PETALING JAYA: Covid-19 is dominating the news again, striking fear in the hearts of Malaysians as a surge in cases continues to be reported daily.
The government has once again called for reinforcements to treat the sick and scared, and enforce measures in specific zones of the country to help flatten the curve.
In a show of gratitude and support of the nation’s leaders and frontliners, the National Art Gallery commissioned two talented graffiti artists to immortalise these men and women, who are doing everything in their power to contain the further spread of the virus.
With painting materials in hand, Abdul Rashade, 36, and Dhiyaul Mohamad Ashraf Dawari, 29, are now putting the finishing touches to a giant mural on the exterior walls of Klinik Kesihatan Kuala Lumpur.
Commissioned in September to paint the giant mural, Rashade and his friend worked out a strategy to get the job done in a systematic and timely fashion.
The wall was split into two spaces – one to depict the country’s many frontliners and the other to depict the nation’s leaders, who have been leading the charge against Covid-19.
Entitled “Perasaan” (Emotions), Rashade has been working on the section dedicated to frontliners, and has completed a huge painting of a woman wearing a mask, staring intently at the world outside.
There is also a painting of a food delivery rider, a mother looking tenderly at her child and at the top left, the image of an elderly woman.
Rashade tells FMT, that the elderly woman in his painting was inspired by his own mother who passed away recently from an illness.
Dhiyaul meanwhile has been fleshing out the images of Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah and Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
The duo said that completing the mural took them three whole weeks, 40 cans of spray paint and five cans of paint. The full mural will be unveiled on Oct 11.
Speaking to FMT, Penang-born graffiti artist Rashade explained that his first job was as a graphic designer.
“I had a nine-to-five job and worked at it for a good eight to 10 years. However, I felt unfulfilled because I had to restrict my creativity and work on whatever the client wanted.
So, I unleashed my inner potential by first spray-painting secretly at night.”
2013 was a turning point in his career, he says, because he made the brave decision to quit his job and work full time as a graffiti artist.
Rashade’s works of art can now be found all over Malaysia. He has even gone to Dubai, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Jakarta to paint his masterpieces.
“My signature style is semi-abstract and floral-patterned as can be observed in the murals I’ve painted. This is my first Covid-19 mural.”