Malaysian artists celebrate M. Nasir in the 'Sesat Di Kuala Lumpur' exhibition

A close-up of artist Husin Othman's painting 'Balada Osman Tikus' (acrylic on canvas, 2024), which is part of the upcoming 'Sesat Di Kuala Lumpur: Lagunya Begini, Tampaknya Begitu' exhibition at Galeri Puteh in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Galeri Puteh

Next month, Kuala Lumpur's Galeri Puteh is set for some rock star dazzle as it hosts Sesat Di Kuala Lumpur: Lagunya Begini, Tampaknya Begitu, an exhibition featuring over 30 artists showcasing works inspired by the legendary Datuk M. Nasir, the Malaysian singer, songwriter, producer, and actor.

The group show, which is set to run from June 8-30, will feature a multi-generational line-up of artists, including Rafiee Ghani, Ahmad Fuad Osman, Masnoor Ramli, Abdullah Jones, Samsuddin Wahab, Stephen Menon, Najib Bamadhaj, Shafiq Nordin, Hisyamuddin Abdullah, Kide Baharudin, Ika Sharom, Mustaffa Ahmad Hidzir (aka Tapa Otai) and others.

The exhibition draws inspiration from M. Nasir's music, lyrical and arts legacy, spanning his solo career, his work with the 1980s folk rock outfit Kembara, and his extensive hit-making catalogue for pop artists and rock bands over the past 45 years.

The exhibition name, Sesat Di Kuala Lumpur, also references the similarly titled folk song written by M. Nasir for the cult classic movie Kembara Seniman Jalanan in 1986.

Drawing on his art school background, the 66-year-old singer will also contribute a series of paintings to the exhibition, including a self-portrait. In 1977, Singapore-born M. Nasir graduated in Fine Arts from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (in Singapore). He participated in several group shows, including a two-man batik show with S. Amin Shahab at the National Art Gallery Singapore in 1978, before shifting his focus to music and theatre work in Kuala Lumpur.

“M. Nasir, a prominent figure in the music world, continues to inspire the younger generation. His decades-long career and influence also extend across multiple artistic disciplines,” said Nizam Rahmat, director of Galeri Puteh.

"Does he have a devoted following in the art community? This exhibition, featuring visual artists, illustrators, photographers, and performing arts practitioners, will answer that. It showcases a diverse array of talent, each interpreting what his music means to them."

"His own artwork will also be displayed, making this exhibition especially meaningful for his fans," he added.

The Sesat Di Kuala Lumpur show, put together by the Galeri Puteh team, will also include a launch party (with music) alongside series of public programmes and gallery tours across the month of June.

Earlier this month, the concert "Dato' M.N45ir Cipta" was announced for Aug 10 at Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, celebrating M. Nasir's 45th anniversary in the music scene.

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