Kuching waits with bated breath for next Zacharevic artwork

  • Arts
  • Saturday, 26 Apr 2014

KUCHING: Since news broke that street artist Ernest Zacharevic will be painting here this week, it has attracted considerable online attention.

On the Facebook page Development Projects in Kuching, which has more than 61,000 subscribers, Zacharevic’s latest project is one of the most commented on subjects this month.

A teaser post last week has been “liked” almost 400 times, with hundreds of comments and shared over 150 times. Netizens are generally anticipating what the Lithuanian artist has in mind for the city.

“AWESOME!!! I’d suggest Padungan, Main Bazaar, and Carpenter Street areas,” wrote Jonathan Ong Ujang.

“I hope MBKS & DBKU don’t behave like Johor’s MPJB. Give support to this guy, make him feel welcome. His art has great following around the world,” said another commenter Jimmyz Myz.

He was referring to Kuching city’s north and south councils, saying authorities here should not do what Johor’s council did, when it painted over Zacharevic’s work earlier this year.

The street artist is in Sarawak upon the invitation of Spago Property Sdn Bhd, a state-based developer.

The company wrote to Zacharevic sometime at the end of last year, and the street artist responded positively. Not long after, he visited Sarawak for a scouting trip.

He is presently scheduled to be here for a week. Since the developer confirmed Zacharevic’s attendance, Spago designer Elysia Chua has begun an online campaign, asking netizens to suggest walls for the artist’s consideration.

“We’re in Carpenter Street, number 33. U can have my whole building, inside (and) out. It’s currently all white,” posted Shack Kuching.

Stanley Ngu submitted a photo of his property and in the caption said: “At the junction of Main Bazaar and Wayang Street is this conspicuous wall. We own the shop and will be more than willing to offer to Ernest for his street wall drawing.”

To a suggestion for Spago to ask Zacharevic to paint at one its high-end gated residential projects, the company replied that the artist’s work should be in public, not confined to high-end developments.

Not much is known about what Zacharevic has planned for the city, except that he spent Friday and yesterday short-listing a number of walls to be painted on.

While here, he has visited Santubong, Sarawak Cultural Village and the hot springs in Padawan.

The 27-year-old Lithuanian gained national notoriety recently with a mural in Johor that depicted a snatch theft waiting to happen, which was promptly painted over.

The artist’s work began appearing around Penang 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 artwork.

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