Yessiow's colourful giant mural in India reminds us of the importance of community
Yessi Nur Mulianawati is a mural artist and illustrator from Bali, Indonesia who also goes by the name of Yessiow. Since the beginning of the pandemic, she's been living in Goa, India where she has passed the time painting various street artworks across South Asia.
One such mural is Bloom, which was created as part of a local street art festival in Chennai's Kannagi Art District. Yessiow was invited by the local art foundation, St+art India to create a giant artwork as part of a wider open-air art gallery that features 15 murals by national and international artists. This year's theme looks at 'people and environment'.
"My mural carries a message of deep love for India and a celebration of its many idiosyncrasies," she tells Creative Boom. "It symbolises the kindness of the locals in India, adding elements such as corals, algae and flowers to resonate with Kannagi's demographic, which comprises mostly fisherfolk."
Aside from this, Yessiow has painted nine other murals around India: "I went out every week, looking for walls to paint," she says. It's been good practice for her, as she's been spending much of lockdown developing her practice. "I've been looking for a style that fits my identity, one that makes me happy" she adds. Over the last decade, Yessiow has explored various media from drawing on eyeglass frames to painting on colossal walls on the side of four-storey buildings. It's the larger stuff that has become her focus: "Drawing big makes me feel calm and it boosts my confidence" she explains. "It takes away any stress and makes me feel happier."
Realising mural art is her passion, Yessiow has spent the last decade collaborating with other mural artists at festivals across Indonesia, India, Cambodia and Nepal. As such, she's also launched Indonesia's first doodle art community: Full of Doodle Art (FODA), which has opened doors to "new friends, opportunities and business connections," as she puts it.
You can discover more about Yessiow and her creative practice at yessiow.com. Or follow her work and progress on Instagram.