Painting a picture of ‘Unity’


Portrait of togetherness: Anwar gracing the closing ceremony of the Madani Rakyat Programme at Tapak Pesta, Sungai Nibong in Penang, with the ‘Unity’ mural as a backdrop. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: As soon as one enters the main gate of Tapak Pesta in Sungai Nibong, a large mural depicting the country’s multiracial community catches the eye of visitors.

Themed “Unity”, the 44ft-wide and 12ft-long mural is one of the attractions of the northern zone Madani Rakyat 2024 Pro-gramme.

The hand-painted mural by graffiti artist Abdul Qoyyum Mohd, 31, was completed within three days.

Abdul Qoyyum said he worked from morning till night to ensure the mural would be fully completed according to schedule.

“Usually, this kind of graffiti mural takes a week to complete.

“The demos (paintings) I make are 8x8 feet (banners). This is probably the biggest one I’ve ever made for a short programme all by myself.

ALSO READ: PM visits northern zone Madani Rakyat 2024 programme

“Before this, there was a team but the other team members are abroad.

“It should have taken one person a week (to complete the 44ft-wide and 12ft-long graffiti mural) but I simplified the design to only focus on the subject,” he told Bernama.

Abdul Qoyyum, the graffiti artist behind the mural, said he completed the artwork within three days. — CHAN BOON KAI/The StarAbdul Qoyyum, the graffiti artist behind the mural, said he completed the artwork within three days. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

Abdul Qoyyum used a spray paint art technique depicting the atmosphere of a group of children of various backgrounds playing at a park against the backdrop of the majestic Komtar building.

The Universiti Selangor graduate with a Diploma in Graphic Design said he chose to capture the joy of multiracial children to depict the harmonious life among the country’s pluralistic communities.

“Unity” is specially presented by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac) through the National Art Gallery.

It is the result of an art exhibition held for the first time in conjunction with the Madani Rakyat 2024 Programme.

ALSO READ: Madani rakyat programme: Youth produces unity graffiti mural in three days

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who attended the closing ceremony yesterday, had the opportunity to sign the art work before visiting the stalls of government ministries and agencies.

Abdul Qoyyum said he was happy that his artwork was officiated by the Prime Minister.

He added that he has been working with the National Art Gallery since 2011 and his involvement in organising the second series of the Madani Rakyat 2024 Programme was at the request of the agency under Motac.

“I have been collaborating with the National Art Gallery for a long time and embarking on their art programmes in other states,” said Abdul Qoyyum, who developed a keen interest in painting when he was a child.

Murals are art made directly on the surface of a wall or other large surface while graffiti is more of a writing on the wall or combined with a mural to create a complete design.

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