Art News

Kide Baharudin is the finalist for VANS Custom Culture competition. Here are 4 reasons why you should vote for him!

MALAYSIA’s very own Khiddir Baharudin, or Kide Baharudin, is a 27-year-old artist whose colourful, classic design has made it all the way to the finals of VANS Asia Custom Culture competition with 5 other finalists from China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore & South Korea! Under the mentorship of countercultural and vibrant artist, Fritilldea, they’re set to go to London and take over the world – Malaysia-style! Click here to vote for Kide’s design!

A humble artist from Kuala Pilah who draws based upon his parents’s stories

Kide Baharuddin illustrating a scenery
Kide Baharuddin illustrating a scenery

Kuala Pilah is not renown across Malaysia as an art hub, but to Kide, his hometown has always been integral to his identity and the artwork that he creates. “My parents are very supportive of what I do, and I draw based upon the stories my mum would tell me about her childhood – how it was back in the 60’s and the 70’s”, said Kide. “Those days were simpler. Like mum would talk about sleepovers with her friends from different races, and how majmuk everyone was”.

Mostly he draws imagery from descriptions his mother would write in her diary. Sometimes the stories were of fun fairs, other times they were of old cinemas – all of them filled with characters depicted in detail. It is almost as if every shoe is a nsotalgic representation to those “golden days” and a warm tribute to his parents.

It would also be spectacular for a humble artist like Kide, hailing from the quiet town of Kuala Pilah to make it to the big scene, in a country where the art scene is saturated with people from Klang Valley or Penang.

Kide draws inspiration from Datuk Lat & P. Ramlee films

Kide is a bit of an old soul. Fritilldea, Kide’s mentor, talked about his first encounter with Kide’s work. “The first time I saw his artwork, I thought he was going to be an old uncle *laughs*“. He has a love for vintage artefacts and spends his time drawing inspiration from P. Ramlee films. What makes this impressive is that at the age of 27, he’s never experienced any of this nostalgia himself.

Kide & Fritildea In Shanghai
Kide & Fritilldea In Shanghai

“Unlike Lat, who writes his comics from his own personal life, Kide just simply lives through is parents stories and the films he watches and the movies he sees”, said Fritilldea. Even then, he has a lot of fans who middle-aged, i.e. in their 40’s or 50’s, who have expressed admiration at his work and the old memories he brings to them.

Despite deriving inspiration from the creator of Kampung Boy, Kide’s style is entirely his own. The way he combines acrylic and ink to create his artwork stands out from the rest. He would paint them straight to the canvas of a Vans sneaker with all the same intricacies he would’ve given oto a painting canvas.

Kide also adds in a bit of light-heartedness from those days into his work, which is why the design always shows the daily lives of common people in small towns.

He found out about the VANS Custom Culture competition a week before deadline!

Kide’s arsenal

Kide only had a week before the deadline of the competition to draft a design and come up with something to show, and among the hundreds of other submissions, he made it  to the top 6! Talk about efficiency! “I only found about it from my brother a week before and I got to work immediately”, said Kide. A week is way less time than the amount of time other artists spent on their design before submitting it.

Kide also did speedy work with new designs when he was in Shanghai with the other finalists. “Even though he was doing acrylic on canvas, Kide finished way faster than all the other finalists. That takes a lot of skill and talent”.

Kide combines nostalgia Malaysia with the contemporary coolness of Vans

Kide’s shoe design

The greatest thing about Kide’s shoe designs is that it is more than just aesthetic beauty. As he brings this design to the world, and he meets the judges of the competition, he brings around the story of Malaysia in his illustrations. In his initial design, Kide showcases the transportation history of Malaysia, depicting beca‘s on the sneakers, alluding to how sneakers themselves are modes of transportation. He also uses the checkered design of Vans in continuity with the designs of kain pelekat , highlighting the seamless relationship between the two.

These are not just sneakers, but stories. And they are stories that depict our history all wrapped up in the versatility and style of sneakers in a way only Kide can do! So click here to vote for him, and see Malaysia’s colours on the world stage – in ink and acrylic!

Find out more about him through this video:

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