Weekend for the arts: welcome to 'Jungle Jungle', Gan Siong King's video essays


EXHIBITION: ZHANG XU ZHAN'S 'JUNGLE JUNGLE'

Venue: Ilham Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

Date: June 23 to Oct 6

Taiwanese artist Zhang Xu Zhan’s exhibition Jungle Jungle is set to open at Ilham Gallery in KL this Sunday.

It marks the first time that the work of Zhang, who was the Deutsche Bank’s Artist of the Year for 2021, is being shown in Malaysia. First exhibited at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Jungle Jungle also features the film Compound Eyes Of Tropical, which won the Golden Horse Award for best animated short film in 2022.

The film is inspired by the costumes of Yi Zhen performers from Taiwan’s ceremonial festivals.

Originally adapted from the South-East Asian folktale The Mousedeer Crosses The River, the work integrates similar folktale narratives from different countries, to create the half-mousedeer, half-fox shaman puppet dancer in the animation.

Other works in the exhibition include video animation and mixed media sculptures, as well as paper puppets and a site-specific paper installation, inspired by Taiwan’s traditional cultural technique known as “huzhi” (papier-mache), which is commonly used in ceremonial festivals.

Zhang will join an artist talk at Ilham Gallery this Sunday at 3pm. Email info@ilhamgallery.com to book a space. The exhibition is free admission.

More info here.

JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL ONLINE

Date: ends July 3

If you're in the mood for binge-worthy TV drama series, The Japan Foundation's Japanese Film Festival Online, running until July 3, is your go-to event.

It has showcased a diverse line-up of films, including commercial hits and restored classics. To round up its remaining online programme, two popular Japanese TV drama series, Downtown Rocket and Rikuoh, will also be available to watch in their entirety (yes, all 10 episodes each).

These moving human dramas about diligent, hard-working people chasing big dreams became instant hits when they were released in Japan.

Rikuoh, a moving drama about a “tabi” (Japanese traditional socks) manufacturer’s rise to the challenge of developing running shoes, Yakusho Koji who won Best Actor at Cannes for Wim Wenders' Perfect Days last year. Meanwhile, Downtown Rocket is an inspiring drama about a small Japanese town factory taking on the fight against large corporations.

More info here.

VIDEO ESSAY SCREENING: GAN SIONG KING: 'MY VIDEO MAKING PRACTICE'

Venue: Five Arts Centre, GMBB, KL

Date: June 23, June 28 and 29

Five Arts Centre’s 40th anniversary has kicked off with a bang with the My Video Making Practice (MVMP) video essay series by acclaimed Malaysian artist and video maker Gan Siong King. It features a unique combination of an artist talk, screening, and dialogue. With only a few dates remaining in this otherwise sold-out series, be sure to grab your tickets quickly.

In MVMP (83 minutes), Gan remixes 11 videos of Malaysian artists, reflecting on his own video-making practice and the art scene in Malaysia. His video essay subjects include contemporary Chinese calligrapher Ong Chia Koon, graphic designer and cycling activist Jeffrey Lim, electric guitar amplifier maker Nik Shazwan, the team behind filmmaker Liew Seng Tat’s 2007 feature film Flower In The Pocket, and musician Takahara Suiko.

This project combines personal memories and humour to explore the joys and pressures of artmaking. It's also an opportunity for Gan to reconnect with Five Arts Centre, where he was a frequent collaborator about 20 years ago. MVMP serves as a community engagement initiative, featuring dialogue sessions with Gan, artists, filmmakers, curators, and educators after each screening. Audience participation is encouraged.

More info here.

Haris Abadi's 'Abah In Baju Kelawar #2' (acrylic on canvas, 2024). His series portrays the everyday heroism of managing household chores for his two sons and daughter. Photo: Handout Haris Abadi's 'Abah In Baju Kelawar #2' (acrylic on canvas, 2024). His series portrays the everyday heroism of managing household chores for his two sons and daughter. Photo: Handout

EXHIBITION: 'SUNFLOWERS AFTER DARK'

Venue: Greydea Studio, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL

Date: June 22 to July 14

Fathers Day gets an extended run? Well, not really. But in continuing the celebration of parents, the Sunflowers After Dark exhibition takes it a step further by presenting artworks from five single parents. This group showcase opens today (June 22). Aptly named to symbolise resilience, the exhibition not only highlights the talent of these artists but also honours their dedication to their children.

Curated by Danielle Lin, the featured artists - Abby Zain, Felicia Yee, Francis Jafeel Goh, Haris Abadi, and Keeven Jerry - explore the highs and lows of single parenthood. These single parent artists, in their rare spare moments, create art as a creative lifeline, using it to navigate and cope with life's many challenges.

The gallery is open for visits from noon to 6pm every Wednesday to Sunday. Admission is free.

More info here.

Lee Wee Xian's 'A Scene From Geographer Cafe' (watercolour on paper, 2024). Photo: Handout Lee Wee Xian's 'A Scene From Geographer Cafe' (watercolour on paper, 2024). Photo: Handout

EXHIBITION: 'OVERTURE' BY LEE WEE XIAN

Venue: AweGallery, Petaling Jaya

Date: ends June 30

Watercolourist Lee Wee Xian's debut solo exhibition, Overture, features over 25 watercolour paintings that capture the forgotten, vanishing scenes and landmarks of Melaka.

An educator by day and an artist by night, Lee's deep connection to his hometown of Melaka has profoundly influenced his art, which features scenes such as the streets around Jonker Walk, where his grandparents' shop used to be, to the quiet neighbourhoods, where he would take nightly strolls.

Art enthusiasts, and the public are invited to take in the evocative beauty of Melaka’s heritage through Lee's eyes, who offers a unique, nostalgic perspective that seamlessly merges the Melaka of today with the Melaka that he grew up in.

Free entry, exhibition open daily, 11am-8pm.

More info here.

A visitor looks at Najib Bamadhaj's 'Suatu Masa' painting (2024) at the 'Sesat Di Kuala Lumpur' group exhibition at Galeri Puteh in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: The Star/Azlina Abdullah  A visitor looks at Najib Bamadhaj's 'Suatu Masa' painting (2024) at the 'Sesat Di Kuala Lumpur' group exhibition at Galeri Puteh in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: The Star/Azlina Abdullah

EXHIBITION: 'SESAT DI KUALA LUMPUR'

Venue: Galeri Puteh, KL Eco City Mall, Kuala Lumpur

Date: ends June 30

Galeri Puteh is showing Sesat Di Kuala Lumpur: Lagunya Begini, Tampaknya Begitu ... M. Nasir, an exhibition showcasing nearly 60 artists inspired by legendary Malaysian singer, songwriter, and actor Datuk M. Nasir.

The exhibition also references his song from the 1986 cult classic movie Kembara Seniman Jalanan. Each artist reimagines the themes of his music, which range from urban street life and spirituality to family, politics, Nusantara roots and more.

Running through the month of June, the exhibit features a multi-generational line-up including Rafiee Ghani, Abdullah Jones, Al-Khuzairie Ali, Samsuddin Wahab, Fendy Zakri, Najib Bamadhaj, Shafiq Nordin, Hisyamuddin Abdullah, Kide Baharudin, Ika Sharom, Mustaffa Ahmad Hidzir (aka Tapa Otai), Azad Daniel Harris, Issarezal Ismail and others.

The exhibition features a range of mediums, including paintings, mixed media art, wall installations, and photographs.

More info here.

Ang's new patchwork series is stitched using textiles inherited from older family members and inspired by photographs from her grandfather's archives. Photo: Ang Xia Yi Ang's new patchwork series is stitched using textiles inherited from older family members and inspired by photographs from her grandfather's archives. Photo: Ang Xia Yi

EXHIBITION: 'INVENTORY OF INTIMACIES'

Venue: The Backroom Gallery, Zhongshan building, KL

Date: ends June 23

This weekend marks the final opportunity to explore The Back Room's latest group exhibition, Inventory Of Intimacies, featuring three emerging Malaysian artists: Ang Xia Yi, Cheong See Min, and Nia Khalisa (aka Lisa).

The exhibition features a diverse array of textile and fibre mediums, such as pictorial patchwork quilting, weaving, and batik drawings. Each artwork highlights the artists' distinct talents and perspectives, inviting viewers into a rich exploration of both personal narratives and shared experiences.

Ang's new patchwork series is crafted from inherited textiles and inspired by her grandfather's archived photographs. Lisa has transformed her batik practice into dangling mobiles resembling resort souvenir styles. Inspired by Langkawi's natural ecosystems, where she has been an occasional artist-in-residence since 2022, the works lament their destruction due to unchecked commercial tourism development.

Cheong, a multidisciplinary artist practicing between Malaysia and Taiwan, offers a series exploring the interplay between human nature and tropical environments.

More info here.

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!
   

Next In Culture

Art is cool, museum tells sweltering Muscovites
Tracing Chinese memory and identity in Indonesia's history
French author Leila Slimani drafted for Paris Olympics role
Gen Z puts a fresh spin on Kafka and various literary classics through TikTok
Bronze echoes: Gamelan studio resonates in downtown KL
Author Oliver Jeffers makes climate picture books for adults and kids alike
Opera show revisits WWII hero Sybil Kathigasu's bravery
As Gaza war rages, Palestinian cultural life silenced in Israel
Pioneering US video artist Bill Viola dies aged 73
108yo Ipoh Town Hall to be turned into performing arts centre

Others Also Read