Weekend for the arts: Ilham Gallery goes indie music, beauty of 'Body Language'


The Venopian Solitude is set to play the 'Ilham After Dark' series at Ilham Gallery in KL on July 1. Photo: The Venopian Solitude

LIVE SHOW: ILHAM AFTER DARK: THE VENOPIAN SOLITUDE

Venue: Ilham Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

Date: July 1, 8pm

The "Ilham After Dark" live performance series makes a return this Saturday at Ilham Gallery in KL with indie group The Venopian Solitude set to transform the art gallery into a concert space.

With Ilham Gallery, now preparing for a new exhibition, the main level 5 gallery is now available for a one-night show.

Bold, eclectic, electrifying: The Venopian Solitude is a band whose sound can only be defined as truly seminal, drawing from influences as wide-ranging as folk and traditional music, to hip hop and electronic.

Following international performances at Sonar, Fusion, and Pohoda, the experimental pop outfit, led by vocalist/multi-talented musician Takahara Suiko, is set to bring its unconventional melodies and sonic storytelling to another edition of Ilham After Dark.

Takahara also has a new book of poetry Per Diem: The Mental Expense, out now, through Rabak Lit.

The is a free admission, walk-in live showcase. Doors open at 7pm.

More info here.

Beca maker Benny Diong (left) and 'apprentice' Jeffrey Lim seen at the 'Building The Beca' project last April. Photo: HandoutBeca maker Benny Diong (left) and 'apprentice' Jeffrey Lim seen at the 'Building The Beca' project last April. Photo: Handout

EXHIBITION: BUILDING THE BECA KUALA LUMPUR

Venue: Rumah Attap Library and Collective, Zhongshan building, KL

Date: ends July 16

With the "Trades Archive" initiative, photographer/cultural activist Jeffrey Lim has documented the intangible knowledge on the making, using the custom-made tools and materials to reconstruct a beca (trishaw) from Kuala Lumpur's distant past.

The project which began in late 2021, saw Lim documenting the making of a downtown beca, designed and built by the Diong family since pre-war Malaya. This family business of beca-making shuttered last year.

Fortunately, Lim apprenticed with Benny Diong, the last beca-maker from the family, and together they built a beca, recording the entire process.With a small team in support and collaboration, Lim produced a video and publication, with an exhibition that showcased the entire project last year.

This new exhibition event with the Rumah Attap Library celebrates the inclusion of the first "Archive Package" to be submitted to an independent public library. Twenty archive packages containing all the documentation have been made ready, and are being distributed to relevant entities.

Together with selected amount of artefacts, info panels, and film screenings, this event hopes to highlight obscure traditional trades and their relevance to our intangible cultural heritage.

There will be film screenings and dialogue sessions (in English) over the weekends to support the exhibition's current run.

More info here.

A close-up view of Sanker Ganesh's 'Portrait Of Lady Sheba' (oil on canvas, 2023). Photo: Sanker GaneshA close-up view of Sanker Ganesh's 'Portrait Of Lady Sheba' (oil on canvas, 2023). Photo: Sanker Ganesh

EXHIBITION: SANKER GANESH'S 'BODY LANGUAGE'

Venue: Zhan Art Space, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya

Date: ends July 23

Body Language, is a collection of contemporary artist Sanker Ganesh's oil painting works, exploring the human figures and their fragility, vulnerability, and resilience in a world that is striving towards equality and feminism.

Through bold and vivid brushstrokes, Sanker seeks to capture his raw emotions and experiences navigating through the complexities of contemporary society.

It is also Sanker’s second solo exhibition, which takes on an expressionistic figurative style, unabashedly influenced by post-modern European movement.

In this show at Zhan Art Space, he features the female body as his subject. His bold and intense paintings of the female figures are rendered in distressed brush strokes, reminding viewers of the "raw meat-texture" of Francis Bacon figures.

"The compositions are provocative, demanding the viewers’ reflection and interpretation. His powerful female nudes, like Earth goddesses, are confidently gestured and juxtaposed against backgrounds of cleverly configured spaces," reads the exhibition notes.

More info here.

A view of The Godown arts space in KL earlier this year when it hosted the ‘Bakul: Everyday Baskets From Sabah’ exhibition. This weekend, the gallery space welcomes visitors with its latest Godown Artists Market series. Photo: The Godown  A view of The Godown arts space in KL earlier this year when it hosted the ‘Bakul: Everyday Baskets From Sabah’ exhibition. This weekend, the gallery space welcomes visitors with its latest Godown Artists Market series. Photo: The Godown

ARTS/COMMUNITY EVENT: GODOWN ARTISTS MARKET

Venue: The Godown Arts Centre, KL

Date: July 1 and 2, 11am to 7pm

Always wanted to learn how to upcycle your preloved items? You can now with the workshops and talks that we have lined up at the next Godown Artists Market (GA) this weekend. The theme of this GA is #sustainability and #sustainablefashion.

The arts venue has teamed up with Malaysia Fashion Creativity Award (MFCA) and School Living Skills to bring these workshops by four talented designers – manekNya, Fatimah Yunus, DOSH and Inna Ddin.

Recently, 13 local fashion designers premiered their works at the MFCA fashion show at the Godown, and they will be at the MFCA booth this GA with their #reuse #recycle #upcycle #RRU designs. Come support them and be a part of the growing movement striving to reduce the amount of clothing ending up in landfills.

This weekend's GA will also feature the latest batch of Balai Seni Negara’s YAE! 2023 artists joining. A total of 16 young artists will showcase their wares at GA for the first time.

The talk on Sunday will be about how the Orang Asal of Sabah and Sarawak are preserving their culture and will feature MFCA finalists Nasha Prive and Saerah.

More info here.

Visitors seen at Ilham Fadhli's exhibition 'Hotel Fugitif' at Galeri Puteh in KL. Photo: The Star/Azlina Abdullah  Visitors seen at Ilham Fadhli's exhibition 'Hotel Fugitif' at Galeri Puteh in KL. Photo: The Star/Azlina Abdullah

EXHIBITION: ILHAM FADHLI'S 'HOTEL FUGITIF'

VENUE: Galeri Puteh, KL Eco City, Kuala Lumpur

Date: ends July 6

It's been more than 12 years since contemporary artist Ilham Fadhli, better known as Kojek in the art scene, has graced a gallery in KL with a solo exhibition. He has been contributing to group shows, but when there is a Kojek solo exhibition in town, the art scene is more than ready to pay attention.

Kojek's Hotel Fugitif exhibition, featuring more than 50 artworks, at Galeri Puteh in KL invites visitors to slow down and realise the common bonds that connect us all. The images of his darkly painted canvases, addressing how the global refugee crisis is impacting his artistic practice, isn't something you can shake off once you exit the gallery.

Hotel Fugitif offers a visual art discourse and encourages conversation surrounding this global issue, with each canvas from Kojek evoking humanity and compassion as a universal language, while engaging with issues of migration caused by war, political and cultural displacement.

Kojek began to paint this series of artworks in 2018, and he continued through the difficult pandemic years, with his last few pieces finished a few months ago. The entire series is now available for public viewing at Galeri Puteh.

More info here.

The character Stainboy first appeared in the 1997 poetry book 'The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy And Other Stories', created and illustrated by Tim Burton.  Photo: The Star/Chan Tak Kong The character Stainboy first appeared in the 1997 poetry book 'The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy And Other Stories', created and illustrated by Tim Burton. Photo: The Star/Chan Tak Kong

EXHIBITION: THE WORLD OF TIM BURTON

Venue: Pavilion Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur

Date: ends July 30

It's the final month to catch this "pop-up museum" exhibition which celebrates the career of Hollywood director and artist Tim Burton.

The exhibition in KL gives new audiences an opportunity to experience Burton’s art in person for the first time and treats familiar visitors to an in-depth look further into his sensibility.

It focuses on the distinctive characters and worlds that could only come from Burton’s singular imagination. There about 540 works to check out, including signature pieces from Burton's retrospective as well as over 150 new works not seen in the MoMA exhibition tour.

The exhibition delights with works from Burton’s early ages to the most recent project across mediums of sketches, paintings, drawings, photographs, maquettes and puppets he used for his film works, and life-sized sculptures. Along with the artist’s signature figure of Balloon Boy at the entrance of the exhibition are numerous, remarkable sculptures that were newly designed specifically for the exhibition.

More info here.

The 'Orientalist Paintings: Mirror Or Mirage?' exhibition at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) in KL, features more than 100 paintings from the 19th century from IAMM's collection. Photo: The Star/Azlina Abdullah The 'Orientalist Paintings: Mirror Or Mirage?' exhibition at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) in KL, features more than 100 paintings from the 19th century from IAMM's collection. Photo: The Star/Azlina Abdullah

EXHIBITION: ORIENTALIST PAINTINGS: MIRROR OR MIRAGE?

Venue: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, KL

Date: ends Oct 15

If you're looking for a history-filled day out at the art gallery, then this is an exhibition not to be missed.

The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) in Kuala Lumpur is exhibiting over 100 paintings of Orientalist art from its vast collection, making it the biggest exhibition in Asia to feature paintings and artefacts that capture the essence of the Orient in the 19th and early 20th centuries. There are also over 50 artefacts, including mosque lamps and pottery, on display.

Highlights of IAMM's Orientalist Paintings: Mirror Or Mirage? exhibition, which runs until Oct 15, include renowned works by some of the most celebrated painters of the era, including Jean-Leon Gerome, Eugene Delacroix, John Frederick Lewis and the rarely seen Ottoman polymath Osman Hamdi Bey.

The paintings are mainly from the 19th century, and the exhibition is spread out over two galleries.

Next Wednesday, new exhibition The Alhambra: Paradise On Earth opens at IAMM. It offers visitors a unique opportunity to embark on a visual journey through the stunning architectural marvels of Alhambra, an enchanting palace complex nestled in Granada, Spain. Showcasing a collection of over 60 historical and recent photos and supported by multimedia videos, this exhibition beautifully portrays the overwhelming beauty of the Alhambra and its gardens of the Generalife.

More info here.

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