Art In The City : Where Malaysians Meets Malaysian Arts

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see,” Edgar Degas.

I understand that not everybody in this world understands art, or even appreciates it. However, each person most definitely react to art, either positively or otherwise. This is because art, just like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder and neither you nor me will look at one art the same.

Art In The City Bringing Malaysian Arts To The People

A few days ago on November 19th located at Jenerator KL Citywalk, a collaborative effort among CENDANA (Cultural Economy Development Agency), Ministry of Federal Territories and Kuala Lumpur City Hall was officially launched called Art In The City.

The objective of Art In The City was to raise greater awareness of local arts and cultural scene amongst Malaysians (and tourists in Malaysia) and to encourage Malaysians to visit art galleries and museums around Kuala Lumpur.

The event was graced by Yang Berhormat Tuan Haji Khalid bin Abd Samad, Minister of Federal Territories along with Puan Iza Satrina Mohd Sallehudin, Founding Chief Executive Officer of CENDANA.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Khalid Abd Samad

“As we work collaboratively on a campaign of this multitude, I am thrilled by the implementation of Art In The City that will give our local artists the platform they deserve to showcase their talent where it can be introduced locally and internationally,” said Y.B. Tuan haji Khalid Abd Samad.

He said that Malaysia is a nation brimming with talent but currently lack supported avenues and right policies that can help showcase their potentials. Hence why as the Minister of Federal Territories, he fully supports Art In The City campaign and hope more local artists will join in and explore the art and culture field.

Puan Izan Satrina Mohd Sallehudin

Guests were also entertained by fun and enthusiastic Dikir Barat performance before the launch of Art In The City and token of appreciation given to artists who’s artwork are involved in Art In The City.

Did you know?

Based on a data collected in 2016, in that year alone, only 2.46% of the Malaysian population visited the National Museum and sadly, only 1.75% visited the National Art Gallery. This means technically, an average Malaysian visits the art gallery and museum only once a year.

This number is sad for the players of art and culture in the Malaysian scene. Because of this information, CENDANA wants to inject more cultural and creative fuel into Kuala Lumpur before it becomes short-lived.

But why Kuala Lumpur?

Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia and a number of Malaysians (1.76 million, to be exact) are concentrated in this city, be it for family, work or leisure. Hence why Art In The City’s initial introduction is in Malaysia’s capital city to ensure optimum reach at high traffic areas in the heart of the city.

CENDANA working together with Kuala Lumpur City Hall is working towards raising greater awareness of the local arts and cultural scene and hoping this effort would encourage Malaysians to visit art galleries and museums around Kuala Lumpur (and who knows, maybe other parts of Malaysia too!). Not forgetting the efforts of some public and private partners who also contributed directly and indirectly towards making Art In The City possible such as Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC); National Art Gallery; LEDTRONICS; KL Citywalk; PNB; Lot 10; Bursa Malaysia Berhad; Wisma Maran; Maybank Foundation; NSTP; Wariscan; and KL Hop-On Hop-Off.

What Can I Get From Art In The City?

Apart from enjoying beautiful and creative art and culture throughout the city, you will find many activities under Art In The City including:

  1. Mural paintings,
  2. Monthly performances in collaboration with PUSAKA,
  3. Regional mentorship programme with OUR ArtProjects,
  4. Mejabulat with RogueArt,
  5. Art workshops at corporate offices, and
  6. A pop-up visual fair called SHIFT.

Back in January 2018, there was a call to local artists to submit works of art that represents Malaysia. There were more than 1,000 submissions sent in and were narrowed down to 30 by a panel of academics  and arts and culture experts that helps ensure the integrity of the artwork. These shortlisted 30 artworks was then opened for public voting. After highly competitive rounds of voting, 10 out of the 30 artworks were chosen and they are now displayed in various locations in Kuala Lumpur.

The 10 chosen artworks are:

Suzi Chua

Title of Work: Gentle Giant (Acrylic On Canvas) by Suzi Chua. You can find this artwork at KL Citywalk.

Brindha Kumar

Title of Work: Culture Syok (Digital Illustration) by Brindha Kumar. You can find this artwork at Bursa Malaysia Berhad.

Syamsul Addenno

Title of Work: Silent Unity (Photography/ Mural) by Syamsul Addenno. You can find this artwork at Permodalan Nasional Berhad.

Samantha Cheah (YueYue)

Title of Work: Be With Me, Brave Heart (Digital Illustration) by Samantha Cheah (YueYue). You can find this artwork on Digital Billboards.

Muhammad Najib bin Tumiran

Title of Work: Tapau (Digital Illustration) by Muhammad Najib Bin Tumiran. You can find this artwork on Digital Billboards.

Ahmad Sanuri Zulkefli

Title of Work: Pusaka (Pencil And Pen On Drawing Paper) by Ahmad Sanuri Zulkefli. You can find this artwork on Digital Billboards.

Jing Chung

Title of Work: 1 Malaysia (Pencil And Pen On Drawing Paper) by Jing Chung. You can find this artwork on Digital Billboards.

Nor Aziela Binti Ahmad

Title of Work: Simpodium City (Acrylic On Canvas) by Nor Aziela Binti Ahmad. You can find this artwork on Digital Billboards.

Sivabalan Arumugam

Title of Work: Stand Together (Painting) by Sivabalan Arumugam. You can find this artwork on Digital Billboards.

Natasha Iman Bt Muhamad Razib

Title of Work: Kueh (Watercolour) by Natasha Iman Bt Muhamad Razib. You can find this artwork on Digital Billboards.

Along with the winners, there are also 4 artworks from 3 legendary artists – Dato’ Mohd Hoessein Enas, Datuk Ibrahim Hussein and Kok Yew Puah – that will be displayed outdoor, thanks to the National Art Gallery.

Dato Mohd Hoessein Enas

Title of Work: Dulang Washer (Oil On Canvas) by Dato Mohd Hoessein Enas. You can find this artwork at Wisma Maran.

Another work by Dato Mohd Hoessein Enas is called School Children (Pastel On Paper) that can be found at Permodalan Nasional Berhad. The artwork by Kok Yew Puah called Camera View Of A Group Of School Children Laughing (Oil Painting) can be found at Permodalan Nasional Berhad while Datuk Ibrahim Hussein’s Genting (Oil Painting) can be found at Balai Seni Negara.


Do check out CENDANA website regularly for updates on arts and cultural activities in Kuala Lumpur or social media accounts – Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

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