“Sometimes, words are unnecessary, especially when you have pictures as talkative as these,” these are the wise words of photographer Jonayd Cherifi, on the power of visuals.
Overstimulation, and the unbreakable connection to an endless stream of uploads on social networks can be hazardous to one’s psyche. Thus, the favourable coping strategy of capturing one’s daily experience in snippets of photos or videos (and flooding another’s news feed) is now a wide practice.
In this day and age, taking pictures is simply a natural impulse. Many consider it the default gateway of navigating the human journey, but to some individuals, the act of immortalising fleeting moments is not just another form of narcissism but rather, a canvas for their vision.
Below are a list of creative Malaysians who passionately frame their reality through the lens of aesthetic filters; allowing viewers to catch a glimpse of their interesting lives on the grids of their Instagram accounts.
The AM Studio is the brainchild of the photographer, Azim Mahayudin, and was established in February 2015 to provide stylish, clean and hip fashion, as well as commercial photography studio services. Within just two years, the studio has already managed to capture many local celebrities such as Sazzy Falak, Peter Davis and Luqman Hafidz, alongside brands like Poplook, Ykeni, Maslea and Quhji.
With works featured in magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar Malaysia, RSVP Vietnam, Maskulin, Harian Metro, Mahayuddin’s work is also recognised in Gumballmag and Fashion Journal Australia. This amazing photographer has a bright future ahead of him, and following his Instagram account is sure to brighten your daily feed with an optimistic hope for the Malaysian creative industry.
RUMAH STUDIO – Artist Collective
(SATTAMA, CIPAN, SLIZ, KANGBLABLA)
This one on the list is kind of a cheat since it compiles four accounts into a single entry, but these boys are awesome and they are often at their best when their powers are combined.
> So, next proverb is kinda special, because there is @tomiheri’s touch to it. Woof woof! Funtime! Okay, now, let’s learn the proverb; . In Malay: Bagai si buta yang cuba melihat. . In English: Like a blind man trying to peek. . Meaning: You wouldn’t know if you don’t try. . example; Karla: Oh my god!! That durian smells so bad to me but tastes sooooo good! Jasmin: Now you sound like a blind man trying to peek. . #sattama #wheatpaste #proverb
Sattama (a transtlation of transcendence in Sanskrit) is a pop psychedelic/street artist alias that derives from his real name, Satria Utama. He passionately experiments with every medium he could find to visualise and translate his views on deformation, chaos and the world in his mind in order to ease his soul. His Instagram account is populated with his drawings, illustrations, paintings of many different techniques and combinations of graphical and painterly styles.
Next is Cipan/Zew Wey/Bibichun. This self confessed Chinese wannabe is one the head figures of Rumah Studio, like the Red Ranger of the bunch in my opinion. He is a painter who focuses on issues such as authorship, identity, and loves playing with public reaction by devising interventions ‘public site’ projects on privately-owned walls or discarded objects all around George Town, Penang. He’s also participated in plenty of group exhibitions and festival locally and internationally. But the main reason why you should follow him is because of his amazing sense of humour that dances on obscure memes, which can sometimes be seen through his account.
Safe/Risk? “$+At€ 0f eM€RgEN[¥” Mixed media and pyro on 1’x1’6″ signage 2017 RM750 (sold) We are in a state of emergency. A state of desperation. Panic. Fear is lurking in every corner of these intertwining paths we’ve made for ourselves, but the need to sustain and survive forces us to tiptoe our way through this madness, because we need our tokens to keep on playing the game. When the waves of chaos finally come crashing on our shores, who do we turn to for protection? Can our safety be dependant on a wall, if the wall itself is falling apart? Or do we risk standing beneath the falling rubble? This is a controlled demolition. This is a public service announcement. This is a back-alley pseudo-prophecy. This is a bootlegged gallery-joyride. This is [n0t) a sign. #collective1s #urbanscapes2017 #thisisnotasign #thesliz
It would be a shame to follow the Red Ranger without following the White/Green Ranger, and Sliz is definitely the Tommy Oliver of the group. As his profile suggests: “He vandalises ever since he understood what real freedom means. Mostly harmless, bites on certain occasions.” To leave a little mystery to his persona, we shall just leave it at that.
Julius Raja Manickam – better known as Kangblabla – as a self proclaimed Blue Ranger of The Rumah Studio. Perhaps the cutest member of the group, don’t underestimate his impressive skills with acrylics, illustrations, and murals. This huggable toy maker and pixel art specialist often focuses on character designs.
Follow them all to truly get the true picture of Rumah Studio.
I’ve been in love with Whamonster’s work ever since her early days, when I stumbled upon her through a mutual obsession with a time travelling doctor. Creepily stalking her progress as she grew from the short, spectacled Malaysian girl to a short, spectacled Malaysian woman with a BA in Graphic Design from University of Hertfordshire – specialising in charmingly witty and quirky illustrations. Well known for her fan art with a shoutout in ELLE magazine for her Game Of Thrones series, this monster is definitely someone you would love to roll on the floor with and waste time watching TV, while stuffing your face with tons of food.
Join me and stalk this urban legend.
Azeem Idzham – or better known as Ajim Juxta – is a well established fine artist based in Kuala Lumpur, who can often be found wandering in Publika. A graduate from UiTM with Architectural skills that’s been incorporated into his artworks, he has also worked on ‘Bola Kampung’ and ‘SupaStrikas’, airing on Disney Channel Asia. The alias of Juxta derives from the word juxtapose, which means a constrasting effect when two things are place close together. This concept is mainly represented in his work, but it’s through his Instagram account is where we get glimpse of his sketches and life as an artist.
Society Vampire is one bad bi.tch that you don’t want to mess with (trust me). You mess with her, you mess with her fam. Not that she even needs back up, this independent and strong woman will verbally destroy your ass and flush it down an existential crisis of fractured illusion. You’ve might’ve seen her around town chilling like a boss; Yati is what happens when a punk rock girl and a fashion enthusiast becomes a ‘Mak’ and starts knitting patches for future rebel scums. I love her hand-made embroideries that focuses on explicit content. You should follow her, if you dare.
Net_Meat or Wang Rou is best compared to a mad scientist, rather than an artist since the art scene in Malaysia will never truly appreciate his unique and mad style – pushing the contemporary landscape with post-internet art movement. From its introduction to the locals with Circle Jerk (2015) and 网肉’s Show (2016), to getting worldwide recognition by Papermag for his continuously weird and conceptual works based in Shanghai. Don’t miss out on, perhaps, the best artist from our generation that has already made history in the progress of Malaysian Art.
His account is a good mix of artistic concepts with a touch of memes. After all, he is a post-Internet artist.
We hope this list will help add some flavour onto to your Instagram feed and inspire your future uploads. Obviously, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for updates on local happenings.