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Three artists discuss their inspiration behind the enormous art mural aimed at highlighting the splendour of our environment.
To mark the launch of the Honda Hybrid Family, which comprises of the All-New Jazz Hybrid, New Insight and CR-Z, Honda Malaysia wanted to explore new ways to interpret eco technology and connect with the younger audience. The hybrid way of thinking instinctively opened up doors to collaborate with a group of local artists. The partnership between the brand and the artists seemed fitting to best express the essence of hybrid – the merging of creative ideas, which brought exciting results.
Three local artists - Donald Abraham, 31, Orkibal, 31, and Raja Azeem Idzham, 29 – were selected to work on a spectacular art mural spanning 41.865m of the KLCC Convention Crossing (the tunnel that connects Suria KLCC to KL Convention Centre). A walk through the tunnel will bring you through rows of stunning imageries that expresses “Naturally Driven” on both sides, promoting the abundance of nature. The artists worked stealthily at night when the tunnel is closed to the public, completing the mural over three nights. The experience, they say, was refreshing in surprising ways. “The cool part is that we each have very different styles but when we met for this project, there was an unexpected chemistry and the work just flow with ease,” says Orkibal. Donald agrees and said that the sketches were completed very quickly when they came together. “We did our own thing and edited each other’s work here and there. It was definitely a new experience for me as I have always worked alone,” he enthuses. “I have known Donald for a couple of years and admired his work but have never met Orkibal before this, although I knew who he was,” quips Azeem. “To collaborate with both of them is definitely very encouraging as I still consider myself a new artist.”
There is a mysterious energy in their work as individual artists. Yet, that energy somehow transforms into a youthful mural with drawings characterised by vivid colours and delightful elements of nature. Orkibal, known for his bold, vibrant characters, describes his style as trippy and a little twisted. Citing cartoons and his 3-year old son as his biggest influence, it is easy to see how his perspective of life affects his work. “Since we are sending a positive message about the environment, I wanted the mural to capture the public’s attention. It will be great if people stopped to take some photos and share it with friends to spread the joy,” he says.
For Donald, that energy comes mostly from his defiant skater spirit. The self-taught artist’s strong influence from skateboarding and Sabah, where he grew up, shapes his bold, eccentric characters. “To me, an expression of art chronicles a piece of history,” he says. “I do not normally have an intended message but rather focus on the creation itself. From the time I was commissioned for this project, I started paying more attention to nature. I took long walks and even bought some fishes!”
Azeem, meanwhile, draws on his experiences as an architecture graduate and childhood influences from his dad who was a museum curator. The early exposure to all forms of art got him fervently hooked and he has been sketching ever since. “I have always loved nature and animals. I tend to incorporate a lot of root-like elements into my drawings so I found it easy to relate to the environmental core of this Hybrid mural,” he says.
On the message behind the mural, he aptly sums up the collaboration effort as the core idea. “The point is that three artists are collaborating with a brand and that sends a message of working together. Preserving the environment is not the work of one man alone. This mural may have given us a valuable opportunity to express our art but hopefully it also shows that when we work together, we can achieve something better.”