After many years of commuting with public transport, he became increasingly fascinated with the street arts. Intrigued by this experience, he started developing arts in public spaces (literally right around us). Meet Cloakwork—who has been painting around the globe for a little over 10 years—known for his quirky, fun, and colourful illustrations and graffiti arts.

Why graffiti? What helped spark that initial interest?

I have always been a visual learner! Whenever I open a book, I would first be attracted to the images, then the text. Growing up in the city, I often took public transport. I’d always pass by some street graffiti and I was always attracted to it—I thought and still think that it’s cool!

How’s the graffiti scene in Malaysia when you first started? What are the changes over the years?

Back then when I started graffiti, the scene was starting to bloom. I would say that it was still considered as a part of the underground scene. The public had very little knowledge of graffiti; therefore, it was quite difficult at that moment. As there are constant changes over the years in social media and as people travel internationally, they tend to be exposed to a wider range of art, making them appreciate it even more than before.

Many argue that graffiti is a form of vandalism. What’s your take?

I think graffiti is a form of self-expression, and the streets are our canvas.

About how many murals have you facilitated ever since you began?

I have lost count on that. I just deliver my best for every piece and move forward to the next one.

Could you share with us your favourite piece to date?

I was assigned to paint a tourist ferry in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 2020. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, I couldn’t make it there. I had to ask my best pals in Taiwan to execute the plan on my behalf. The piece was a success in the end, as we had constant communication with each member of the team.

What’s the role of the people, or “the crowd” in your projects?

I think a tight community is one of the most important things to have in any artists’ environment. In my close circle, we tend to learn from one another, and that influences me in my work. The more you are open to others, the more you learn and flourish as an individual.

What’s your advice for anyone who wants to get into graffiti?

I would say, just go for it! Just respect other street artists’ work, find out about the prohibited areas, and most importantly—for the long run— invest in a proper safety mask.

Can you tell us more about what you’re working on in addition to curating walls? What’s next?

I have a few things up my sleeve, though you should stay connected with me through socials to know more! Secrets are the best stories!

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