The KUL Biennale 2020, a large-scale international contemporary art programme organised by the National Art Gallery (NAG) in Kuala Lumpur, puts a travel spin on its name in its second edition slated for September 2020.
The “KUL” in its name comes from the airport code for Kuala Lumpur, the three letters you see on a flight ticket or when booking your flight.
For the KUL Biennale, this is a nod to the partnership between the NAG and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).
This collaboration, recently revealed at the announcement of KUL Biennale 2020 at the Langkawi International Airport, is highlighted as well in the biennale’s theme, Tanah Air (Sa)Udara, with the word “udara” (air) as a reference to aviation.
Scheduled for a six-month run, the upcoming KUL Biennale welcomes the participation of some 100 artists from Malaysia and other South-East Asian countries, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore.
Besides paintings, drawings, murals, installations and sculptures, expect to see interactive performances as well. There will also be forums, talks and seminars.
NAG director general Amerrudin Ahmad is the biennale’s artistic director.
KUL Biennale’s main exhibition will be held at the NAG, with numerous exhibitions and programmes held concurrently in other locations around the city.
Some of the private galleries that will be part of the biennale’s supporting programmes are A.P. Art Gallery, Core Design Gallery, RogueArt, Segaris Art Centre and Suma Orientalis.
The Route To KL Biennale 2020 is an ongoing initiative, which serves as a lead-up to next year’s biennale. It has been creating some buzz in different states with festivals, exhibitions and other programmes such as the The International Marble Art Camp in Langkawi, Festival Anak Muda In Kuala Lumpur, Bamboo Sculpture By The Sea in Kota Kinabalu and Street Art@Kapit in Sarawak.
Plans are in the pipeline to bring some of the art exhibitions held under this initiative to several MAHB-operated airports around the country. It is expected to contribute to the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 target of 30 million tourist arrivals.
The inaugural KL Biennale was held from November 2017 to March 2018.