Image credit: Allie Hill

Malaysia’s first Art Battle was a colourful affair which saw 23-year-old Kedahan Haris Rashid emerging as champion.

Although the artist has had experience in live painting, it was the first time he was competing live with other artists.

Calling the entire experience unique and refreshing, Haris said the 20-minutes of painting was such an adrenaline rush that it felt more like 20-seconds instead.

Image credit: Art Battle Malaysia
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Image credit: Allie Hill

“When you’re painting, you’re forced to concentrate on what you’re doing and do the best you can.

“So I basically zoned out to what was happening around me and just focused on the artwork,” Haris tells Eksentrika.

The competition also served as a great platform for Haris to meet and mingle with other artists.

Image credit: Haris Rashid
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Image credit: Haris Rashid

He had always wanted to create some form of link between the art and the public and he believes the competition, organised by fellow artist Ruby Subramaniam did just that.

“It almost feels like art battle is creating a community,” he says.

“The art scene in Malaysia can be intimidating at times to the public. We need to encourage that art is for everyone to enjoy and participate. Art battle is such a healthy way to inspire other artists as well as the audience.

Meanwhile Ruby says, if all goes well the next Art Battle could happen sometime in January.

“I have enough contestants for the next two art battles, just need to lock down a sponsor,” says Ruby.

However, she says fresh applicants are still welcome as she plans to vet through the final 12 to incorporate a healthy mix of artists, with a variety of style, skill and experience.

Are you an artist interested to join the next Art Battle Malaysia? Contact Ruby on Facebook. Need coverage for arts events? Send us an invite at