Arts communities lift up International Women's Day in the Klang Valley


Visitors taking a closer look at Habsah Abang Saufi's 'Angpaw' (mixed media, 2024) at the 'Can She Do It?' all-female group exhibition in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: The Star/Yap Chee Hong

The arts and culture communities in the Klang Valley have been busy gearing up for International Women's Day (IWD), which will be celebrated on March 8.

A spread of art exhibitions, poetry readings, music and indie pop-up festivals have been scheduled for this week and beyond.

Here is a list of events to check out:

The Can She Do It? group exhibition, which opened last week, at Sime Darby Property KL East Gallery, is where art lovers can check out the diverse works of more than 20 female artists.

A collaboration between A.P Art Gallery and Manggis Group, this exhibition features an array of mediums, including paintings, prints, installations, mixed media, digital art and more.

The line-up includes Anniketyni Madian, Louise Low, Miriam Omar, Pamela Tan, Ika Sharom, Megan Wonowidjoyo and Xeem Noor.

Ika Sharom, who is known for her printmaking works, is part of two IWD art exhibitions - 'Can She Do It?' and 'Inheritance' in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Ika SharomIka Sharom, who is known for her printmaking works, is part of two IWD art exhibitions - 'Can She Do It?' and 'Inheritance' in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Ika Sharom

This is the second year A.P Art Gallery is hosting such an exhibition. The curatorial team, led by Nazura Rahime, is already keen on continuing the tradition in the coming years, providing a space for women artists to shine. Can She Do It? runs until March 31.

If you need a night of poetry, we got you covered. Performing arts collective Jalan Dalam is presenting an all-women line-up of spoken word poets and musicians at Miss Coco Cafe, Wisma Noble Land in Kuala Lumpur on March 7 at 8pm.

It is a Jalan Dalam special show (outside its regular monthly open-mics) that shines the light on young poets Devarshney Rengaraj and Fatima Qureshi, along with newcomer talent Farah Aini and singer-songwriter Billie Blue Blackstone to close the show. Free admission.

Multidisciplinary artist Shan Shan Lim of SSL Studios is presenting Inheritance, a group exhibition celebrating the creativity, diversity and empowerment of women in the arts.

The exhibition, which is organised by beauty retail service Emax Beaute, will be hosted at The Bookmark, APW in Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur from March 8-17.

Showcasing the talents, perspectives and diverse expressions of female artists, such as Ika Sharom, Brindha Kumar and Sze Lin Liew, Inheritance seeks to redefine the narrative for women in the art world.

Part of the proceeds from sales of the artwork featured in the exhibition will go towards supporting Women’s Aid Organisation Malaysia (WAO).

Over at the independent bookshop Tokosue in Wisma Central in Kuala Lumpur, the "Ratna 2.0" pop-up festival is set to happen on March 9 from noon to 8pm.

The indie literary community and friends will be banding together to make this another memorable IWD "girl power" gathering, with book discussions, film screenings (Ikal Mayang), acoustic sessions, poetry readings, art therapy and a potluck. Entry: RM5 donation (to help Tokosue's community activities).

Tree Voices, featuring (from left) Loke Xiaoyun, Charlotte Leng and Siew-Wai Kok, will be part of the all-female line-up of the Serious Play Improv Lab series on March 9. Photo: Richard Allen BatesTree Voices, featuring (from left) Loke Xiaoyun, Charlotte Leng and Siew-Wai Kok, will be part of the all-female line-up of the Serious Play Improv Lab series on March 9. Photo: Richard Allen Bates

In Petaling Jaya, the Serious Play Improv Lab series – put together by a dedicated group of experimental musicians – is rolling out an all-female special line-up at the Percussion Store, Kota Damansara on March 9 at 8pm.

The series ("SPIL 085") will feature Hanoi-based contemporary composer-musician Luong Hue Trinh (electronics), in collaboration with dancer Tan Bee Hung, and Tree Voices, featuring voice artists Charlotte Leng, Xiaoyun Loke and Siew-Wai Kok. Admission by donation: RM30.

This weekend, ArtVoice Gallery in Sentul, KL is launching its group show We Can Do It!, which focuses on contemporary art from a cast of newcomer female artists, mostly from the Indian community.

The show, which runs until March 18, offers a range of paintings, prints, sculptures and mixed media. Singer Preeta Prasad will be launching the colourful exhibition at the gallery at 7pm on March 10.

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