The Art in the Park (ATP) is a new event introduced by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall to bring public art into the Perdana Botanical Gardens, the oldest and largest park in the city. ATP will be commissioning artists to create exciting and original sculptures and art installations to display in the Perdana Botanical Gardens and appropriate surrounding spaces like the National Monument (Tugu Negara) between 16th October – 2nd November.
A Mayor Sculpture Prize will be awarded to the winning sculpture. ATP will include a series of talks, workshops and a variety of art-related activities specially designed for the Perdana Botanical Gardens and the participating spaces surrounding the gardens such as the Islamic Arts Museum and the Bank Negara Museum and Gallery throughout the festival.
The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) approached festival director Suryani Senja Alias, through the Tourism Ministry, to help rebrand Kuala Lumpur as a cooler, arts-centred capital. She shared:
We want to educate the public about public art. Right now people think that it (art) is just giant bunga raya, cats and pumpkins, but we want people to think more deeply. They wanted an art event, so I proposed a city-wide festival: like sculptures at train stations and paintings at bus stops! That scared them a bit, so they decided to “experiment” in the Perdana Botanical Gardens first. Our city doesn’t have a tradition of commissioning public art.
She added that DBKL provided seed funding for the festival, which was used by the participants to create their sculptures, after which the artists can choose to keep their art or have it sold to collectors.
The artists featured at ATP include:
Sculptures and Installations
- Abdul Multhalib Musa
- Lisa Foo
- IM Project by Izan Tahir and Marvin Chan
- Nizam Abdullah of Nizamsculpture Studio
- Rahman Roslan | Deria
- Sabri Idrus
- Sharmiza Abu Hassan
- Tey Beng Tze | Findars Art Collective
- Umibaizurah Mahir Ismail
- Yeoh Lian Heng & Tsuji Lam | Lostgens Art Collective
- Young Artists Initiative with Noor Mahnun Mohamed
- Handiwirman Saputra | Indonesia
- Marie-Hugo | France
- Rags2Riches | The Philippines
According to Suryani, the sculptures use doors from abandoned quarters of Brickfields, discarded drink cans and cement. By using ordinary objects to create extraordinary art it’ll make people see the city in a new light. She believes everyday objects scattered around town tell their own stories about the city and its people, how they live and what they are going through.
The sculptures were made from a plethora of materials: Lisa Foo’s Walk In The Park a 4.5m (15ft) scarecrow made of leaves and branches found around the park, Nizam Abdullah’s Fallen Angel made with discarded car parts, while Tey Beng Tze created a word puzzle Rat In The Park that spells “Art” and “Rat” made entirely from tin cans (a nod to the park’s origin as a tin mine).
ATP festival aims to create a new cultural experience in Kuala Lumpur’s green spaces for residents and tourists, and highlight Kuala Lumpur as Asia’s green capital and creative city. It also hopes to widen the landscape for Malaysian public art where practitioners of 3D works are still few, and enrich the contemporary art scene with sculptures from local and international artists.
For more information, visit their website.