Weekend for the arts: Malaysia's own 'Stan Lee', The Godown's 'jungle'


Gene Eu's 'Malayan Tapir' (Sumi ink on paper), which is part of the 'Things That Move' exhibition at The Godown in KL. Photo: Gene Eu

EXHIBITION: GENE EU'S 'THINGS THAT MOVE'
Venue: The Godown Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Date: ends March 31

The Godown KL is hosting Bentong, Pahang-based artist Gene Eu’s first solo exhibition Things That Move, which takes its name from the direct translation of the Chinese word for “animal” (“dongwu”).

Jungle cats, monkeys, deer and other mammals are brought to life in Eu’s signature dry brush technique – the method involves using Sumi ink on a dry brush, which imparts a distinctive texture and depth to his paintings creating a sense of translucency and an almost ethereal quality to his subjects.

Eu's artistic journey began in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, in the late 1990s. A self-taught artist, he honed his craft while working as a graphic designer for Dark Horse Records, founded by George Harrison (of The Beatles).

Since his return from the United States in 2020, Eu has been based in Bentong, where he divides his time between documenting our enchanting fauna through his art and running an organic farm with chickens, ducks and fruit trees.

More info here.

At his retrospective exhibition, Lee is showing a wide array of works, from comics, graphic design, advertising, sketching, architectural drawing and more. Photo: The Star/Art ChenAt his retrospective exhibition, Lee is showing a wide array of works, from comics, graphic design, advertising, sketching, architectural drawing and more. Photo: The Star/Art Chen

EXHIBITION: 'STAN LEE – LOOKING BACK TO LEAP FORWARD'
Venue: AweGallery, Taman Paramount, Petaling Jaya
Date: ends March 28

Veteran artist Stan Lee (the Malaysian version!) is celebrating a career that spans nearly 50 years with a community-driven retrospective show at the Awegallery.

Lee, whose name evokes whispers of admiration in illustrator and comic book artist circles, is showing a wide array of works, from comics, graphic design, advertising, sketching, architectural drawing and more.

With a long career (a "retired" Lee teaches art these days) etched in the annals of graphic storytelling, this exhibition serves as a homage to a lifetime dedicated to art. From the iconic Apazine first issue covers (back and front) in 1981 that have become local comic book history to the evocative illustrations and sketches that have ignited imaginations across generations, Lee's rough and ready exhibition is ready to welcome the art-loving masses.

On March 16, cartoonist Zunar will officially open the exhibition at 2pm. This will be followed up with talk on Apazine by Azlan Razif and Kaleon Rahan.

The Urban Sketchers, which is part Lee's exhibition programme, will gather outside Awegallery at 8.30am on March 17 to set off to sketch Taman Paramount. The public can join in, or visit the exhibition to participate in the day's programming.

More info here.

A view of the 'Jom Kita Bincang!' (Let’s Talk About It) exhibition and reading area at Raja Tun Uda Library in Shah Alam. Photo: The Star/Azlina Abdullah A view of the 'Jom Kita Bincang!' (Let’s Talk About It) exhibition and reading area at Raja Tun Uda Library in Shah Alam. Photo: The Star/Azlina Abdullah

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 (free admission) 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. 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.

More info here.

Dexter Sy's 'Influencer' (mixed media on canvas, 2024). Photo: The Back RoomDexter Sy's 'Influencer' (mixed media on canvas, 2024). Photo: The Back Room

EXHIBITION: DEXTER SY'S 'A PATCHWORK OF IDENTITIES'
Venue: The Back Room, Zhongshan building, KL
Date: ends March 31

The Back Room is showing a new exhibition, A Patchwork Of Identities, the first solo exhibition in Kuala Lumpur of Filipino-Chinese artist Dexter Sy. The exhibition will feature several new mixed-media paintings along with two painted found sculptures made with vintage acupuncture models.

Lying at the heart of Sy’s art practice is the intersection of Chinese and Filipino heritage. Born to a Chinese father and Filipino mother, this makes the artist a “Tsinoy”, the name for Chinese-Filipinos in the Philippines.

Sy constructs his self-identity along these two cultures, working, on the one hand, to pay homage to and celebrate the rich legacies of both lineages, and on the other, to express the difficulties of growing up with a mixed cultural background.

More info here.

Husin Hourmain's 'Zal' (acrylic on canvas, 2011). Photo: HandoutHusin Hourmain's 'Zal' (acrylic on canvas, 2011). Photo: Handout

EXHIBITION: 10 YEARS’ JOURNEY IN THE ART OF ISLAMIC CALLIGRAPHY
Venue: Harta Space, Ampang, Selangor
Date: ends April 6

In its third exhibition, Harta Space, in collaboration with Core Design Gallery, is presenting a showcase of Husin Hourmain’s calligraphy artworks, marking his decade-long journey in Islamic calligraphy.

The Perak-born contemporary artist, known as an abstract expressionist, uses Jawi text to explore his cultural and religious identity as a Malaysian Muslim.

This new exhibition showcases the evolution of his artistic exploration in Islamic calligraphy since 2014, with 18 pieces in the collection.

Today, Husin continues to create calligraphy art, hoping to spread a broader awareness and understanding of Jawi among the younger generation.

Admission is free. Open: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10am - 5pm.

More info here.

A view of the artworks at Joshua Kane Gomes' solo art exhibition titled 'Violent Delights' at Temu House in Petaling Jaya. Photo: The Star/William Gary A view of the artworks at Joshua Kane Gomes' solo art exhibition titled 'Violent Delights' at Temu House in Petaling Jaya. Photo: The Star/William Gary

EXHIBITION: JOSHUA KANE GOMES' 'VIOLENT DELIGHTS'
Venue: Temu House, Petaling Jaya
Date: ends March 24

They say 30 is when your carefree days are over and you should have your life in order. For artists, however, they have barely scratched the surface of their potential at that age.

These two contradictory emotions are what make up the Violent Delights exhibition, a solo exhibition of Joshua Kane Gomes, which is also supported by the Khazanah Nasional Associate Artist Residency.

The homely space of Temu House now becomes an intimate playground for Gomes’ birthday paraphernalia, as he comes to terms with growing up as both a person and an artist.

Pink and black colour up this exhibition, along with banners and text engraved pieces.

Among the 10 art installations in this exhibition, the most striking are the black steel unicorns with pink horns, which are part of his series All That Glitters Isn’t Gold. These creations are cut like a pinata, unleashing a stack of candy. Don’t be shy to eat them (unless you’re fasting).

Admission is free. Open: Fridays to Sundays.

More info here.

CONCERT: 'THIS IS IT: TRIBUTE TO MICHAEL JACKSON'
Venue: Pentas 2, KLPac
Date: March 15-17

A 47-piece orchestra is set to give Micheal Jackson’s classics the full brassy and percussive makeover. Like some strings to go with Thriller or Billie Jean? This is your show, then.

Marking the return of the KLPac Symphonic Band this year, this hour-long instrumental concert is led by Cheryl Mah, (resident conductor and music director of the KLPac Symphonic Band).

The orchestra is set to take the spotlight. It be playing the King of Pop's hits from the 1970s and 1980s, including a Jackson 5 medley and a stash of favourites from his solo albums Thriller and Bad.

To add to the fun, the audience is also encouraged to dress up and get into the MJ retro look, as the musicians will also be donning some of his signature costumes... not to forget the signature gloves.

More info here.

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