and memories through miniature artworks.