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Talent & Tagging in Harmony: A Study of Graffiti Art as Subculture and Aesthetic Expression of Urbanization in Malaysia


  • vol 26 Stephen T. F. Poon Integrated Sustainability & Urban Creativity Centre, Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation, Malaysia.



Evolution of Graffiti; Graffiti Art; Malaysian Graffiti Artists; Subculture; Urbanization


The purpose of this paper is to discuss contemporary perspectives of street art by examining its influence on urban society and culture. Its research aims to understand social perceptions and awareness towards graffiti art, and how graffiti artists develop a youth subculture through building relationships between street art and the targeted audiences for graffiti. Primary research included interviews with Malaysian graffiti artists. Findings suggest that graffiti art in Malaysia is increasingly accepted as modern representation of cultural idealism through appropriation of local inspirational elements. However, the legitimacy of graffiti art in urban beautification projects is still an unsettled debate, unless shifts in perceptions could boost its positive value through greater acknowledgement of graffiti’s aesthetic worth and its fulfilment of social needs. To resolve attitudinal issues, some strategies are proposed. In conclusion, this paper demonstrates why graffiti art has fought hard to earn its stature as subculture symbols by communicating cultural development, as a result of artists given freedom to express their visions of the modern urban condition.





How to Cite

Poon, vol 26 Stephen T. F. 2023. “Talent & Tagging in Harmony: A Study of Graffiti Art As Subculture and Aesthetic Expression of Urbanization in Malaysia”. Journal of Urban Culture Research 26 (June):5-28.