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Bringing Malaysian Arts to the People

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KUALA LUMPUR, 21 November 2018 – In a collaborative effort with the Ministry of Federal Territories and Kuala Lumpur City Hall, CENDANA (Cultural Economy Development Agency) officially launched Art In The City, a stunning outdoor visual display of local arts across Kuala Lumpur that serves as a strategic effort to promote the local arts community in expressing and showcasing their talents, while making art more accessible to the public. The Art In The City campaign will feature 14 artworks from legendary and grassroots artists, with their works being showcased prominently at strategic locations with high visibility across the city.


Designed to raise greater awareness of the local arts and cultural scene, and to encourage Malaysians to visit art galleries and museums around Kuala Lumpur, Art In The City strives to further propagate the notion of Kuala Lumpur as an upcoming cultural and creative hub. Besides publicly displayed art pieces, Art in the City features a myriad of activities which Malaysians can enjoy including mural paintings, monthly performances in collaboration with PUSAKA, regional mentorship programme with OUR ArtProjects, mejabulat with RogueArt, art workshops at corporate offices, and a pop-up visual fair called SHIFT. Amidst the historic Kuala Lumpur iconic buildings, Art In the City brings together the cultural backdrop and stories in our thriving city – transforming our landscape into a colourful visual experience as a must-see destination for art lovers.

‘Silent Unity’ at PNB

Officiating the launch of Art In The City was Yang Berhormat Tuan Haji Khalid bin Abd Samad, Minister of Federal Territories, who showed strong support for the development of the local arts and acknowledged that Malaysia is a nation brimming with talent but may currently lack supported avenues and right policies that can contribute in showcasing their potential.


Y.B. Khalid Abd Samad said that with a population of 1.76 million, Kuala Lumpur serves as a great canvas for artists to dream big and create art beyond borders where their masterpieces can draw the attention they deserve, whether they may be at a local, regional, or even international level.


“I am thrilled by the team’s creativity and enthusiasm in implementing Art in The City, as we work collaboratively on a campaign of this multitude to give our local artists the platform they deserve to showcase their talent where it can be introduced locally and internationally. Arts and culture are the core ingredients in urban development and the fuel in making each city in Malaysia distinctive in its identity. The city’s success is dependent on our people and ideas. Hence, it does not only give us a great pleasure to work with CENDANA in fueling our city via Art in The City, but I am also pleased to share that we are also working with CENDANA in gazetting arts and culture centres in Kuala Lumpur as a way to protect and provide vital arts spaces for our artists to explore,” said Y.B. Khalid Abd Samad.

‘Culture Syok’ at Bursa Malaysia Berhad

“As a public arts organisation who advocate for the arts, developing and promoting the cultural economy is key through Art In The City where we hope that this platform will contribute to energising and empowering the local arts scene. *In 2016, data revealed that 2.46% of the Malaysian population visited the National Museum and only 1.75% visited the National Art Gallery. This translates to an average Malaysian visiting an art gallery and museum only once a year. These statistics should be a source of concern for all of us. If cultural and creative fuel is not injected into the city,  Kuala Lumpur will slowly become transient. We are working closely with the Ministry of Federal Territories and Kuala Lumpur City Hall in implementing relevant policies and organising activities by our people for our people,” said Izan Satrina Mohd Sallehudin, Founding Chief Executive Officer of CENDANA.


“In line with CENDANA’s mission to nurture a vibrant and sustainable local arts community, Art In The City is an opportunity for us to increase the profiles of our grassroots artists in showcasing their talent. Our joint investment in the arts also provides opportunities for us to create demand as we bring arts to the Malaysian people; to create more accessibility so that more people have the opportunity to appreciate and explore Malaysian art and – in return – increase the demand of quality work from local artists.”


For maximum exposure of artwork to reach city dwellers, CENDANA worked together with Kuala Lumpur City Hall in strategising locations of artwork display. This joint effort is to ensure optimum reach at high traffic areas in the heart of the city as well as areas adjacent to art galleries and museums. This is also made possible with synergised efforts with public and private partners involved in the effort, namely 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.

‘Dulang Washer’ at PNB

The campaign started in January 2018 with a call to local artists to submit works of art that represents Malaysia. Over 1,000 pieces were submitted and they were narrowed down to 30 by a panel of academics as well as arts and culture experts, after which the shortlist was opened for public voting. After highly competitive rounds of voting process, Art In The City will feature 10 artworks from Suzi Chua, Brindha Kumar, Samantha Cheah (YueYue), Syamsul Addenno, Nor Aziela binti Ahmad, ART:TECH, Natasha Iman, Ahmad Sanuri Zulkefli, Sivabalan Arumugam, and Jing Chung. Additionally, the outdoor display will feature 4 artworks from legendary artists such as Dato’ Mohd Hoessein Enas, Datuk Ibrahim Hussein and Kok Yew Puah, made possible by the National Art Gallery.


“A project of this scale requires the support of many counterparts and we owe our heartfelt gratitude to all our partners’ for their direct and indirect contributions to Art In The City. Some have facilitated and hosted the artworks, while others have worked to ensure the integrity of artwork is maintained with its advance technology and, nevertheless, all of them have helped in making the vision of Art in The City a reality. It gives me great pleasure to also share that the design of the next Art In The City will be in the hands of the artists who are best in making the impossible possible. A call for submission will be made in due time with the support from CENDANA and all partners involved. Together, we will be able to position Kuala Lumpur as an upcoming cultural capital in addition to making Malaysia known for its great art and artists,” concluded Izan Satrina.

‘Gentle Giant’ at KLCW

For more information of Art in the City, log on to www.cendana.com.my, with official hashtags #CENDANAMalaysia and #ArtInTheCityKL.

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