Mural Artist Finds His Canvas On Every Wall

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By Hamdan Ismail

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KUCHING (Bernama) – For local mural artist Kassmadi Morshidi, any bare wall serves as space for him to express his creativity.

He may have had no formal training in art but ever since he took up mural painting two decades ago, his skills have been sought-after by building owners wishing to brighten up their premises.

“Unlike painting on a piece of drawing paper, creating a mural is much more difficult as the space is extensive which requires us to be more detailed so that our artwork meets everyone’s satisfaction, whether they are looking at it from near or from afar,” said Kassmadi, 42.

He paints his murals with the assistance of Daud Bujang, 40, who was a part-time cartoonist before he teamed up with Kassmadi in 1990.

The duo’s partnership kicked off after they created some paintings on a burger stall that they operated together.

“Our work attracted the attention of a patron who requested us to draw a mural in a kindergarten in Kuching,” said Kassmadi, recounting how they went into mural art seriously.

ARTISTIC JOURNEY

Kassmadi and Daud never looked back after that first “assignment” as they received request after request to paint murals. Their most memorable assignment to date involved painting a mural for the Sarawak Foundation building in Petra Jaya here in 2010.

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“For that project, both of us worked hard for two weeks before successfully completing the mural measuring 613 square metres – it is the biggest mural we’ve ever done,” said Kassmadi.

However, creating a mural of that size did not come without challenges.

“It was the rainy weather then which disrupted our work and there was also an occasion when Daud almost fell from the ladder while painting on the upper part of the wall,” he added.

NIAH CAVES

Just like the mural they created on the wall of the Sarawak Foundation building that has withstood the effects of the weather and passing years, the two friends’ determination to create beautiful murals has not waned one bit too.

When met by Bernama recently, Kassmadi and Daud were engrossed in their latest project – painting a mural for the Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) Sarawak building here.

“For the RTM building, we have been asked to draw a mural depicting the Niah caves (in Miri) and their natural surroundings,” Kasmadi said, adding that RTM has also requested them to draw murals for its other stations in Sarawak.

Kassmadi, who used to teach at an art institute in Miri before quitting last year to focus fully on mural art, said his burning desire is to draw a mural featuring the line-up of leaders who have served as Sarawak chief ministers since independence.

“It will remain my cherished dream until I’m given the space and opportunity to draw this mural… it will be a new attraction for this state,” he added.

Translated by Rema Nambiar -BERNAMA

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