Tim Burton travelling exhibition opens in Kuala Lumpur


At 'The World Of Tim Burton', visitors can discover and revisit the American filmmaker's journey in art, cinema and pop culture. The character Stainboy first appeared in the 1997 poetry book 'The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy And Other Stories', created and illustrated by Burton. Photo: The Star/Chan Tak Kong

The World Of Tim Burton opens today (March 21) at Pavilion Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur. The pop-up museum and exhibition showcases a vast collection of drawings, paintings, puppets, sculptural installations, photographs and storyboards that give visitors a glimpse into the fantastical world of legendary American filmmaker/artist Tim Burton.

It includes original artwork from his popular films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice, as well as lesser-known works like his Polaroid prints from the 1990s, personal figurative works and in-progress projects.

'The World Of Tim Burton' at Pavilion Bukit Jalil has over 520 works from Burton's archives, including sketches, paintings and storyboards. Photo: The Star/Chan Tak Kong'The World Of Tim Burton' at Pavilion Bukit Jalil has over 520 works from Burton's archives, including sketches, paintings and storyboards. Photo: The Star/Chan Tak Kong

Organised and presented by Toybox Projects in collaboration with Tim Burton Productions, this is the touring exhibition’s debut South-East Asian stop.

“There are over 520 works in 10 different sections which are divided by theme. They cover the vast output of his creative process from drawings, paintings, storyboards, scripts and notes. It is quite a massive undertaking as this pop-up museum exhibition represents the first of its kind of this scale, in this city. We hope everyone is thrilled and ready to see it,” says Brandi Pomfret, collection and exhibitions manager of Tim Burton Productions at a press conference yesterday.

The 10 thematic sections of The World Of Tim Burton include:

The Misunderstood Outcasts

One of the most prevalent themes of Burton’s art and film is the “misunderstood outcast”, as embodied by iconic characters such as Edward Scissorhands, Sparky from Frankenweenie, Jack Skellington from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. These endearing outcast characters also appear in his animation shorts, such as in The World of Stainboy, letting us know that it is okay to be different. Through their struggles and triumphs, they remind us that our unique qualities are what make us special.

Film Characters

These puppets, maquettes, storyboards and images from Burton’s films offer a fascinating look at the creative process of bringing beloved characters to life on the big screen. Explore the evolution of these characters and get up close and personal with the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into creating some of the most iconic characters in film history.

'Devil Dog' at 'The World Of Tim Burton' at Pavilion Bukit Jalil. Photo: The Star/Chan Tak Kong 'Devil Dog' at 'The World Of Tim Burton' at Pavilion Bukit Jalil. Photo: The Star/Chan Tak Kong

The Carnivalesque

In this section, we delve into Burton’s carnivalesque world, where he explores the seemingly disparate elements of comedy and horror. Twisting tongues, eyeballs wandering out of their sockets, masks, jesters and poisonous clowns? Humorous deadpan wordplay? It is all fun and games...until it isn’t. Whimsical, macabre and surreal, this realm leaves us entertained and just a little unsettled.

Unrealised Projects

This section presents works from Burton’s film, television and book projects that were halted in various stages of development. Some of these projects never progressed beyond the early ideation stage, while others were fully realised but did not incorporate any of his concepts in the final product. This rare glimpse into stalled endeavours reveals the extensive and prolific nature of Burton’s creative output, a testament to his unrelenting passion for pursuing different forms of storytelling.

The World Of Tim Burton is showing at Level 2, Pink Zone, Pavilion Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur. It will run until July 30. For more information, click here.

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