Katun is a Malaysian illustrator and graffiti artist. The name Katun comes from his love of drawing and reinterpreting cartoon characters, a passion that he has had ever since he was a kid. He often uses brighter tones and colors to bring more life into his street art. He is also part of a graffiti crew, which includes PHBKLK from Kuala Lumpur, ZNC and PB from Singapore, and DPT and BAMC from Los Angeles. Among the many characters you may find in the work of Katun, it’s not surprising that his favorite is the monkey. Its flexibility, agile movements and quick reflexes are all attributes that he admires and closely associates with. This is also how Katun creates his own artwork: fast, agile, and with the flexibility to explore new creative ideas. Like most artists, he believes that each of his pieces represents a part of himself.
In high school, Katun fell in love with street art and the energy that street artists bring to their work. Fortunately, he had a friend who introduced him to the street art world, which he quickly dove into and tried to learn as much as he could about it. Starting with graffiti and investigating further into other styles of street art, Katun loved the adrenaline rush that street art gave him. Every week, Katun took to the streets to practice his artwork. To get the forms and details right, Katun typically sketched out on paper three to four pieces every day. This was a form of discipline that Katun imposed on himself so that he was able to produce work, even if he didn’t have any reference materials. Labeling himself as an “art geek”, Katun believes that only the most dedicated students gain the skills needed to produce high-quality work. He draws inspiration from his friends, who are also talented artists that he admires and often learns new techniques from.
Katun is a frequent collaborator with graffiti artists from all over the world. He also loves to travel. He believes “that this is how we get connected, and are able to share our thoughts and the history of our country”. From his collaborations, Katun has made many friends whom he has been able to share the creative process with. He has been able to take on new perspectives on art, which has helped him evolve as an artist. As a Malaysian graffiti artist, Katun sees the creative environment around him improving a lot. “These days, things are getting better. The government and public have started to accept this kind of art. They look forward to events where they can see and experience it. Interest in street art and graffiti is growing among all the young kids, and in my opinion, we just need more structure and support. There are so many amazing street artists in Malaysia, but what they need is a supportive environment to bring them to the next level.”
Katun’s skill and unique style have not gone unnoticed by commercial brands that have recruited him for numerous collaborations. He always looks for partners that trust him to follow his creative instincts, allowing him to experiment and focus on what he is most passionate about. Katun’s collaborations include prints released at galleries, clothing, and more recently, a new project featuring his artwork on watches. Next year, Katun is hoping to continue working on large-scale murals.