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Malaysian Creatives To Look Out For

by Dewi Ridzuan. |


Across Asia, several countries are already at the helm of the creative industry. Korea is leading in the music studio with Japan following close behind. The Chinese are known to be tough contenders on the dance floor. Let’s not forget the Filipinas, who are not only great singers, won the Miss Universe diadem several times, but have also produced make-up artists like Bretman Rock and Patrick Starrr.


Although Malaysia has 31 million people, we have not become a household name for any creative sector. Not to be deterred by the pressures of one day wanting to be the Asian Tiger again, we do have many up and coming artists. In hopes, they may continue to carry Malaysia on their backs like Yuna or Shila Amzah, here is the list of creatives you should stan!


1. Catherhea


Catherhea Teoh is growing to be the ult-photographer of Malaysia. Previously, she went under the pseudonym of Dreamersrehab on social media. Working from the ground up, her works are centered around every-day people. Catherhea’s ideas are big on inclusivity, especially for individuals who are commonly underrepresented in a demographic.

One shoot called ‘Badd Brown Gals’ was about girls taking control over their bodily autonomy. In most cases around the world, female agency is often unheard of as traditionally cis men tend to be the decision-makers. It is safe to say Catherhea’s work is reclaiming what belongs to women, as her bold colours and penchant for breaking embedded social constructs is synonymous with her creative direction. If you would like to get up close and personal, go over to her Instagram or book her time at her linktree.


2. Dhanilliani


If you are searching for some creative pull, you may just learn a thing or two from Dhaniya as she is also a fashion trend-setter. She has been seen donning pieces which may have looked like an amalgamation of sorts, but when put together makes the perfect outfit. However, of course, it is not just about what you wear, but how you carry yourself in it too. Want to dive deeper into her realm? Head over to @dhanilliani on Instagram.


3. Amani Azlin


Amani is a photographer and graphic designer who is her own boss. If you are a struggling photographer or art enthusiast yourself, fret not for even Amani’s style of photography has been influenced over the years by different factors. She is a huge believer of the female gaze and strives to capture the raw and unfiltered in her pictures. Amani is of course, inspired by women themselves. Hence, why any work of hers prioritizes a woman’s visual narrative and acknowledges it as an art of its own. One of her works is a photo series called ‘Jangan Malu’; it is an ode to sisterhood and women embracing their imperfections. Keen to know more of her creative direction? Check her out at @amania_ on Instagram or head over to her website.


4. Zamaera


With a natural ear for music, Zamaera is a singer-songwriter and rapper! This Malaysian has been known to be unapologetically herself, which can easily be heard through her lyricism. No stranger to the music scene, she has a long rapport of achievements and collaborations. Her own song Wanita redefined feminist tropes. Her credibility as a strong artist strengthens as she has even collaborated with Lil Asian Thiccie on ‘Get Munnie’, Joe Flizow on ‘Aku Tak Kenal Mu’ and SonaOne’s ‘I Don’t Want To Die Alone’. She has time and time again shifted the perspective within the local music industry, so it’s just a matter of time before she gets her big international break. Want to be there to see it? Follow her on her Instagram.


5. Elsa Asiah


Elsa Asiah is an up and coming fashion model and influencer who has graced Instagram and Twitter with her pre-Y2K outfits. Having once been featured on Whimsigirl, she styles her ensembles on her own, following closely to the Parisian and Indie trend. Elsa appreciates but also redefines what haute-couture could look like for the everyday-girl by being an eco-conscious gal. She is an advocate for green initiatives like thrifting clothes, and has many a time created looks without contributing to fast fashion. With close to 10,000 followers on Instagram alone, it’s no wonder why she has a large cult following. If you want to ride along Elsa’s wave, head over to @elsaasiah!


6. Sheena Liam


Sheena Liam has long dabbled in the beauty and fashion industry. Most recognize her as the champion of Asia’s Next Top Model cycle 2. She has already walked down runways such as the 2014 Spring & Summer line during London Fashion Week. Other modelling successes include editorial shoots for the Tatler (Hong Kong), Cleo, Harpers Bazaar and more. Sheena gained more fans later on for her unconventional take on embroidery. Her canvas art features human figures and other concepts no other embroidery artist has done before. Digging her vibes? Check her out on her Instagram.


7. Jynwaye


Originally from Malaysia, Jynwaye is an Oregon-based artist whose art has made everyone question how she manages to do her work so effortlessly. One of her works that has gained public appraisal was on her collection of several pairs of white Air Force 1’s. The art aspect of it? She handpaints image-spitting artwork of famous fictional figures like Sailor Moon, Spirited Away characters, Sonic the Hedgehog and more. Her artistry is unmatched; she has even painted on other unconventional ‘canvases’ like skateboards, guitars and even chairs. Jynwaye’s enthusiasm for not just art but also anime has allowed her global reach to widen and recruit more anime fanart enthusiasts. Looking to binge on anime fanart? See Jynwaye’s works on her Instagram.


All the creatives above are bound to inspire you to delve into your own art. If you cannot find a market to fit into, create your own! Regardless if you have perfected your craft, remember that we’re all works of art and just like a canvas, you choose when to start or stop adding to your own.


You may also learn more about the writer on Instagram.

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