Help foster a love of arts and culture in your kids over the holidays


A view of Pangrok Sulap's woodcut banners at the 'Nusa' exhibition at the National Art Gallery, which is showcasing vital artworks from the national permanent collection. Photo: The Star/Azman Ghani

Are you looking for lively and interesting arts events around Kuala Lumpur for this school holiday season? Want to learn something new about culture and heritage, and have loads of fun while doing it?

We have rounded up some events that you can visit with your family. From the National Art Gallery's historic permanent collection to the Nusantara's iconic weapon right to handwoven baskets from Borneo and an independent book festival, here are some events worth checking out.

MALAYSIAN ART JOURNEY

Get a crash course in the Malaysian art world with the National Art Gallery’s epic Nusa exhibition, which features 466 artworks selected from the national permanent art collection.

Taking up five gallery spaces (Reka, Tun Razak, 2A, 2B and 3B) at the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, this presentation delves into the multi-layered narratives of Malaysia, stimulating conversation on social and cultural structures, economic activities, symbols and rituals, as well as identity and diversity.

There are 80 artworks here that are included in the Pendidikan Seni Visual curriculum, so this exhibition gives students and educators an opportunity to see these art pieces in person.Not to forget recommended visits to the National Art Gallery's other shows, including Red Hong Yi's Once Upon A Longtang, a site-specific installation, and a stopover at the Art Hospital.

More info here.

At the Islamic Art Museum Malaysia in KL, you can learn about the story of the keris through 94 artefacts, including 59 keris from the private collection of Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. Photo: IAMMAt the Islamic Art Museum Malaysia in KL, you can learn about the story of the keris through 94 artefacts, including 59 keris from the private collection of Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. Photo: IAMM

STORY OF THE KERIS

The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia’s Keris: Power And Identity exhibition brings you on a journey through the history and symbolic significance of the keris in the Malay world. From inception to legendary status, the keris is an important cultural icon, one regarded as a powerful symbol of power and identity.

This exhibition features the keris collection of the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, alongside key pieces from IAMM’s collection and supplementing objects. The exhibition ends March 13.

In conjunction with this exhibition, there will be a wayang kulit puppet-making workshop on Saturday (Feb 18). Other educational programmes, such as talks and demonstrations, will also be held through the exhibition run.

More info here.

Families can take advantage of the long school holidays by visiting arts, culture and heritage spots such as the Muzium Negara in KL. Photo: The Star/Raja Faisal Hishan Families can take advantage of the long school holidays by visiting arts, culture and heritage spots such as the Muzium Negara in KL. Photo: The Star/Raja Faisal Hishan

DAY OUT AT MUZIUM NEGARA

Meet your street artist idols this weekend (Feb 18 and 19) at Muzium Negara’s Chromastra arts and cultural event, including graffiti artist Akid One, doodle artist Wan Huzaifah and woodcarver Zarir Abdullah. There will be art demonstrations and artist talks. You can also try your hand at traditional games such as ceper/tutup botol, chapteh, tuju selipar – and win some amazing prizes too!

From Feb 24 to 26, check out The Kelantan Art And Culture Festival, a collaboration with the Kelantan Tourism Information Centre and Perbadanan Muzium Negeri Kelantan.At Muzium Negara, you can also plan a day out by visiting the four main galleries which provide an overview of Malaysian history and cultures.

More info here.

At GMBB, you can catch the 'Masters Of Disguise' wildlife photography exhibition by Chien C. Lee, who has captured beautiful pictures of creatures that are masters of blending into their surroundings. Photo: The Star/Low Lay Phon At GMBB, you can catch the 'Masters Of Disguise' wildlife photography exhibition by Chien C. Lee, who has captured beautiful pictures of creatures that are masters of blending into their surroundings. Photo: The Star/Low Lay Phon

NEED A NEW HOBBY?

The GMBB creative mall in downtown Kuala Lumpur is always a useful pick if you need to introduce young minds to the world of arts and handicraft. Not to forget bookshops and workshops that will be held at this building, which houses the Museum Of Picture Book Art, Fusion Wayang Kulit, Eddie Putera Miniaturee Diorama Gallery, Emilatopia art shop, and many others.

In one corner, you will find art exhibitions and painting classes, while around the bend, you'll learn about Orang Asli communities at the Gerimis Art Project space. The Masters Of Disguise exhibition, featuring the wildlife photography of Chien C. Lee, is also still showing and it is a recommended visit if you want to find out more about nature and Borneo.

More info here.

The ‘Bakul: Everyday Baskets From Sabah’ exhibition at The Godown in KL in features 70 traditional baskets from Borneo. Photo: The Star/Low Boon Tat The ‘Bakul: Everyday Baskets From Sabah’ exhibition at The Godown in KL in features 70 traditional baskets from Borneo. Photo: The Star/Low Boon Tat

BASKETS GALORE!

It’s the last call for the Bakul exhibition at The Godown in Kuala Lumpur, which ends on Feb 23.

In this colourful, culture-rich show, there are more than 60 everyday baskets from Sabah, all from the collection of Jennifer P. Linggi, who is the author of the illustrated book, A Journal Of North Borneo’s Traditional Baskets.

Learn about these baskets’ history and cultural significance, as well as the makers and their lives. ‘Bakul also presents photographs and items collected from a research trip to Kampung Bakuku in the remote south of Sabah, such as rattan, bamboo strips, tree bark strips and basket-making tools.

More info here.

The KL Alternative BookFest makes a returns to Central Market, Kuala Lumpur on Feb 23-26. Photo: The Star/Yap Chee Hong The KL Alternative BookFest makes a returns to Central Market, Kuala Lumpur on Feb 23-26. Photo: The Star/Yap Chee Hong

COOL WORLD OF INDIE BOOKS

The Kuala Lumpur Alternative Bookfest (KLAB) is back from Feb 23-26, at Central Market in Kuala Lumpur.

This is the 14th edition of this festival, which gathers local independent publishers under one roof. With the focus mainly on Bahasa Malaysia language books, visitors can expect a diverse range of titles, from fiction to graphic novels, biographies and journals.

New book releases, talks and workshops with authors and industry players will be held throughout the festival's four-day run. Organised by Jejak Tarbiah, The Patriots Asia, and indie publisher Buku Fixi, the fair is open from 10am to 8pm daily.

More info here.

GEAR UP FOR CLIMATE ACTION

"Planet Us”, an interactive and educational exhibit to educate and inspire Malaysian youth to play a more proactive role in tackling the climate crisis, as well as contributing to an environmentally sustainable future is now in Kuala Lumpur. The exhibit which has visited and engaged youth across five states (namely Sarawak, Sabah, Kelantan and Penang ) since June last 2022.

Jointly organised by social enterprise Biji-Biji Initiative and the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur, "Planet Us” is currently taking place at The Square, Publika Shopping Gallery in Kuala Lumpur until Feb 19, and at Taman Tugu from Feb 24-26.

Spearheaded by the US Embassy’s American Corners network, the exhibit features a variety of workshops on topics such as edible gardening, zero waste living, and upcycling. Visitors can also look forward to the interactive, physical exhibition, which imparts engaging information on urban sustainability, wildlife protection, and preservation of marine resources.

More info here.

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