Wednesday, November 13, 2013

JB, home Legoland Malaysia. A Mural In Taman Molek, Johor Bahru, not @ Legoland that gained widespread attention! -

Read all about the mural by Ernest Zacharevic @
Meanwhile In Johor...Public Take Mural Matters Into Own Hands

JB to remove 'inappropriate' mural by foreign artist
By Kow Gah Chie | 11:34AM Nov 11, 2013
The Johor Bahru City Council will remove three murals painted by an internationally-recognised street artist, following a controversy over one mural that addresses the high crime rate in the city.
However, city mayor Ismail Karim said, all the three murals by Lithuanian-orn Ernest Zacharevic will be removed as they were painted at inappropriate places, China Press reported today.
Earlier, Malaysiakini reported that Zacharevic – better known as Zachas – defended his mural, which has been criticised by the state government has having ‘tarnished’ the city’s image.
“Art does not damage a city’s image, crime does,” rebutted Zacharevic (right) yesterday in an email response.
The Lithuanian-born artist had reportedly been invited to the city to put up his artwork, and contributed three pieces earlier this month.
The ‘contentious’ mural, dubbed ‘JB, home of Malaysia’s very own Legoland’, shows Lego figures portraying an armed robber lying in wait to rob from a woman carrying a Chanel handbag.

Zacharevic also uploaded a photo of the mural on his Facebook page on Nov 7 and it has generated much discussion and registered more than 6,600 ‘Likes’ since then.
However, state executive councillor Tee Siew Keong (left) advised the artist to use his talent in the right way and to help promote the state’s tourism and development.
Tee also reportedly said it was up to the local council to decide if it wanted the mural to be removed.
To this, Zacharevic said his public artwork is not meant to be a permanent feature.
“I paint it and leave it. It is up to the local community to decide what happens to it, ” he said.
“If I react to every criticism I receive, I would have never paint a single painting … I celebrate democracy and embrace pluralism.
“This is how it should be – people publicly, in a civilised manner, discussing what they like and what they don’t like. As an artist I follow my own consciousness and it is up to the rest how they interpret my artwork.”
He also said everybody is entitled to an opinion and that different people have different views.
Inspiration for the mural
Zacharevic said local residents had alerted him to the crime rate in JB, and this had inspired the mural.
“Every time I asked locals if there is anything other than Legoland I should see in JB, they whispered to me, ‘Yes, but you have to be careful’,” he said.
Zacharevic, who is currently in Japan, said he will return to JB in spite of the state government’s disapproval of his work.
“Johor Baru has a lot to offer. I think this town really needs more art, not only from me, but young emerging Malaysian artists as well,” he noted.
The artist makes much use of 3D materials in his murals. Many of his iconic pieces feature children and happiness, as displayed along Armenian Street in George Town, Penang

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