Yearstarter2019: Top 5 people and events in music, visual art, style and sports

Photo: The Star/Art Chen

Top 5 Music Events To Look Out For In 2019 

Blackpink In Malaysia

One of K-Pop’s biggest girl groups comes this Malaysia in February in what is set to be an spectacularly explosive affair to rival some of the best shows held on these shores.

Potential Madonna Album

There are also rumours of a new Adele album coming out next year, but we’re hoping that the reigning Queen of Pop will beat her to the punch.

Phantom Of The Opera

Yes, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s acclaimed show is headed to Istana Budaya in KL this June, and we’ve already got our half-masks on and ready to go in costume.

BTS World Domination

In 2018, BTS became the first K-Pop act to hit No.1 on the Billboard Top 100 Albums chart. We’re expecting them to continue their journey towards world domination next year (and hopefully, see them in concert in Malaysia!).

Soundtrack Sensations

2018 saw huge successes for soundtracks for movies such as Black Panther, The Greatest Showman, A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody, and 2019 could see that continue with major musical releases like Frozen 2 (a new Let It Go, perhaps?), Aladdin, The Lion King (which stars Beyonce), an adaptation of Cats, and Elton John-biopic Rocketman.

Top 5 Fashion & Beauty Predictions Of 2019

Streetwear-inspired couture on the Dior Homme Spring/Summer 2019 runway. Photo: Reuters

Streetwear Stays Strong

The streetwear trend is not going anywhere soon. Moving into 2019, a larger number of labels are expected to embrace the look. So be prepared to see even more casual styles on runways.

Green Is The New Black

Numerous fashion houses have stopped using fur in their collections. That is just the start, and designers are predicted to ramp up their efforts in creating fashion that are not only animal friendly, but also eco-friendly.

Beauty Cleans Up

The “clean beauty” movement gained momentum last year, whereby products that are free of harmful chemicals became firm favourites. It will be the same in 2019, as the awareness further spreads.

Influencers Fall Out

Social media influencers are being labelled as “so last season”. Brands who have jumped on the bandwagon are now scrambling to reset their storied houses, especially when an influencer says something controversial.

Skincare Streamlines Itself

The 10-step regime is now on its way out. A return to a more minimalist approach when it comes to skincare is the next big thing. Think of it as a more mindful, highly-personalised approach to beauty.

Top 5 Young Malaysian Athletes To Look Out For In 2019

Lee Zii Jia; Badminton

He is only 20 but seen as the one with the credentials to follow in the footsteps of Lee Chong Wei to be a consistent winner for Malaysia in the men’s singles game. Already adored by Malaysian fans and have started winning titles.

Photo: The Star/SS Kanesan

Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi; Bowling

She is in the senior elite bowling team and will be looking to make the podium at the Women’s World Championships in Las Vegas, United States in August and the Philippines SEA Games in December. A determined bowler.

Photo: The Star/Izzrafiq Alias

Natasha Andrea Oon; Golf

She is only 18 but already making waves in the United States collegiate golf scene. Natasha won the Minnesota Invitational recently and will be hoping to make the podium at the Phillipines SEA Games in December.

Photo: The Star/Art Chen

S. Sivasangari; Squash

Sivasangari lost to Nicol David in the Jakarta Asian Games women’s individual squash final but what a fight she gave. No doubt, she gave Malaysia the sneak preview for what to come from her. She is set be the nation’s top player soon.

Photo: The Star/SS Kanesan

Welson Sim; Swimming

He is one of Sarawak’s most followed athletes aside from Pandelela Rinong and is the best swimmer Malaysia can boast of when it comes to swimming at the SEA Games stage. Trust him to deliver at the Philippines SEA Games.

Photo: The Star/Azhar Mahfof

Top 5 Art Exhibitions To Catch In Early 2019 

Yeoh Choo Kuan: Streaming Mountain

Kuala Lumpur-based Yeoh Choo Kuan’s Streaming Mountain is his third solo exhibition with the gallery. He draws on his childhood memories of illustrations in a book called the Diyu (realm of the dead of “hell” in Chinese mythology) and combines this with the aesthetics of traditional Chinese landscapes depicting Shan Shui (mountain and stream) in these monochromatic works on canvas. Richard Koh Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur (Jan 10-30)

Yeoh Choo Kuan’s Ready To Off (acrylic and structuring paste on linen, 2018).

Paralogical Machines: Where Images Meet Us In Time And Space

Wei-Ling Contemporary is the sort of gallery that does group shows differently. There is always the curation that goes the extra mile. Gathering some of Europe and South-East Asian’s leading media artists, including Charles Lim, Erika Tan, Kenneth Feinstein, Rajinder Singh and Tintin Wulia, Paralogical Machines: Where Images Meet Us In Time And Space promises to raise more questions than it answers. The works encourage conversation and thought on how context changes experience and how we perceive the world around us. Wei-Ling Contemporary, Kuala Lumpur (Jan 10-Feb 17)

Axis By Praxis

If there is off-centre newcomer artist Ho Mei Kei in a group show, it is already worth a mention. She’s a star on the rise. Axis By Praxis features five emerging talents from South-East Asia: Nik Mohd Shazmie and Ho from Malaysia, Natisa Jones from Indonesia, Anchalee Arayapongpanich and Kittisak Thapkoa from Thailand. What is an emerging artist from the region concerned about? Here are five voices presenting their take on the dynamics of identity within the context of tradition, culture and history, with a bit of media experimentation thrown into the mix. G13 Gallery, Petaling Jaya (Jan 12-26)

Foo May Lyn’s Untitled (12), 2018.

Foo May Lyn: 10,000 Mosquito Hearts

You always find the real gems in the smaller private galleries. Foo May Lyn’s 10,000 Mosquito Hearts looks to be an interesting proposition. Curated by Sharon Chin, this is Penang-based Kuala Lumpur-born artist/actress/jewellery-maker Foo’s first solo show in KL. Featuring intricate works on paper, textiles and soft sculpture, the artist, who had long stints living in London and Paris, weaves myth, personal journey and current affairs into a contemporary epic. People in Penang will know Foo as the person who runs Chop Kongsi, an atelier/workspace. Our ArtProjects (Jan 27-Feb 17)

Chia Yu Chian’s Queue Up, (oil, 1970).

Chia Yu Chian: Private Lives

If you want archival shows, Ilham Gallery is the place. Chia Yu Chian, born in 1936 in Johor, was the first artist from Malaysia and Singapore to receive a scholarship from the French government to study art at the Ecole Nationale Supériere des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He created more than 5,000 pieces of art during his lifetime as he never stopped painting until his death. In Private Lives, the presence of the human figure is central to this collection of paintings, which span over a decade of Chia’s life from the late 1970s until his passing in 1991. Unlike the still life and streetscapes of his younger days, Private Lives zooms in on social drama and the quieter slice-of-life moments. The last major exhibition to feature Chia’s artwork posthumously was in Singapore in 2009. Last year, the Chia Yu Chian Enlivened exhibition was held in KL, sparking renewed mainstream interest in this Malaysian pioneer’s work. Ilham Gallery, Kuala Lumpur (Feb 16-June 15)

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