If one had not known better, if seems that mural art is making some form of ‘comeback’ in recent years. The truth is, mural art has been around and it only gained a lot more popularity these days in Malaysia, and most particularly in Penang. One of the artists who have ventured into this highly visible and exciting art form is art teacher Eric Lai.
His works are seen at a back lane near Jalan Sultan Idris Shah is Ipoh, Perak where he has produced some compelling murals of Malaysian performing several types of dances. The 37-year old teacher said that he was inspired by the works Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, who is no stranger to the Malaysian mural art scene.
Zacharevic’s work can be seen majestically displayed on the back wall of 3 shops in the George Town Unesco World Hearitage Site. Eric said that the murals by Zacharevic have become a popular attraction among photographers and tourists in Penang and he wants to do the same type of initiative for the Perak state capital. An optical shop owner in Ipoh, who liked what he saw in Penang then invited Eric to paint the back wall of his shop who will sponsor the art materials involved. Hence, this kick-started Eric’s project where he is current working with his students on Malaysian dances like kuda kepang and the lion dance. They are hoping to complete it in time for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations which will take place in February this year.