You read that right. Armed with a paintbrush, Penang based Bibichun shares with Eksentrika why he terrorises the island’s street with art.
At a carpark opposite Georgetown’s Prangin Mall, is a mural of a gleeful panda holding a long roller paintbrush and a bucket of white paint decorating a blue colonial styled building.
The panda appears authoritative and pretty pleased with itself after “erasing” a tapir with white paint. Traces of the tapir’s four feet can be seen along with the tapir’s last words; – I guess I’m next to be erased – all of which are also erased except for the word “erased”. Pretty quaint, don’t you think?
The dark circles around the panda’s eyes clearly accentuates the mammal’s smugness for granting the tapir’s wish.
The mural first started out with the tapir, which was painted over a building with a large Barisan Nasional logo.
Bibichun, the artist behind the artwork, said the building and the federal government’s logo was then painted over with blue paint a few days later, leaving only the tapir and the quote untouched.
The panda appeared a few days after the elimination of the tapir.
A clear poke-shot at Malaysian affairs, Bibichun said he created the mural during the 13th general elections in May 2013. Three-years on, the mural is pretty prophetic if one ponders long and hard about the rampant censorship being practised in the nation.
“I play a lot with satire and pun. It’s always an exciting and happy process when I’m putting up an outdoor piece,” Bibichun reveals via Facebook to Eksentrika.
Calling it “The Tapir Series”, Bibichun said it was born merely out of spontaneity and his own personal entertainment.
“It’s like an unplanned story telling, no thought process whatsoever, with the narrative happening spontaneously whenever I feel it’s time to move forward,” the 30-year-old adds.
The Tapir Series is not the only mural that Bibichun has created. In fact, it is one of many.
Renowned public artist, Ernest Zacharevic, known for his street installations in Penang was the one who dubbed Bibichun a “terrorist painter” following his cheeky attempt at messing with several of the Lithuanian’s outdoor works.
However, in defense Bibichun says that he does it merely for his own personal entertainment.
I never bother to request for permission when I want to put up an outdoor piece. Most of the time I see my content as a joke.
What drives him is the urgency to share his idea with the world out there. The best part is that the artist claims he has never gotten in trouble with the law – not even once.
However, he stresses that a little research on the legalities does go a long way.
Avoiding graffiti tools, his arsenal includes emulsion paints, wall brushes, rollers and aerosol spray paints – all of which amounts to between RM50 and RM70.
“Commission works are my main source of income. Donations too,” he replies, when posed how he makes a living.
He is currently being commissioned by House of Music Penang in the setting up of a museum exhibiting the history of music from the 40’s right up to the 70’s.
All images are courtesy of Bibichun. The terrorist painter can be approached for commissions via Facebook. Are you an artist who terrorises people with your artwork too? Share with us your story by dropping us an email to email@example.com