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MOST TALENTED & CREATIVE ARTISTS IN MALAYSIA – THE TOP 10
Malaysia is a country rich in culture, history and art. From the traditional batik prints to the modern murals on street walls, Malaysian art is diverse and captivating. The Malaysian art scene is filled with many talented artists who have gained recognition locally and internationally for their unique and creative works. Here, Top 10 of Asia shares its list of the ten most talented and creative artists in Malaysia, ranging from painters to illustrators, each with their own distinctive art style and approach. These artists are making a name for themselves and putting Malaysia on the map as a hub for creativity and innovation in the art world.
Pamela Poh Sin Tan is an award-winning artist-architectural designer who creates her artwork through explorations of art, architecture and design. Her work aims to blur the boundaries between creative disciplines invoking ambiguity in her art. She aspires to create pieces that embody layers of spatial and experiential narratives. Pamela obtained her Masters in Architecture RIBA Part 2 (MArch) from the University of Greenwich, United Kingdom. Her first year MArch studio project entitled “Mappa Mundi: A Map Maker’s Dream” was selected to be exhibited in London’s The Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition 2015. She is the winner of the fifth and final cycle of the Tan Sri Chan Sau Lai Architecture Award in 2016. Recently, two of her projects, “Eden” and “Projection Kite” won the Bronze and Merit awards respectively in the Design for Asia Award 2020 under the category of Environmental Design and in 2021, “Eden” won best of the best for the German Design Council- Iconic Award.
Lim Zhi Wei or known mononymously as Limzy, is a regional and international leading visual arts, lifestyle and fashion artist-illustrator, boasting a loyal global audience of over 100,000 followers. Hailing from Malaysia and Singapore, Limzy is best known for her floral gown series made of watercolour but she doesn’t like limiting herself and has explored various media and art forms. Limzy is highly regarded in the fields of visual arts, fashion, digital and social media, collaborating with brands for campaigns and exhibitions. In 2018, Limzy elevated her brand Love Limzy Co. from a solo artist to an art production team providing art and gifting solutions for customers and clients. Limzy’s creative skill set and innate eye for detail is highly sought after and she counts many international and luxury brands such as Dior, Bvlgari, Estee Lauder, Cortina Watch, Samsung, Uniqlo, Fendi and Jo Malone London.
Kamwei Fong is a Malaysian artist who works mainly on the animal world, his creations are often described as poetic, humourous, imaginative, playful and dream-like. The Furry Thing is a series of furry animal illustrations first created by Kamwei inadvertently back in 2009. Using only black micro pigment ink, Kamwei has created a menagerie of playful animals such as cats and dogs. Despite their contextual isolation and uniform style, each of Kamwei’s cats display unique personalities: some are fluffed and puffed into self-contained balls; others look with curiosity or wariness at fish that dangle or waves that crash from the animals’ own tails. The artist builds each feline form using innumerable short thin lines, varying the density of the marks to create volume as well as a palpable sense of furriness. Kamwei’s artwork has received global recognition including the exhibitions at Salon des Beaux Arts in Paris and Art Expo Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. Currently, his original art pieces, art prints can be found at the galleries in France, Taiwan, United States and Singapore.
Adrihana Abdul Rashid and Emmalynn Yam
Adrihana Abdul Rashid and Emmalynn Yam are the co-founders of Bingka, a popular Malaysian boutique souvenir label that has garnered fans from all over the world. Their brand has been featured in various media outlets and their products celebrate the little things that make Malaysians proud of their culture.
Bingka immortalises elements of Malaysian culture such as Teh C Peng, Cendol, and Harimau Malaysia in keepsake tea towels, tote bags and pillows. The brand also produces silkscreen prints of tea towels with designs based on Malaysian culture. Adrihana and Emmalynn design their own products which are handcrafted in Malaysia with their main aesthetic influenced by illustrative and hand-drawn elements. The artists’ unique approach have earned them a devoted following, both at home and abroad. In a world where mass-produced souvenirs are the norm, Bingka stands out as a boutique label that celebrates the rich culture of Malaysia.
Monica Lee attended the One Academy College in Malaysia, majoring in 3D animation. After graduation, she worked as a digital imaging artist for a photography studio for 12 years. It wasn’t until 2013 that she decided to pick up a pencil and draw again just for fun. The experience made her realised that she still loves drawing. Quitting her job to become a full-time artist, Monica’s appreciation and admiration of the value of good photographs sparked her interest in photorealism. Specialising only in charcoal and graphite, her style of drawing emphasises the details of her subject matter. Her works consist mostly of wildlife. Through her works, she hopes to portray the beauty of wildlife animals, and inspire people to appreciate and help protect it for future generations. In 2021, Monica was a finalist for the “David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation: Wildlife Artist of the Year” and also the finalist for “The Golden Turtle Wildlife Fine Arts Competition, Russia” in 2022.
Dudu De Doodle
Dudu De Doodle is a highly talented artist who doodles intricate and captivating drawings. He started his doodling journey in 2013 and showcases his artwork on Instagram daily. He has also completed mural projects in cafes and restaurants throughout the Klang Valley. Dudu De Doodle mostly uses coffee as paint to create his works. While some of his artworks are about food, others are inspired by Japanese animation and Western superhero portraits. He has painted coffee paintings such as Wonder Woman, and personalities such as Steve Jobs, Johnny Depp and Audrey Hepburn. He also incorporates real objects such as spoons and cookies as part of his art. He has also explored and created art in various forms such as murals, drawing with eyeliner, create cassette art, paired art with food, speed coffee painting and digital painting. Dudu De Doodle’s art style is influenced by renowned artists such as Hayao Miyazaki and Kim Jung Gi.
Lyn-Hui Ong is a talented illustrator and graphic designer in Penang who creates stunning works of art and designs. Her passion for the craft is evident and she draws inspiration from fellow artists such as Joey Chou, whose work she admires. Lyn-Hui’s Instagram page is a colorful display of her art, featuring adorable cat illustrations, fan art and short comics. She has also been fortunate enough to combine her work with her passion, having co-founded ForReal Studio with her creative and business partner. Lyn-Hui has been featured in various high-profile projects. Her work was also featured in Apple’s App Store series “Create It Your Way,” and she was also part of Netflix‘s “Stranger Things” project. Her involvement in #StrangerRewind, which involved 18 artists from around the world creating a poster for a “Stranger Things” episode, showcased her talent and earned her recognition from Netflix.
Cloakwork is a street artist and illustrator who is known for his unique and playful approach to art. He began his artistic career of creating graffiti art in his local neighborhood and soon expanded his repertoire to include murals and other forms of public art. With a style that blends elements of traditional painting and street art, Cloakwork’s creations is characterised by bright colours, bold lines and illustrative characters paired with storytellings. His pieces often feature oversized objects and whimsical scenes that evoke a sense of wonder and imagination. Cloakwork has created numerous murals and street art installations throughout Malaysia and around the globe, he has also worked on numerous commercial projects, designing merchandise for well-known brands such as Calvin Klein, Pepsi and Montana-Cans. Cloakwork remains committed to using art as a means of connecting with people and bringing joy and positivity into their lives.
Haris Rashid, an artist from Malaysia, has been immersed in the world of art since his early years. His passion for art was encouraged by his mother, who was also his art teacher. Although he briefly studied Textile Technology at the tertiary level, he eventually switched to study Illustration. Haris decided to turn his love for art into a career and is currently a full-time artist. He enjoys experimenting with various media combinations and surfaces with wood and textured pressed paper being two of his preferred surfaces to work on. Haris is also the founder and leader of a young artist collective studio called Studio Mekar. Haris draws inspiration from nature and often incorporates animals into his artwork. Haris has an instinctive approach to art and his works have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions. He has also been featured in various media, showcasing his talent and unique style of his craft.
Samantha Lee is a Malaysian food artist who has gained international recognition for her creative and whimsical approach to mealtime. She began transforming food into fun and unique artworks in 2008 to encourage her eldest daughter to eat healthily and independently. Her approach of storytelling on a plate, using simple tools and fresh, healthy ingredients, has earned her a growing social media following and attention from local and international media. Samantha’s iconic plates have been featured in various media outlets around the world. She has also worked with prestigious agencies like Ogilvy, Edelman, Weber Shandwick as well as brands such as ESPN, Tefal, Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever. In addition to her work as a food artist, Samantha was a speaker at TedxKL Women in 2013 and a finalist in the food category of the 8th Shorty Awards in 2016.