Wabiko Malaysian Artist Kittie Yiyi interview

Wabiko: Surrealism to expand the human experience

Humans set foot in this world in search of meaning. To uncover who we are, our purpose, feelings, and desires, yearning for the acceptance of others, to feel alive. We were molded by our parents and the environment to find a place where we belong. Most of the time, we are fixated to reach our goals, working hard, and sacrifice to achieve sweet victory. Yet, we forget that life is not about the destination, it is the path we choose to take, to appreciate the people and views along the way, to live a life rich with memories and love, one that money can’t buy.

Breaking from the conventional art styles, we find more creative souls gravitating toward abstract and surrealism art. Wabiko, known as Kexin, is a visual artist and illustrator who embraces the surrealism aspects of her artwork. This style does not restrict the artist but rather gives them and the audience the full freedom to form and appreciate the art piece in their own unique way. It gives them the freedom to engage our right brain to explore and connect with our own experiences.

In our short interview, Wabiko sheds light on her guidance for art and life through the essence of surrealism. Read the full interview below.

Wabiko Malaysian Surrealism Artist for Kittie Yiyi Beauty

Who is Wabiko?
I am you and you are me.
We are one.
There is no difference between you, me, and anyone.

What is the story behind your artist's name – Wabiko?
In Chinese, it’s 挖鼻孔 (wā bí kǒng), meaning nose digging to remind me to always be myself. To never lose the inner child-like curiosity in me.

Tell us more about your art style and the message you want to convey.
There’s no specific art style for me. I was trying different mediums and experimenting with different things. There isn’t a specific message but I wanted to bring themes of love and compassion into my work.

Life is about fun, enjoy your life! Sometimes you don’t need to think too hard about what you want, or what the world or universe is. We need to look inside ourselves more than the outside.

Does your creative process differ when producing work for a commercial client (e.g., Gucci) compared to work for yourself?
I don’t think there is a difference. It’s based on the feeling of what I wanted to paint at that moment. Whatever I feel at present, I’ll just do whatever I want.

“You don’t need to categorize things.
Whatever you see is different from me.
There is no right or wrong.
It’s the feeling you feel at the present moment.”

Do all your art pieces hold a special meaning to you?
It changes every time because they are inspired by my feelings. I will draw what I feel at the present moment. Life is about change. You can’t always stay the same. Currently, the greater meaning I want to convey in my artworks is love and compassion.

What art techniques are you currently exploring or improving?
For now, I’m experimenting with clay and fabrics. Not really into digital yet. I’m going back to try something more physical and texture materials. I believe my experimentation now could inspire future works. Physical, mental, and digital. Everything is connected to who we are, to redefine ourselves as humans.

Surrealism intends to expand the human experience by channeling our dreams, conscious, and unconscious minds. Could you tell us how your art expresses this?
There’s no need to force the mind to explore and understand the unknown. The unknown and the knowledge will find their way when we look inside than the outside. We are all here to observe and learn, that is our mission here. Just enjoy and present moment and be mindful. 

Can you guide us on how to appreciate surrealism art? 
There is no need to think so hard about what this art means. What you see, is what you see and feel. Just be simple-minded. You don’t need to categorize things. Whatever you see is different from me. There is no right or wrong. It’s the feeling you feel at the present moment.

Any projects we should look out for this year?
I’m still figuring out and exploring at the moment. Let’s see!

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