No hard feelings, artist says after mural defaced

zunar-mural-bibichunPETALING JAYA: Although his mural has been defaced by an individual who he suspects is an Umno supporter, an artist who calls himself Bibichun says he has no hard feelings about it.

“I don’t see it as ruined but as a response, and it does not matter to me who is responding,” he told FMT. “It’s in the public domain and it’s for members of the public to consume in their own way.”

The mural, which is located in George Town, depicts cartoonist-activist Zunar with an Umno flag draped over his mouth.

However, an unidentified man recently covered the flag with black paint.


According to Bibichun, he creates murals partly because he wants to see how the public would respond to them.

In fact, he said, he was surprised it had taken “such a long time” for someone to respond to his Zunar mural. The painting was made in reaction to an event that occurred last year.

“The piece was a response to the suppression of Zunar’s exhibition at the Penang Literary Festival last year,” he said. “I’m surprised it took Umno supporters such a long time to respond.”

Last November, Penang Umno Youth members demanded that Zunar, whose real name is Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, take down the drawings on display at the Komtar concourse.

They said Zunar’s drawings were offensive as they depicted the prime minister and other national leaders in a bad light.

However, state executive councillor Abdul Malik Abul Kassim said the exhibition had been allowed by the management of Komtar, which is a company run by the state government.

Zunar claimed 30 of those who had confronted him were Umno members and that he had to cancel the exhibition for security reasons.

“I’m still figuring out the idea of self-censorship,” Bibichun said. “The mural was a way for me to celebrate Umno’s power of authority. I’m not siding with Zunar.”

And here’s his response to the unidentified man’s changes to his mural:zunar2