Weekend for the arts: 'From Langkawi To Sapporo', Swedish children's books


Women photographer-artists – Nadirah Zakariya (Malaysia) and Kana Kuwasako (Japan) will be talking about their creative practice at Temu House in Petaling Jaya this Sunday. Photo: The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur

ARTIST EXCHANGE: 'FROM LANGKAWI TO SAPPORO'

Venue: Temu House, Petaling Jaya

Date: March 10, 2.30pm

Since it is the International Women's Day season, art lovers and photography enthusiasts can look forward to this conversation (artist exchange) between two women photographers – Nadirah Zakariya (Malaysia) and Kana Kuwasako (Japan) at Temu House. It's already a rare thing to have photography in the spotlight in these parts, so this event is extra special with creative insights from Nadirah and Kana, who first met at the Yakushima Photo Festival in 2022 in Japan where they discovered that they shared a passion for nature and photography.

Their collaboration resulted in a unique project that allowed them to visit each other's countries. Organised by The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur and Temu House, Nadirah had the opportunity to spend some time in Sapporo, Japan, during the winter season in February, where she stayed at Tenjinyama Art Studio. Meanwhile, Kana, the director of the Hokkaido Photo Festa, is finishing up her visit to the island of Langkawi, where she has been since March 2.

This Sunday's event at Temu House is a wrap up for this duo project, where Nadirah and Kana will be talking about their residency experiences in a sharing session (walk-in, free admission).

More info here.

A view of the cosy Swedish-inspired 'Jom Kita Bincang' children's book exhibition at the Raja Tun Uda Library in Shah Alam. Photo: The Star/Faihan GhaniA view of the cosy Swedish-inspired 'Jom Kita Bincang' children's book exhibition at the Raja Tun Uda Library in Shah Alam. Photo: The Star/Faihan Ghani

EXHIBITION: 'JOM KITA BINCANG'

Venue: Raja Tun Uda Library, Shah Alam

Date: ends April 10, 9am - 6pm

How can children’s literature further the dialogue on sustainability, health, rights and social issues? Parents and children can now visit Raja Tun Uda Library in Shah Alam to explore this topic at Jom Kita Bincang (Let’s Talk About It), an exhibition aimed at highlighting the importance of providing children with great stories by drawing from the rich tradition of children’s literature in Sweden.

Organised by the Embassy of Sweden in Malaysia, Raja Tun Uda Library and the Malaysia Board On Books For Young People (MBBY), the exhibition includes the "Swedish Little Library", a cozy corner that’s been transformed into a sleek Scandinavian reading space.

The library features Swedish children’s picture books that have been translated to Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin, including three books that have been translated into Bahasa Malaysia specifically for this exhibition – Furan (Pine Tree) by Lisen Adbage, Gropen (The Hole) by Emma Adbage and Alla gar ivag (Everyone Walks Away) by Eva Lindström.

There are also two other exhibitions: one on beloved Swedish children’s book author Astrid Lindgren, best known as the creator of Pippi Longstocking, and another on the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA), an international children's literary award established by the Swedish government in 2002 to honour Lindgren’s legacy.

The Astrid Lindgren exhibition focuses on her 1978 speech “Never Violence”, one of her most well-known speeches on how people pass on the behaviour they were exposed to as children – upbringing and education can create vicious or virtuous cycles by passing on violence or love.

Free admission.

More info here.

Dancer Tan Bee Hung is part of the all-female edition of this Saturday's 'Serious Play Improv Lab' series, coinciding with International Women's Day. Photo: Lim Rui HaoDancer Tan Bee Hung is part of the all-female edition of this Saturday's 'Serious Play Improv Lab' series, coinciding with International Women's Day. Photo: Lim Rui Hao

EXPERIMENTAL ARTS: SERIOUS PLAY IMPROV LAB

Venue: Percussion Store, Petaling Jaya

Date: March 9, 8pm

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

This small community, with its avant-garde spirit, is set to transform the International Women's Day celebration into a powerful testament to the unyielding creativity and strength that women bring to the forefront of the artistic landscape.

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.

This dynamic gathering will see these kindred spirits experimenting with unconventional sounds, pushing the boundaries of traditional genres and adding choreography that reflect the diversity and boldness of women's experiences.

Admission by donation: RM30.

More info here.

The authors of the newly updated edition of 'A Field Guide To The Birds Of Malaysia' will be appearing at the 'Sunda Talks' series this Saturday at nature bookshop Sunda Shelves in Petaling Jaya. Photo: Handout The authors of the newly updated edition of 'A Field Guide To The Birds Of Malaysia' will be appearing at the 'Sunda Talks' series this Saturday at nature bookshop Sunda Shelves in Petaling Jaya. Photo: Handout

BOOK TALK: 'A FIELD GUIDE TO BIRDS OF MALAYSIA'

Venue: Sunda Shelves, Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya

Date: March 9, 4pm

Nature lovers and "birders" are in for a flying treat at this Saturday's "Sunda Talks" series with all three authors - Yong Ding Li, Lim Kim Seng and Lim Kim Chuah - of the newly updated edition of A Field Guide To The Birds Of Malaysia set to share their adventures, experiences and knowledge surrounding birds and their habitats in Malaysia.

The book, now available at Sunda Shelves, is a fully comprehensive field guide to the 829 bird species of Malaysia, including Sabah and Sarawak. The species are clearly illustrated in over 170 plates, with many variants. The main identifying features of each species are described and key facts cover size, voice, range and status, habitat, specific country and breeding. The book also includes information on taxonomy and nomenclature, observing birds, climate, habitats, the breeding cycle, migration and conservation as well as a section on key birdwatching sites with maps.

This is a revised and updated edition of the book first published under the title A Field Guide To The Birds Of Malaysia And Singapore.

Seats at Sunda Shelves are limited, register here.

More info here.

Visitors can check out artist Gan Chin Lee's 'Open Studio' at the National Art Gallery in KL this weekend, where he is putting the finishing touches to his new work 'Chong Kok Kopitiam', which celebrates the beloved coffeeshop in Klang, Selangor. Photo: Tan Hui Koon Visitors can check out artist Gan Chin Lee's 'Open Studio' at the National Art Gallery in KL this weekend, where he is putting the finishing touches to his new work 'Chong Kok Kopitiam', which celebrates the beloved coffeeshop in Klang, Selangor. Photo: Tan Hui Koon

OPEN STUDIO: GAN CHIN LEE

Venue: Gallery 2C, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

Date: March 9 and 10, 9am-5pm

With focused dedication, the acclaimed painter Gan Chin Lee has been spending the past few workdays and weekends at the National Art Gallery, delving into his latest masterpiece, a diptych of Chong Kok Kopitiam, skillfully crafting a busy scene that encapsulates the spirit of this old world coffeeshop in the heart of Klang in Selangor.

Gan is the latest participant in this open studio and art workshop series, organised by the National Art Gallery, which provides invaluable benefits to art lovers by offering an immersive and interactive experience that goes beyond conventional gallery visits. Here you get to observe the artist working, and also have a chance to ask him questions.

These informal settings foster a direct connection between art enthusiasts and artists, allowing for firsthand insights into the creative process. This weekend, visitors can witness the evolution of Gan's new artwork, gaining a deeper understanding of techniques, inspirations, and the artist's vision.

The Selangor-born artist is also exhibiting his Malay Peninsula Encounter series, which is an ongoing project, documenting portraits (done in colour pencil, watercolour on paper) of the everyday people encountered by him since 2022.

One of Gan's major early works Kedai Kopi Sungai Jarom (2011) is part of the National Art Gallery's Nusa permanent exhibition, which highlights the national collection.

Free admission to the National Art Gallery.

More info here.

An artwork from Tong Xin Lim titled 'Boundless'. Photo: Zhan Art SpaceAn artwork from Tong Xin Lim titled 'Boundless'. Photo: Zhan Art Space

EXHIBITION: 'TONG IN THE HOUSE'

Venue: Zhan Art Space, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya

Date: March 9 to April 14

Tong Xin Lim, a new graduate from the Malaysian Institute of Art, is holding her first solo exhibition, Tong In The House.

The exhibition, with 26 works, captures the worlds of surrealism and semi-abstraction, showcasing alternate realms of fantasy within everyday life and human forms.

At its core, Tong's artworks reflect a harmonious balance between positive and negative energies – yin and yang, light and darkness, tranquility and chaos – signifying contrast and endless possibilities. It also reflects the bottomless pit of infinite creativity within the artist’s psyche.

Her pieces are loosely inspired by the word “change”, as the artist aims to remind us that change is the only constant in our lives and while we cannot predict the outcomes of our decisions, we must embrace change and continuously move forward.

More info here.

A view of the 'Locals Only!' group exhibition at Taksu gallery. Photo: Taksu KLA view of the 'Locals Only!' group exhibition at Taksu gallery. Photo: Taksu KL

EXHIBITION: 'LOCALS ONLY!'

Venue: Taksu Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

Date: ends March 14

Taksu Gallery in Kuala Lumpur – celebrating its 35th year – presents the 2024 edition of Locals Only!, its annual group art exhibition.

This year’s line-up features 35 artworks from 16 Malaysian artists, ranging from fresh graduates to seasoned artists, offering a curated selection of artworks spanning from abstract pieces inspired by nature to thought-provoking figurative works, outstanding realism, captivating collage art, and much more.

Locals Only! has always been about discovering new talent with fresh ideas and original concepts of their own that hold great potential for further development. Our aim is to seek out these individuals and nurture their growth,” says Suherwan Abu, director of Taksu Kuala Lumpur.

The exhibition line-up includes Agnes Lau, Mark Lee, Marisa R Ng, Dani Omar, Putra Nazri, Atiqah Khairul Anuar, Wednesday Lim and Loqman Zainal.

Taksu KL is open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 6pm. Email kl@taksu.com to book an appointment.

More info here.

Night Shift is a new collective comprising a mix of full-time creatives and individuals with day jobs who have a passion for creative expression. Photo: Night ShiftNight Shift is a new collective comprising a mix of full-time creatives and individuals with day jobs who have a passion for creative expression. Photo: Night Shift

EXHIBITION: 'NIGHT SHIFT'

Venue: APW, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur

Date: ends March 10, 3pm - 10pm

Night Shift, a new collective project formed by a group of friends with a shared passion for creative expression, is seeking to challenge norms, break barriers, and redefine what it means to be a creative. Their first group exhibition Night Shift, curated by DEARNESSY, a member of the Night Shift collective, is showcasing the creative works of individuals who embody the essence of balancing passion with life's demands.

With a mix of full-time creatives and individuals with day jobs, the collective embodies the ethos of embracing creativity beyond traditional boundaries. From graphic designers to engineers and corporate staff, Night Shift's members come from varied backgrounds, united by their love for artistic exploration.

Visitors to the exhibition can check out an array of artworks that reflect the balance between creative pursuits and daily responsibilities. From paintings to photography, 15 artists – including Univorso, Adam Zainal, Valery Koh, I-Zach Lim and Grimmy Granny – offer a glimpse into their journey in reconciling their artistic aspirations with the realities of everyday life.

Limited copies of each artwork will be available for purchase.

More info here.

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