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Decorating Forgotten Walls With Trina Teoh

Trina Teoh Writer Malaysia Local Creative Kuala Lumpur
She leaves a trail of words behind her all around Kuala Lumpur — and not where you would expect to find them.

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We'll go out on a limb and say that you've probably seen her works on one of your drives or walks around Mont Kiara. Short, sweet and sometimes full of sorrowful longing, her poetry makes you stop and wonder how something so beautiful ends up on the surfaces of rusty forgotten construction walls. Below, we talk to elusive writer Trina Teoh (@trinateoh) — who rarely shows her face on her social media platforms in the name of artistic anonymity — on the reasons behind her chosen medium, her dreamy writing style and more.

When did you first fall in love with words?

It happened when I was very young. I can’t recall a specific moment in my childhood, but it feels like it has always been a part of me.

What first drew you into writing on construction walls? I wanted to appeal to non-readers. For those who don’t necessarily read for pleasure, I wanted to let them read unconsciously.

You have such a way with words! Can you share with us how you've come into your own writing style and what it exactly is? Thank you! My higher education and work experience were in fiction writing and screenwriting respectively. While I loved it, I lost interest in the rules and structures of such writing soon after college. I think after years of writing formally I wanted to abandon that and use language as casually and effectively as possible.

If I were to label my work, I’d say it is “Pop Poetry” because it is not distinguished or has academic value, but is instead cute and appeals to all!

I believe in only free interpretation because art is rooted in imagination, so there are no rules.

What would you say is the main purpose of your writing? I love to do it. I love to write and I think about it all the time. Do you write for yourself or for the public? I write for myself and share it with the public.

As a writer, do you believe that people can freely interpret your writings? Or are there already set meanings embellished within your prose? I believe in only free interpretation because art is rooted in imagination, so there are no rules. Are there common themes that you tend to explore in your writings? I tend to focus on universal themes like mortality, romance or spirituality. Lastly, please share with us 3 of your favourite local creative crushes and their IG handles to feature!


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