One talented Malaysian, Leonard Siaw Quan Cheng from Kuching, Sarawak has certainly done the country proud. The aspiring street artist has emerged tops in a competition jointly organised by Visit Victoria (VV) and Publika Shopping Gallery, winning an opportunity to participate in a cultural immersion experience in Melbourne – the world’s street art capital.
In March this year, the Make Your Mark in Melbourne competition called on aspiring local street artists to submit their entries to win the opportunity to collaborate with the highly acclaimed Juddy Roller Studios in arty Melbourne precinct of Fitzroy and its founder Shaun Hossack, as well as contribute an artwork to regional Victoria’s Wall to Wall Festival Benalla 2018.
Headed by Shaun Hossack himself, the Wall to Wall Festival Benalla is presented by Juddy Roller and is Victoria’s first annual regional street art festival. Artists involved in Wall to Wall Festival Benalla since its inception have included internationally renowned names such as Rone, Adnate, Askew, Ears, Choq, Shawn Lu, Putos, Slicer, Rashe, Sirum, Kit Ritz, Guido Van Helton, Dvate, 23rd Key and Deams. And now, thanks to this competition, Leonard Siaw Quan Cheng will have the coveted opportunity to embellish his name in this esteemed list.
“We are honoured to be included in the Make your Mark on Melbourne program. The artistic scene in KL is obviously thriving, as reflected by the level of quality of entries submitted, which has been very high indeed. We can’t wait to see more Malaysian talents making their mark at the Wall to Wall Festival,” said Shaun Hossack, Artistic Director, Wall to Wall Festival.
“My philosophy is to present possibilities and enhance creativity for street artists who are passionate about what they do. This cultural exchange between Malaysia and Melbourne rings true to what I believe and I am excited to welcome the winner of this competition to the Wall to Wall Festival Benalla 2018 to skill up, take in new work, and get up-close and personal with some of Australian street art’s biggest names,” he added.
Meanwhile, Celia Ho, Regional Manager, South and South East Asia of Visit Victoria said, “This cultural exchange highlights the creative affinity between Malaysia and Melbourne and provides the opportunity to shine a spotlight on Melbourne as a street art leader of the world while discovering and exposing new artists to the movement.”
“Indeed, Melbourne has long been heralded as the creative capital of Australia. Its famous inner-city laneways are dotted with galleries, boutiques and artist studios home to traditional and contemporary artists and creators of fashion, jewellery and homeware. But it is perhaps the outer walls of the city that delights and surprises unsuspecting visitors even more. The free open art gallery is clearly distinguished by vibrant commissioned artwork adorning the city’s streets and buildings. AC/DC Lane and Duckboard Place, Flinders Lane, Hosier and Rutledge Lane, Centre Place, Union Place and Croft Alley are just some of the city centre locations to spot great new artwork. Inner north precincts of Fitzroy and Brunswick are also key to the movement’s core,” she added.
Ten shortlisted artists in the Make Your Mark in Melbourne competition each had four days to create their masterpiece live at The Square, where they remain exhibited for public view until end of the month.
Members of the public also had a role to play in the selection of the winner by voting for their favourite works of art. However, the final decision was made by a Visit Victoria-appointed panel of judges, following a thorough review of the entries submitted.
The judges included Celia Ho, Regional Manager of VV for South and Southeast Asia; Raymond Cheah, COO of UEM Sunrise Berhad; Katun of Embrace the Chaos; Nizam Rahmat, Visual Artist and CEO of Segaris Art Center; Harni Jonet, Gallery Manager of Galeri Chandan; and Shaun Hossack, artistic director of Wall to Wall Benalla.
“Though many might not realise it, there has in recent times been a proliferation of up-and-coming world-class street artists among home-grown Malaysian talents, and such a competition helps showcase the pool of talent we have. It is great that the winner will have the chance to literally make a mark in Melbourne, the cultural capital of the world – representing Malaysia,” said Katun of Embrace the Chaos commented.
Meanwhile, Raymond Cheah, COO of UEM Sunrise Berhad said “We are indeed honoured to be part of this esteemed competition, with a role to play in bringing Malaysian art to the world, which is part of Publika Shopping Gallery’s objective. As such, we would like to thank Visit Victoria for this unique opportunity. We are truly proud to play host to the Make Your Mark in Melbourne competition.”
The artwork will be displayed at The Square, Publika until the end of the month. Members of the public are invited to participate in a photo contest by taking creative snapshots against the backdrop of the panel of artwork and upload it on Facebook with the hashtag #visitmelbourne. One winner will be picked daily until the end of the photo contest on Apr 30, 2017.
To find about more about Visit Victoria, visit www.facebook.com/visitmelbourneMY