Malaysia’s timid graffiti scene is acquiring an international reputation that’s being facilitated by the resonance that Instagram provides. But let’s not fool ourselves, it’s the talent of writers like Asmoe that reflects the rapid evolution in graffiti that this country in Southeast Asia is witnessing. It seemed like a good idea to us to ask him some questions in order to understand a little more about the Malaysian scene and the origins of his sophisticated style.
When did you start painting and what motivated you?
– I started painting in 2011 during my 1st year in university. But since I was a kid I had always wanted to be part of the Graffiti scene. I’d spent a lot of time watching Hip-Hop music videos and graffiti videos. I read tons of graffiti magazines & sketched a lot. I thought it was really cool and I’d fall in love with graffiti letters every single time.
The endless possibilities of my letters’ forms & structures were what drove me to explore further. I’m never satisfied with my piece as I believe there’s always room for me to improve.
How would you describe the Malaysia’s graffiti scene?
– Small community yet powerful. Our scene is quite small as compared to other countries, but when it comes to skills, I can say that I’m really proud of my fellow graffiti members now. We are thriving every single day & nothing can stop us.
Did you paint in any other countries?
– Yeah, mostly in Southeast Asia. They were splendid experiences for a guy like me who doesn’t get to travel that frequently, mostly due to a low currency issue and time constraints. Looking forward to journeying in Europe in the end of August this year, hopefully!
Which differences do you see between the Malaysian graffiti and graffiti in other occidental countries?
– I’ve yet to visit western countries but I have a lot of friends from there who came to Malaysia to paint. From my point of view, the scene in Malaysia is not as hardcore as in the western countries, where they paint a huge amount of trains and tons of billboards. We used to have that a while back and we still have crews vandalizing all over the city but not much compared to the scene in western countries.
And can you tell us what makes Malaysian scene different from other asian cities‘ scenes?
– Not much of a difference. But based on my observations in terms of lettering, Malaysian style is more into semi-wild/basic/funk where all the letters are still visible and readable. Not much into heavy wildstyle.
Who do you look up in style?
-I admire writers with powerful styles and a strong foundation in lettering. I really look up to Geser 3A, Phat1 TMD, Kems 3A, Skore79 SBB, Pork ABS, Mites Moker, Mower Schwrzmlr, Storm HA & Opium WB.
Where do your color schemes come from and which one do you prefer?
– Sometimes it comes from sneakers, buildings & even food packaging. I think about the combination carefully. I prefer fresh combinations of minimal colors with simple blends. I enjoy chrome/silver, that’s for sure!
¿How much time do you spend on drawing and sketching?
– It takes ages for me to compose my letters on paper. I always try to come out with different flows in every single piece.
Tell us the name of a writer you would like to paint with and why?
Phat 1 TMD. He is one of my biggest inspirations in graffiti since Day 1. Admire the composition, flow and style that he possesses.