Nadhir Nor’s Magical Realms

At just 21 years old, the illustrations of one concept artist Nadhir Nor have been featured at the recent Urbanscapes festival in the form of a monochromatic mural that explored the concept of belonging, to which the young artist further explained, “Each one of us is trying to search for something, be it our origin or a sense of familiarity, so KL always reminds me of that [as it’s the] Mecca of people and cultures [seeing] how dense and busy it is.”


Aside from some local exposure, Nadhir had a bigger boost in his reputation when James Merry – the designer of Björk’s intricate flora masks for her ninth album Vulnicura – praised his work to Just Six Degrees. “There’s a sublime magical quality to it – an overwhelming sensitivity and romanticism, so rarely handled with such strong and effortless technical finesse,” he gushed to the online publication. Nadhir, who often cites the Icelandic iconoclast as an inspiration, said of James’ nomination to be a “humbling experience” as he was of the opinion that James was instrumental in making Vulnicura so visually spectacular.


The whimsy fantasy that pervades Nadhir’s work comes from his varied sources of muses, from folklores and female artistes such as Grimes and Caroline Polachek of Chairlift to artist Jesse Moynihan and even some of his current interests such as the multiplayer videogame Overwatch and Bollywood film Bajirao Mastani.

As for his plans for the future, Nadhir hoped to explore and expand his art on different mediums and platforms, possibly even have his work displayed in events outside Malaysia.