Street artist brings hometown flavour to Negri Sembilan


By AGENCY

'My murals in Jelebu hold a special place in my heart as it's my hometown, making them even more unique,' says Zoro. Photo: Bernama

Street artist Zoro, also known as Zakir Amir Mohd Derus, has added life and character to the streets of Seremban city and numerous Negri Sembilan districts with his vibrant and dynamic murals.

Additionally, he highlighted a festive season partnership with the Seremban City Council to craft murals in Lorong Seni, featuring a "childhood fantasy" theme scheduled for release after Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

These immersive artworks showcase the state's charm, capturing its cultural essence rooted in the Minangkabau tradition. With his Jelebu-hometown knowledge, Zoro offers a glimpse into local life, featuring traditional foods like dodol, lemang, and rendang maman.

Zoro has a festive season partnership with the Seremban City Council to craft murals in Lorong Seni. Photo: BernamaZoro has a festive season partnership with the Seremban City Council to craft murals in Lorong Seni. Photo: Bernama

His murals not only celebrate local culture but also provide visitors with perfect photo opportunities for social media.

Feeling a responsibility to contribute meaningfully, Zoro opted to showcase the uniqueness of his home state through his mural work, which began in 2017.

"I started as a street artist, painting 50 to 60 customer portraits at a single event. Murals, naturally, require more time," said Zoro, 58, in a recent interview.

"My murals in Jelebu hold a special place in my heart as it's my hometown, making them even more unique. For instance, the 'Pesona Jelebu' mural celebrates the district's biodiversity, eco-tourism, customs, and culture," he added.

A view of Zoro's 'Pesona Jelebu' mural in his hometown Jelebu, Negri Sembilan. Photo: Bernama A view of Zoro's 'Pesona Jelebu' mural in his hometown Jelebu, Negri Sembilan. Photo: Bernama

Zoro, a father of four, has produced over 30 murals across the state, commissioned by various entities such as kindergartens, eateries, and factories. This has gradually earned him recognition and trust, leading to collaborations with the district council.

Aside from Jelebu, his artwork adorns locations in Seremban, Kuala Pilah, and Rembau, including prominent spots like the Terminal Satu public transportation hub, Benteng Walk, and a 152m-long wall along Jalan Yam Tuan.

In Rembau, he pays homage to six native national athletes through a mural, featuring their achievements in various sports such as track and field, football, rugby, lawn bowls, petanque, and sepak takraw.

Zoro's artworks are showcased and sold at the Ozzi Art Gallery, Seremban 2. Photo: Bernama Zoro's artworks are showcased and sold at the Ozzi Art Gallery, Seremban 2. Photo: Bernama

"The local council appreciates my artistic efforts, bringing joy to both visitors and the local community as they admire and share pictures of the art on social media," said Zoro.

Reflecting on his artistic talent inherited from his late father Mohd Derus Yaakob, Zoro revealed that while all his siblings inherited artistic skills, he's the only one who pursued it seriously, turning it into a viable source of income.

After completing high school, he travelled across different states to gain experience as a street artist and refine his abilities as a portrait painter.

Zoro's paintings are currently being exhibited at the Ozzi Art Gallery, Seremban 2. - Bernama

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