Art beyond the frame


The Affordable Art Showcase at KOAF 2023 has over 100 accessible creative expressions on display. — Photos: SAMUEL ONG/The Star

Creative fair features two exhibitions, craft bazaar and workshops

THE inaugural Kita Orang Art Fair (KOAF) 2023 will display works by emerging and established artists on the rooftop of Avenue K shopping mall, Kuala Lumpur.

Happening until Sept 12, there is something for everyone in this art fair, including outdoor art installations and a craft bazaar.

Exhibition director Alice Chang of Lai Lai Art Gallery & Studio, said they hoped to bring art that was positive and inclusive to the community.

“I believe that art can do more than adorn walls.

“Every project we embark upon extends beyond the frame,” she said during the fair’s launch, adding that they were grateful for every opportunity to give back to the community.

(From left) Aidah, Chang and Abu Zaki during the launch of Kita Orang Art Fair 2023 at Avenue K, Kuala Lumpur.(From left) Aidah, Chang and Abu Zaki during the launch of Kita Orang Art Fair 2023 at Avenue K, Kuala Lumpur.

Chang said the fair exemplified the strength of art to unify and connect communities through creativity.

“The timing could not be better as it coincides with Malaysia’s National Day celebrations,” she added.

Present during the launch were Employees Provident Fund (EPF) chief executive officer Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan and his wife Datin Seri Aidah Abu, Royal Selangor Pewter International chairman Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon and his wife Puan Sri Fumiyo Yong, Cempaka schools founder Datuk Freida Pilus, Monica Rustico (spouse of Italian Ambassador Massimo Rustico) and CIMB Group business development director Ismail Ani Arope.

In her opening speech, art enthusiast Aidah said the fair was a bridge between the artistic community and the city’s residents.

“It provides a unique opportunity for everyone to engage with art in a dynamic and accessible setting,” she added.

‘Memori Di Desa’ is Farid Sarudin’s homage to his ancestral home in Negri Sembilan.‘Memori Di Desa’ is Farid Sarudin’s homage to his ancestral home in Negri Sembilan.

KOAF will feature two art exhibitions.

One is the INK|DUST|REAL Group Art Show curated by Abu Zaki Hadri and featuring original artworks and sculptures from artists in and around Malaysia, such as Chang, Calvin Chua, Low Khay Hooi, Soon Lai Wai, Lim Ah Cheng, Mustafa Salleh and Anna Karina.

The other exhibition is the Affordable Art Showcase, which has over 100 accessible creative expressions at budget-friendly prices.

The piece titled “Memori Di Desa” is Farid Sarudin’s homage to his ancestral home in Negri Sembilan which no longer exists.

“I have many happy memories of visiting my grandparents at their home in Kampung Sri Repah, which was a traditional kampung house.

Ling is showcasing her handmade beaded earrings at the fair.Ling is showcasing her handmade beaded earrings at the fair.

“Even the toilet was located outside the house, which can be scary to visit at night,” the 26-year-old said.

Diana Ling’s unique beaded earrings are sure to capture the eye at the bazaar.

The full-time lawyer runs Beadsme.my, a small business that specialises in handmade beaded earrings.

“It started out as a hobby as a way for me to wind down.

Outdoor installations by three education institutions based on the theme of sustainability and conservation.Outdoor installations by three education institutions based on the theme of sustainability and conservation.

“I posted photos of the earrings online and was encouraged by friends to start selling them.

“This is the first time I am opening a booth here at KOAF 2023,” she said.

Also featured at the fair are outdoor installations skewed towards sustainability or conservation by education institutions National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage (Aswara), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and Malaysian Institute of Art.

There is also a craft bazaar featuring a variety of handiwork by local craftsmen and artisans, including beaded jewellery, pottery, leather goods, art, printed hats, scrunchies and bags as well as bath and beauty products.

From Sept 8 to 10, the art fair will also feature three workshops: batik painting by Lyna Khairi, acrylic art by Pip Art and Chinese fan painting by Cheng Peng Sia.

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