Weekend for the arts: a love letter to keroncong, KL Art Book Fair 2023

Orkestra Keroncong Arif Lukisan (OKAL) is set to present a two-hour concert, featuring music, theatre and storytelling, at Pesta Rapsodi Keroncong in Petaling Jaya on Saturday. Photo: OKAL


Venue: The Spine@PJ Kita, Jalan Stadium, Petaling Jaya

Date: Dec 9, 10am-11pm

The wonderful world of keroncong takes centre stage at this one-day event, with the members of Orkestra Keroncong Arif Lukisan (OKAL) set to play on stage, participate in workshops and also exhibit paintings. The group, which was established in the late 1990s, has had a long history of combining art, poetry and keroncong music.

OKAL is largely known in the art circles, where it usually plays at art exhibition launches and gallery shows.

Today, OKAL's mainstay members include Maamor Jantan (doublebass) , Adeputra Masri (vocals) and Chekri Mansor (cak, a three-stringed guitar), who are also well-established names in the art scene.

The trio of painters will also be showcasing artworks, alongside Galeri Afiqah, at the event.

"Pesta Rapsodi Keroncong" is designed as a celebration of keroncong, with a group art exhibition dedicated to the beloved music genre, poetry, pop-up arts activities, a film tent (with local short films), and a two-hour finale concert by OKAL.

The evening concert will include a list of keroncong favourites (Selamat Tinggal Bungaku to Gambang Semarang), while OKAL will also be adding a theatre performance and storytelling interludes on stage.

This community-based event, put together by Asterik Anak Seni, is free admission.

More info here.

KLABF - the one-of-a-kind art book celebration - is dedicated to invigorate the self-publishing and independent creativity communities. It is happening at the Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) this weekend. Photo: KLABFKLABF - the one-of-a-kind art book celebration - is dedicated to invigorate the self-publishing and independent creativity communities. It is happening at the Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) this weekend. Photo: KLABF


Venue: Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur.

Date: ends Dec 10

For lovers of art, books and zines, the Kuala Lumpur Art Book Fair (KLABF) 2023 is a can't-miss event, featuring a mammoth line-up of independent publishers and artists putting their rare art books, limited imprints and exclusive collectibles on display.

This year’s KLABF will be its third and biggest edition to date, bringing together 52 international exhibitors from China, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, The Netherlands and USA.

Newcomers to KLABF 2023 include visual artist Ajim Juxta, artist/designer Radio Woon's LALA Company, 10-year-old self-taught artist Enya Lim, Indonesian collective Grafis Nusantara, Singaporean editorial studio In Plain Words and indie publishing house Sojanggak from South Korea.

Visitors can also look forward to a series of book launches and talks, sharing sessions, hands-on workshops and exhibitions.

Entry is RM12 for ages 12 and above (excluding processing and handling fees); children under 12 get free entry.

More info here.

mf Music Festival: Identity Crisis!

Venue: The Godown, Kuala Lumpur

Date: Dec 10

Early music group Wicked Music People is one of the highlights in the inaugural mf Music Festival – a boutique event – at The Godown KL, opposite St John's Cathedral. Entitled "Identity Crisis", the festival features a workshop on learning rhythm through konnakol - the classical South Indian discipline of vocalising percussion syllables - as well as an exciting programme of music in the afternoon and evening (there are two shows).

Wicked Music People will be playing music by Antonio Vivaldi, Michel Corrette and Michael Praetorius, amongst others. This Sunday's line-up will also include Ensemble Virama and Nisa Addina & Fwens.

A specially curated workshop will be presented by tabla virtuoso Prakash Kandasamy.

This Sunday, the workshop "Learning Rhythm with Konnadal" starts at 10am, while the showcase concerts will take place at 3.30pm and 7.30pm.

Composer Yeo Chow Shern will also be involved as an arranger for the concerts. This event is supported by Think City.

More info here.

'Saji Kanji: An Exhibition' is the culmination of a research on food culture through artistic and cultural dialogue. Photo: JinnD Productions'Saji Kanji: An Exhibition' is the culmination of a research on food culture through artistic and cultural dialogue. Photo: JinnD Productions


Venue: Papan Haus, Petaling Jaya

Date: Dec 9 and 10

Saji Kanji offers a unique exhibition experience, featuring videos, food ingredients, and cultural items; Alunan Makan dan Mozek, a participatory food presentation; and two workshops on dance and mosaic art.

There will be cooking sessions throughout the weekend with demonstrations by six cooks of Vietnamese, Chin of Myanmar, Indian, Malay, Chinese, and Indonesian background. This segment will also include movement by Sabah-born dancer Ethel Deidre Daniel (two workshops exploring gastronomy and dance) and reflective mosaic art making by Lim Pei Fern.

"What to expect: Participants will learn the recipes, stories behind the dishes, and participate in preparing the dishes as well. Highlighting senses of sight, taste, smell, and touch throughout the preparation where gestures get infused into a choreography and the senses get emoted into a tangible mosaic art," reads an event description.

Theatre and filmmaker Ridhwan Saidi will also be presenting six interview videos recorded during Saji Kanji's fieldwork. They will be screened/exhibited this weekend at Papan Haus.

More info here.


Venue: G13 Gallery, Petaling Jaya

Date: ends Dec 23

It's busy season at G13 Gallery, which is showcasing its book and exhibition project. “The Artist’s Studio: Exploring The Workspace Of 17 Malaysian Artists” is a group exhibition by 17 Malaysian artists, including Anisa Abdullah, Chang Fee Ming, Chong Siew Ying, Datuk Sharifah Fatimah, Fadilah Karim, Hisyamuddin Abdullah, James Seet, Juhari Said, Khairudin Zainudin, Kow Leong Kiang, Najib Bamadhaj, Nik M Shazmie, Raduan Man, Rafiee Ghani, Shafiq Nordin, Suzlee Ibrahim, and Wong Ming Hao.

This exhibition coincides with the launch of the same titled book. This 300-page publication, an initiative by G13, takes an in-depth look into the workspaces of these artists, providing an intimate exploration of their creative processes.

At the gallery, this group exhibition brings to life the works of these artists whose studios are unveiled within the pages of the book. Fuad Arif is the book's writer and Din Diran is the photographer.

The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 5pm. Closed on Sundays, Mondays and public holidays.

More info here.

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