KUCHING: The artist who painted the now-erased mural in Johor depicting a snatch theft waiting to happen, is in the state capital for his latest project.
Fans of Ernest Zacharevic (pic) may catch of a glimpse of him in the vicinity of Carpenter Street and Main Bazaar here tomorrow.
The 27-year-old Lithuanian, who has not consented to interviews with local media, arrived here on Friday evening. This is his second trip to Sarawak, following a scouting tour late last year.
Not much is known about what Zacharevic has planned for the city, except that he spent yesterday shortlisting a number of walls to be painted on, according to Spago Property Sdn Bhd’s designer Elysia Chua.
The developer is sponsoring Zacharevic’s work here, and Chua is a personnel on the mural project team.
“He’s mainly looked at the old part of the city and seemed inspired. Zacharevic was very impressed with Kuching Waterfront,” Chua told The Star yesterday.
“On Friday we brought him to see about five potential walls. Public interest is quite high. There are property owners whom have asked us to invite Zacharevic to view their walls.”
Chua said Zacharevic indicated a suitable wall should be a “rustic” one with “special characteristics”. The Lithuanian, known for his nostalgic pieces as well as social commentaries, has visited Santubong, Sarawak Cultural Village and the hotspring at Padawan.
Recently, Chua was seeking suggestions for walls from Netizens.
“We asked people via Facebook to submit their proposals to us. Response is not bad. They can still send,” she said.
If all went according to plan, Zacharevic might start painting tomorrow. Interestingly, Chua indicated that the artist could embark on more than one piece here.
“For smaller pieces, he can do one overnight. The bigger ones, like those he did in Italy, took about four days. All I can confirm is that Zacharevic would like to begin on Sunday, but that he is scheduled to be here for a week,” she said.
A team of videographers and photographers are arriving here today to document Zacharevic’s work.
According to Chua, councils have also been consulted, which have assured that as long as properties to be painted on are privately owned, no official permission is needed.
On what the Lithuanian was like, Chua said he was reserved.
“He’s shy but he opens up after you get to know him. He is very artistic, very knowledgable and philosophical.”
Zacharevic has been active in the Malaysian arts scene for quite some time. Late last year, he made headlines for a piece in Johor that struck a chord with many.
The mural depicted a woman with a branded bag smiling and walking down the street — seemingly unaware that she was steps away from a masked, knife-wielding villain who was “lurking” around the corner.
Both characters were depicted as Lego figures.
The muralist’s artwork began appearing around George Town in 2011, but did not gain much recognition until 2012 with his painting of a girl practising kung fu next to the Penang Goldsmiths Guild Temple along Muntri Street.
Since then, Zacharevic’s distinctive style of interactive art has helped draw younger crowds to the Unesco World Heritage site to take their “selfies” with the famous artworks.
Spago Property’s projects include Academia Lane near Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and the up-and-coming Greenwich South.
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