We may have seen beautifully painted walls around us in cafes, street walls, and events that would usually be our main picks for selfie and OOTD backgrounds, but do we know the individuals behind those great artworks?
Those beautiful paintings on walls or better known as graffiti is a form of street art that mostly involves writing and painting on walls and streets. Widely around the world, graffiti arts are often used as politically and socially related medium of expressions. Particularly spray paint and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials. Most of these paintings are usually done illegally and thus, graffiti has been commonly misunderstood and visualized as an act of vandalism. In some parts of the world, gang members used graffiti signs and symbols painted in specific locations to mark and claim their gang territories. However, as time passes into our current period of modernisation and urbanisation, people have come to appreciate graffiti as a beautiful and legitimate artistic expression. In this new era, the concept graffiti art is evolving alongside with the contemporary trends and now proved to be well-accepted in various industries such as fashion, urban landscapes, gaming, designs and many more. Primarily, graffiti art still play its traditional role in the suburban culture as a medium to express a statement and deliver a message, either for awareness campaigns or to express unanimity or protest. To celebrate the impact of graffiti in our society and as a tribute to the graffiti art genre, Mashup featured one of our local graffiti artists from Johor Bahru, Afiqe Farid, or his graffiti artist nickname,” Apayangfresh”.
“Apa Yang Fresh”
Arguably one of the flourishing and talented graffiti artists in Johor Bahru, Apayangfresh or previously known as Fiqqyfresh is the man behind a number of great graffiti artworks seen around Johor Bahru City. Afiqe started experimenting with wall paintings since four years ago in 2014 and has been polishing his talent in the graffiti art genre since then. Two years later in 2016, he found his true form with the floral motifs and typography design as he decided to further revolves his works around this concept. Those became his main specialty and the style he is widely recognized with in the local graffiti scene. When asked regarding his preference to stick with the floral motifs, he jokingly stated that it is not him who has chosen the flowers but the flowers has chosen him instead and further added that there are nothing but good vibes when it comes to flowers. Afiqe believes that being surrounded by flowers would make the world a better place to live in.
Having been active since 2016, known graffiti arts by this talented individual around Johor Bahru City are the wall paintings at Kronoz Denim Store, Joho Concept Store, Pantry by Pots, Potskitchen, Manteca Burgers and Chap Barang. Refusing to comfort to only wall paintings, Afiqe also featured some of his works in digital and printed mediums for JB: IFC 13th Johor Bahru Arts Festival 2016, ISKARNIVAL: Urban Art in JB 2016, AirAsia Inflight Magazine “Travel 3Sixty” May Edition 2017 and LostValleyMY 2017.
Currently, Afiqe continues to strive with this passion of his with an ongoing production of a solo graffiti project, “Tri-Flore” which focuses on the awareness of mental wellbeing. This project aims to spread positive vibes to the street onlookers reminding them to “smile always, laugh often and relax a little.” As stated by Afiqe regarding on where the idea of this project came from;
“It all started after a night out with my friends and I realized that through our conversations that a lot of them are actually suffering through depression. It hits me that mental health is something not to be taken for granted and I knew I have to do something about it.”
Ergo, taking seriously the issue of mental health within our local community, this ongoing solo effort is done by Afiqe to serve as a gentle and positive reminder to the surrounding people to take it easy and have a moment to relax.
“It is a simple act for everyone yet so easily overlooked. To SMILE always, LAUGH often and RELAX a little. Life is short, but it sure is long enough to enjoy it.”
As a prodigy in the graffiti industry, Afiqe sure has what it takes to keep growing as one of the prominent local graffiti artists. “More painting supplies and more walls to paint on” are his only hopes as he aspires to continue developing and keep pursuing on doing what he loves. His continuous efforts to spread positive vibes through his graffiti arts have become a sight of inspiration for the locals and should be taken example of by the local youths.
To further explore on his journey as graffiti artist, Afiqe “Apayangfresh”, do visit him on Instagram @apayangfresh and get inspired by this local talent.