FOUR years ago, while passing by Pasar Seni in Kuala Lumpur on the train, illustration student Loo Lok Chern noticed some inspiring graffiti work. That was when he decided he wanted to do something extraordinary with his artistic stills.

Today, Loo, 24, goes by the street name Cloakwork, and has completed numerous graffiti work in KL and overseas, including Singapore, Australia, Japan and Indonesia. And he’s not stopping there.

“I want to inspire people to see everyday things differently and share positive energy through my work,” said Cloakwork, who had his artwork featured at Urbanscapes 2014 in December after winning a design competition organised by R.AGE.

“I want the walls I’m working on to help make the city more exciting, to add some colour to the lives of all those who see it.”


Cloakwork working on his mural for Petronas’ #tanahairku Street Art project along Jalan Raja Chulan, the biggest he has ever worked on.

Cloakwork insists graffiti artists like himself should source for walls that attract a lot of eyeballs, rather than hide their work in secluded corners.

Once they’ve selected a wall, they find out how many artists can contribute to the artwork. A mural would normally take a group of two to five artists (depending on the size), but it’s always a case of the more the merrier.

“We discuss the theme of the mural among ourselves, pick the colours to suit it and sketch out our design before going out to paint it,” Cloakwork said. “We can spend up to five hours working on a mural.”

The local community of graffiti artists work within unwritten rules of respect, according to Cloakwork. That is why you’ll almost never see reputable graffiti artists painting on private properties – unless they’ve been given permission by the owners.


I see graffiti as something for the public, and I hope they accept it.


And when it comes to painting over existing murals, the artists only do it over fading, “out-of-season” pieces.

“It’s part of the game between us artists, especially when you paint at popular spots,” he explained.

It’s a lot of effort for a hobby, but Cloakwork treats it as his way of giving back to the community, which is also why he focuses on character designs, as they’re more relatable to the viewers.

“My motto in life is to give and take. What I get from my day job (as an in-house designer at a local company), I contribute back to society,” he said. “I see graffiti as something for the public, and I hope they accept it.”


Message to the people: Local graffiti artist Loo Lok Chern, 23, better known as Cloakwork, hopes to spread positivity to Malaysians through his art. Photo: SAMUEL ONG/The Star

Doing graffiti is no joke – Cloakwork spends up to RM1,000 every six months on spray paint, and completes at least two murals a month. He gets commissioned occasionally, usually to paint at events, but that’s never a regular source of income.

Thankfully, Cloakwork has seen an increasing appreciation for graffiti within the country. Petronas, for example, funded a graffiti project involving 14 local artists last year to spread patriotism through six huge murals at different locations around KL.


It’s that simple – graffiti is a worldwide language.


“Malaysia is still new to graffiti, and most of our pieces are small. Graffiti artists overseas go all out, painting over whole buildings,” he said. “I was lucky to be involved in the Petronas project, and that allowed me to paint the biggest mural I’ve ever done.”

And yet, Cloakwork is already looking forward to painting bigger murals, and contributing his artwork to different cities around the world.

“It’s a must for me to paint wherever I travel for holidays. Before going on my trip, I research and get in contact with a local artist there. We plan a meetup and he or she will show me the ropes,” he said.

“It’s that simple – graffiti is a worldwide language.”


Former magazine and advertising writer who took up the job at R.AGE hoping to make a difference through his writing. Went undercover to research college marijuana dealers recently – that was pretty cool. Oh, and he’s the drummer for the band Once Upon A Time There Was A….. Never mind.

Tell us what you think!


Championing children’s education

Education director-general Datuk Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim speaks on the importance of empathy-based education, the challenges of adapting education policies in light of the Covid-19 situation, and her “dream” education system.

Read more Like this post22

I lost my mother to the Japanese war

 Whenever Allied planes bombed Sandakan town as part of its campaign to liberate Borneo, Daniel Chin Tung Foh’s grandfather would rush the whole family into a bomb shelter behind their house.  During its heyday, the British North Borneo Company had developed Sandakan into a major commercial and trading hub for timber, as well as […]

Read more Like this post17

A witness to the Double Tenth revolt

 Chua Hock Yong was born in Singapore, but his grandfather moved the family to British North Borneo (now Sabah) to establish their business in 1939 when he was a year old.  The Japanese invaded Borneo shortly after, but the family continued living in their shophouse in Gaya Street, Jesselton, now known as Kota Kinabalu.  […]

Read more Like this post21

An encounter with victims of the Sandakan Death Marches

 When the Second World War came to Borneo, Pelabiu Akai’s mother moved the family back to their village in Nalapak, Ranau.  Although the Japanese were known to be ruthless and brutal conquerors, they left the villagers to their own devices and Pelabiu had a largely uneventful life – until she came across gaunt-looking Allied […]

Read more Like this post19

Sarawak’s only living child prisoner of war

 Jeli Abdullah’s mother died from labour complications after giving birth to him and his twin brother. To his Bisaya tribe, this was seen as a bad omen, and his father did not know what to do with the twins.  Fortunately, an Australian missionary couple decided to adopt the newborns. But misfortunate fell upon the […]

Read more Like this post16

Lest we forget

AFIO Rudi, 21, had never thought much about his grandfather Jeli Abdullah’s life story until an Australian TV programme interviewed the 79-year-old about being Sarawak’s last surviving World War II child prisoner of war (POW). The engineering student then realised that despite living in Sarawak all his life, he also didn’t know very much of […]

Read more Like this post16

A native uprising against Japanese forces

 Basar Paru, 95, was only a teenager when his village in the central highlands of Borneo was invaded by the Japanese Imperial army.  “The Japanese told us not to help the British. They said Asians should help each other because we have the same skin, same hair,” Basar recalled. “But we, the Lun Bawang […]

Read more Like this post8

Left behind in wartime chaos

 Kadazan native Anthony Labangka was 10 years old when the Japanese Imperial Army invaded Borneo during World War II.  Sitting in the verandah of a modern kampung house on a hot afternoon in Kampung Penampang Proper, where he has lived his whole life, Anthony recalls the hardships of the Japanese Occupation.  The villagers were […]

Read more Like this post8
Kajai R.AGE Wan Ifra Journalism Documentaries Digital Media Awards

R.AGE Audience Survey 2019 + Office Tour contest

Want to be in the running to meet R.AGE producers and journalists? Take part in our R.AGE Audience Survey 2019 by Feb 17, 2019!

Read more Like this post6

BRATs Goes to Genting!

The final BRATs camp of the year promises to be the coolest – literally!

Read more Like this post4

The Hidden Cut

Female circumcision is a very common practice in Malaysia, but the procedure is still almost completely unregulated.

Read more Like this post4

#TeamSatpal: Turtle-y in Trouble

The 21st century brings unseen threats to local turtle conservation efforts.

Read more Like this post3
Go top