Twenty-six years old, turning twenty-seven this year, Anju giggles as I pose them the question of their age and then looks back at them in a state of shock as they reveal their numbers. They arrived slightly after 9 AM on the day of their interview and having observed them from afar, I guess, and as conclusively as I could guess, they were as shy and nervous as the rest of us are in a new, unfound environment. But that didn’t stop them from breaking away from their comfort zone and sharing details about themselves and the exuberant passion that they hold for their art.
“I am old” they giggle as they conclude their answer. Fairly enough, Anju resembles a timid and shy younger twenty-something—full of flair and promise in their eyes. A multidisciplinary artist, Anju has and still continues to dabble in the arts of many forms. Namely practicing the art of film, theatre, and poetry to name a few. “ I like to combine these art forms just to see what can come out of it”.
Though some might consider the dabbling into many things a sign of weakness, Anju excels best when reaching out into a state of unknown and finding meaning and answers in it. A social chameleon, they admit to the camera, strikingly with a smile that they would love to shapeshift into the moods of their day. When we study their intent in creating and their interest in being everything, we come to understand that in the end, we, like Anju, yearn to be seen, heard, and accepted in social spaces and communities.
There is a romanticism in that, and a constant state of romanticism in everything that Anju and we are grappling to reach out, one that they are sure to find in the Ether. They welcome you there.
Anjali Nijjar Venugopal (Anju) is a multidisciplinary artist. Born (1995) and raised in Sabah, they graduated from Point College Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur with a Diploma in Film & TV Production. Anju is was a resident artist in Rimbun Dahan. Anju has always had a rebellious streak in their creative work. They do not like feeling caught or held down by their self-expression. Most of their creative works are splayed-out messes, be it in their art performances, films, or paintings. They’re always looking to break free from molds that are constantly created by society to keep us in check. Their paintings are abstract and experimental pieces that are based on their impulses and self-expression. They play with colors, different mediums, and anything they can get their hands on. They love telling stories and finding different ways to merge their crafts.
Together in the Ether, Finally is a collaborative effort between MulaZine and Vans Malaysia, celebrating creators and creatives of varied backgrounds and identities. Shop the Vans Pride OTW Gallery Collection and mimic Anju’s look here.