Though he has an affinity for the arts and crafts from a young age, it was only five years ago that 33-year-old Sibu-based artist Aaron Chew Wei-Li began dabbling with drawing fun and cute doodles alongside symmetrical zendalas (zentangle and mandala).
Only in the last two years did he began incorporating Sarawak patterns into his artworks, with close resemblance to floral designs.
“I am mostly inspired by the beautiful geometry and patterns found in nature and I hope my artwork brings positive energy and is able to inspire people,” said Aaron, when contacted by BorneoTalk.
Now that we’ve learned a little bit about how Aaron is #StirringUpBorneo with his art, let’s take a look at some of them:
An ode for Kuching city, this cat zendala artwork is a personal favourite of the artist himself, because it represents the style of his initial art journey. This particular artwork comprises line art and patterns that require patience and steady hands to create.
Bumi Kenyalang (Land of Hornbills) mural
Painted on temporary concrete board for the Sibu Street Art Festival 2019, this zendoodle (zendala + doodle) mural depicting a pair of hornbills, celebrates the harmonious relationship between the people and the land of Sarawak.
According to the artist himself: “as the land provides for the people, the people of the land also have a responsibility to love and care for the land.”
The artist took long hours to complete this purple-pink themed mural under the scorching sun and unpredictable weather conditions.
We will heal
This doodle represents what Aaron felt was happening to Mother Earth during lockdowns all over the world; for Malaysia, it was the Movement Control Order (MCO) between March 18 and June 9 this year.
The abundance of trees sprouting in his doodle depicts how the drop in traffic has cut pollution levels globally, helping our planet, and us, to heal.
Since Aaron began falling in love with the patterns of zentangles, he became more intrigued and interested to learn about the native patterns of Sarawak. This Borneo Mandala artwork is one of his outcomes after much research and time spent delving deeper into the Sarawakian art realm, with him realising that mandala, or circle art, is nothing new in native arts.
Not only does Aaron doodle on paper and walls, he also painted on a guitar during the MCO. Inspired by Ten Hundred’s artistic style, the painting process for the custom-made guitar took Aaron four days to complete.
Check out more of Aaron’s artworks on his Instagram at