Insta-Worthy Murals

At Tropicana Gardens Mall, renowned graffiti artist Kenji Chai has created murals inspired by a Japanese anime


Insta-Worthy Murals - Detail

The next time you visit Tropicana Gardens Mall, be sure to stop by the West Walk area on the ground floor, outside Starbucks Reserve, to admire the murals there. Kenji Chai, a celebrated graffiti artist whose masterpieces can be seen in several parts of Malaysia as well as in other countries, is the one who came up with the bold and bright wall art creations, worthy of being featured on Instagram. Due to the fact that there is a mural on either side of an almost spiral staircase, these works of art are incredibly arresting. “Many people take photos here and tag me on their social media accounts,” says Kenji. He adds that the murals were inspired by a Japanese anime called Spirited Away, which tells the story of a girl, Chihiro Ogino who, while relocating to a new neighborhood, enters the world of Kami (spirits of Japanese Shinto folklore). “Between 50 and 60 percent of the murals’ characters are based on the anime,” explains Kenji. According to him, creating the murals were difficult because he had to ascend ladders and stand on scaffoldings at various points. “The scaffoldings were not particularly stable, so I had a difficult time with them. It took me somewhere between 10 and 14 days to finish the murals”. Among the 40-year-old Sabah native’s other notable works include a 25-storey mural on the wall of the RED by Sirocco hotel, which got certified by the Malaysia Book of Records as the tallest mural in the country. Kenji, who has been invited to paint murals in over 20 countries, has also partnered with brands such as BMW, Puma, Netflix, Vans and of course, Starbucks.


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