Hills of KKB inspire artists from 13 countries

December 23, 2016

All this happened at the inaugural 2016 Kuala Kubu Baru International Art Festival themed “Art Haven in the Hills” held earlier this month. The 10-day event, jointly organised by Sasaran Arts Association, Hulu Selangor District Council (MDHS), Selangor state library (PPAS) and Kuala Kubu Historical Society, brought together artists who worked on various forms of art including painting, sculpture and street art as well as music, art talks, exhibitions and workshops.

Some artists painted at the Syed Mashor public library in Jalan Abdul Hamid while others did sculptures and murals on the walls of old buildings, with permission from the building owners, of course.

A total of 28 artists from 13 countries – Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Malaysia – took part in the festival where their artworks were sold to the public.

However, artists from Laos pulled out at the last minute. The sculptures were done at Jalan Mat Kilau, which is the entrance to the Kuala Kubu Baru town. The mural paintings on the other hand, were done on buildings along Jalan Merdeka. Kuala Kubu Baru assemblyman Lee Kee Hiong, who was inspired to organise the art festival to promote the town, said she got the idea from Sasaran Arts Association that had organised the Sasaran International Art festival and Sasaran International workshop in 2008, 2011 and 2014.

“Having the festival here boosts the town’s image as a historical town. “We hope to have the festival once every three years as it is very costly to organise such a big event in a small town, even with volunteers helping out,” she said.

Many historical buildings remain in Kuala Kubu Baru, including the 100-year-old King George VI Coronation Clock Tower, the bus station, fire station, post office, community hall, Coates Theatre, district education office, mini stadium and Hulu Selangor Land Office.

Filipino artist Janos Delacruz, 31, from Manila, said he was glad to return here for the second time as his first trip to Malaysia was to Penang six months ago.

His painting titled “Malay Introspection” depicts the different races in Malaysia living together and the similarities he sees with his hometown.

Malaysian artist Ng Kim Heoh, 55, who is a committee member of Sasaran Arts Association, said she fell in love with the rich history of Kuala Kubu Baru the first time she visited the town and was inspired to hold the event here.

AFM Moniruzzaman, 49, an artist from Bangladesh, said his passion for painting started 35 years ago.

“I like to paint simple things but with contrast. And this town is perfect as I can see many things that I can paint and even sketch,” he said.

Another artist, Asit Kumar Patnaik, from Odisha (formerly Orissa) in India, has always been intrigued by the complexities of the human predicament.

“This is the first time I have been to this town and it is very interesting to see people’s interaction with one another. (Source : The Star Online)