BINTULU, Dec 8 — Time constraints can be a challenge, but this did not stop a highly skilled and passionate muralist from creating a stunning work of art on the wall of a building here.

Dhiyaul Mohamad Ashraf Dawari, 32, or better known as Yaulacap, had only just returned from another project in Medan, Indonesia before making his way here.

“Rain and heat, neither of which helps,” he said of the challenges of creating the mural on the wall.

The Kelantan native was one of the muralists involved in the ‘Juh Berambeh Seni Awam dan Pembangunan Lestari’ programme that took place here.

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His mural entitled ‘Motherland’, painted beautifully on the wall of Kintown Inn, depicts an Orang Ulu girl dressed in traditional Iban attire embracing a tiger, surrounded by colourful flora and fauna.

“The girl in the portrait is an Orang Ulu dancer, but she is dressed in Iban ethnic clothing because her mother is an Iban dancer.

“The motive is to celebrate the ethnic unity of Sarawak and to preserve the culture together from generation to generation,” he told The Borneo Post.

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Asked about the messages on his mural, Yaulacap said the girl hugging a tiger symbolises that Sarawak also cares for Malaysia.

“The hornbill is a symbol of Sarawak, while the flora and fauna shows that although Sarawak is experiencing rapid development growth, the ecosystem of flora and fauna is being maintained.

“As for the flowers, they symbolise harmony and fertility.”

According to Yaulacap, it took him nine days to complete the mural, starting with preparing the surface, cleaning the wall, sketching, and painting.

He started the project on Nov 23 and completed the artwork on a 3,200-square-feet wall on Dec 1.

For him, the bigger the wall, the easier it is to draw, and he used a roller brush and spray paint as well as a skylift to reach the top of the building.

Yaulacap poses with the model of his ‘Motherland’ mural. — Picture courtesy of Yaulacap
Yaulacap poses with the model of his ‘Motherland’ mural. — Picture courtesy of Yaulacap

Yaulacap was one of the three muralists awarded the project by Balai Seni Negara.

The other two are Abdul Rashid Abdul Raman (‘Heart of Bintulu’ at Boulevard Shopping Mall) and Amey Sheikh Ali (‘Harmony in Action: Nurturing Tomorrow as a Young Eco-Enthusiast Steers Toward a Sustainable Future’ in Kampung Dato).

A professional muralist with nine years of experience and a founder of Art Battalion, which has the strength of 50 artists, Yaulacap has painted more than 1,000 walls at home and abroad.

When asked what his best murals were, he said his best works are the Covid-19-themed mural project at the National Heart Institute and Kuala Lumpur Health Clinic.

“This project in Bintulu is also one of the most meaningful for me because the local community was very welcoming of my presence here,” he said.

According to him, the lifespan of each mural is between five and seven years, depending on the material used.

“For young people, don’t be afraid to make art your career, because the talent He (Allah) has given us is our trust. Use it as much as possible.

“I hope that more large-scale murals like this will be welcomed in Malaysia because this alone can open the eyes of the community to the fact that the value of a mural is not just to beautify the wall,” said Yaulacap. — Borneo Post