Category: Art

The first art exhibition to be held here immediately after the conditional movement control order (CMCO) was lifted was a resounding success with about 40 per cent of the artwork sold over the weekend.

“Boxed In (One Foot At A Time)”, held at the Hin Bus Depot exhibition space, opened on December 12 and attracted visitors from other states.

According to curator Ivan Gabriel, they already sold 17 of the 43 artworks on display.

“We also had buyers from Kuala Lumpur who did cash and go,” he said.

He added that the brisk sales was a great encouragement to the artists as some had declared their work “not for sale”, thinking that artworks might not sell during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“However, some buyers actually requested to purchase them regardless of that fact, and those ‘not for sale’ ones were also sold,” he said.

“Boxed In” was originally a virtual art exhibition launched online on December 1 and some of the artworks were sold through the virtual platform.

Ivan said there were “live” sharing sessions by the artists on Zoom and that introduced some of the artworks to the public online.

A total of 27 artists showcased 43 of their artworks, all with one similar theme — their interpretation of thinking outside the box by creating artworks using two 12-inch square wooden boxes.

Ivan said some of the artists explored current issues such as being literally “boxed in” due to the movement control order (MCO) earlier this year and also explored mental health issues due to the pandemic and lockdown.

One of the artists, Nasir Nadzir, painted blueberries inside the box before the MCO and was planning to pair it with a painting for blue rubies in the second box.

However, the MCO gave him time to change his perspective as he longed to spend time in a cafe during the lockdown so he can enjoy French toast topped with fresh fruits.

That longing became the inspiration for his second artwork, a painting of French toast topped with blueberries and bananas.

Another artist, Lijynn, painted the boxes white to represent spaciousness and a way to heal through deep, calm breathing.

It was her way of creating an art piece to become an instrument in relieving the stresses of the recent uncertainties due to the pandemic.

Ivan said there are empty spaces at the exhibition that were deliberately left vacant as some artists were unable to participate because they had to leave and return to their home country due to the pandemic.

With the brisk sales over the weekend, he said there are now more empty spaces to add more depth to the curation.

All of the artists, though many are locals, are Penang-based including foreign artists who have made Penang their homes.

“Boxed In” is open daily from 11am to 7pm until December 31.


Churchill whisky painting fetches almost £1m

November 18, 2020 | Art | No Comments

A rare painting by Winston Churchill featuring the famously bibulous British World War II leader’s favourite brand of whisky fetched nearly £1 million (RM5.43 million) at auction in London yesterday.

The 1930s oil painting, of a bottle of Johnny Walker’s Black label whisky and a bottle of brandy with a jug and glasses, sparked a bidding battle before it sold for £983,000 (RM5.34 million).

The sale, at a Sotheby’s online auction of modern and post-war British art, was around five times above pre-sale estimates and among the highest ever reached under the hammer for a Churchill painting.

The war-time leader, who was a keen amateur artist, created the still life work — entitled “Jug with Bottles” — in the 1930s at his country house Chartwell, in Kent, southeast England.

It reflected his fondness for the Johnny Walker blend, which he often drank first thing in the morning with soda water, according to Sotheby’s.

He later gave it to the American businessman W. Averell Harriman, who acted as US special envoy to Europe in the 1940s.

Harriman was photographed sitting between Churchill and Stalin in Moscow in 1942, and the gift of the painting suggests he shared convivial drams with Churchill.

The famous politician would give paintings to “like-minded people,” said Simon Hucker, co-head of modern and post-war British art at Sotheby’s, ahead of the auction.

It is unclear whether Churchill knew that Pamela Churchill, the wife of his son Randolph, was having an affair with Harriman during this period, The Times newspaper has reported.

Pamela Churchill married Harriman decades later in the 1970s and the painting was sold following her death in 1997.

It was back on sale on Tuesday after the deaths of the later owners, US collectors Barbara and Ira Lipman.

A similar work by Churchill, featuring a collection of bottles and called “Bottlescape,” still hangs at Chartwell. 


The American poet Louise Gluck won the Nobel Prize for Literature today, only the 16th women to have ever done so.

Here are some of her most famous and more memorable lines and verses:

“We look at the world once, in childhood. The rest is memory”

— from Nostos

“Poetry survives because it haunts and it haunts because it is simultaneously utterly clear and deeply mysterious; because it cannot be entirely accounted for, it cannot be exhausted.”

— from American Originality: Essays on Poetry

“I have very little taste for public life… I didn’t think I was the sort of person they’d ever look at”

— to The Boston Globe when she was named US Poet Laureate in 2003.

“Of two sisters one is always the watcher, one the dancer”

— from Descending Figure

“The soul is silent. If it speaks at all it speaks in dreams”

— from It Is Daylight

“As I saw it,/ all my mother’s life, my father/ held her down, like/ lead strapped to her ankles.

She was/ buoyant by nature;/ she wanted to travel,/ go to the theater, go to museums./ What he wanted/ was to lie on the couch/ with the Times/ over his face,/ so that death, when it came,/ wouldn’t seem a significant change.”

— from Ararat

“The unsaid, for me, exerts great power…”

— from Proofs and Theories

“We respect, here in America / what is concrete, visible. We ask/ What is it for?”

— from The Seven Ages

“I got up finally; I walked down to the pond./ I stood there, brushing the grass from my skirt, watching myself,/ like a girl after her first lover”

— from Marathon



A restaurant in Prague’s historic centre has invented a dessert shaped like the novel coronavirus, an attempt to arrest a slump in business that is already proving a hit with customers.

The Black Madonna would normally be bustling with tourists admiring its cubist interior, but it has suffered as travel to the Czech Republic slumped amid the pandemic and the country battles one of the highest rates of coronavirus infections in Europe.

The dessert’s creator, Olga Budnik, said she got the idea during lockdown in the spring.

“I found a photo of the virus on the internet and I figured out in detail how to make the dessert — how to make the spikes, what the colour would be like, and I prepared it all,” she told Reuters.

The dessert is slightly smaller than a tennis ball, with a chocolate crust and dusted with cocoa butter spray. The virus’ “spikes” are made of white chocolate and dried raspberries.

Inside there is a pistachio filling with raspberry puree and raspberries in the centre.

The delicacy has been a big success, with sales of more than 100 each day and rising.

“The coronavirus crisis has meant a huge drop for us, in tens of per cent, like for other gastro enterprises,” the cafe’s marketing manager Vojtech Hermanek said.

“But at the same time it was a chance to bring out the coronavirus cake which is a symbol … showing that not everything is lost.”

Budnik, a Ukrainian living in Prague for the past six years, already has sights on the next product — a Covid-19 vaccination-themed sweet which should taste of citrus and liqueur.

“It will be lots of lime with a bit of alcohol,” she said.


WAH! Bagaikan kembali ke zaman retro 60-an.

Itu pasti yang dirasakan sebaik sahaja kaki melangkah masuk cawangan restoran A&W ke-49 yang dibuka secara rasminya di Seventeen Mall, Seksyen 17, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Percayalah, dekorasi sentuhan moden ala retro yang menelan belanja RM1 juta ini bakal mengembalikan nostalgia. Lebih-lebih dengan adanya sebuah peti muzik atau Juke Box akan menawarkan pilihan muzik funk, soul, disco dan klasik kepada para pelanggan.

Menarik bukan? Keanggunan deko lengkap dengan ruangan berpetak dan tempat duduk ala bar menjadikannya satu port hebat untuk ber’instagram yang lain daripada lain!

Keterujaan A&W Malaysia yang mahu menampilkan konsep retro pertama di negara ini disemarakkan dengan semangat memperingati perjalanan sebagai restoran makanan segera pertama di Malaysia sejak tahun 1963.

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif A&W Malaysia, George Ang berhasrat untuk mengembalikan ‘kegemilangan zaman dahulu’. Pada masa sama, sudah tentu ia bagi menarik pelanggan dalam kalangan generasi muda dan moden.

“Sejak tahun 1963 lagi, rakyat Malaysia telah membesar dengan jenama ini dan juga menggemari hidangan menu ikonik. Ia termasuk coney yang enak, waffle yang menyelerakan dan A&W RB yang menyegarkan.

“Para pelanggan juga menggemari hidangan istimewa kami termasuk Mozza Burger dan A&W Aroma®Chicken yang diperbuat daripada ramuan-ramuan yang segar untuk memastikan kualiti yang terbaik,” tuturnya.

Bagi mereka yang masih takut-takut untuk makan di tempat awam, jangan bimbang. A&W Malaysia mengutamakan keselamatan para pelanggan dan melaksanakan prosedur operasi standard (SOP) yang ditetapkan.

Jika tiada topeng muka untuk masuk, boleh saja beli di pintu masuk restoran dengan harga RM1 je… Keuntungan jualan tersebut akan disalurkan kepada badan amal tau.

Restoran ke-49 ini dikatakan boleh memuatkan sehingga lebih 80 pelanggan pada satu-satu masa. Zon persendirian pula boleh tampung 20 orang untuk majlis hari jadi atau keramaian.

So? Apa tunggu lagi? Jom nikmati hidangan yang disediakan sambil mengimbau kenangan dengan lagu-lagu zaman 60-an, 70-an dan 80-an.

Dengar cerita, ada sebuah lagi restoran dengan penampilan dan suasana retro yang sama akan dibuka di Ipoh Parade pula. Buat orang Ipoh, moh komer… nantikan kemunculannya.


Lawat Kota Mahsuri secara normal baharu

June 15, 2020 | Art, News | No Comments

PRODUK pelancongan bersejarah di Langkawi, Kota Mahsuri yang hampir ‘terkubur’ selepas penguatkuasaan Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan (PKP) kini dibuka bermula hari ini.

Kota yang menempatkan Makam Mahsuri itu juga masi h mampu mengekalkan 58 kakitangannya menerusi Program Pengekalan Pekerjaan (ERP) Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial (Perkeso).

Pengurusnya, Hisham Yem berkata, sebelum pembukaan, pihaknya perlu melakukan pembaikan dan pembersihan disebabkan pokok tumbang yang merosakkan beberapa kemudahan.

“Lebih RM20,000 kami rugi akibat ribut yang menyebabkan pokok tumbang, selain ada papan tanda yang diterbangkan angin.

“Kita juga terpaksa menutup kemudahan lain seperti beberapa rumah di Kampung Kedah daripada dikunjungi kerana perlu masa untuk dibaik pulih,” katanya ketika ditemui.

Hisham berkata, sejak minggu lalu, kakitangan bahagian seni dan kebudayaan kembali membuat latihan bagi menerima kehadiran pengunjung.

Bagaimanapun, beliau memberi jaminan semua persembahan termasuk silat dan teater mematuhi prosedur operasi standard (SOP) pencegahan Covid-19 ditetapkan kerajaan.

“Begitu juga dengan pengunjung, dewan yang mampu memuatkan kira-kira 50 orang sebelum ini kita hadkan kepada 15 orang sahaja untuk penjarakan sosial tempat duduk,” katanya.

Menurutnya, sempena pembukaan semula itu, pihaknya menawarkan potongan harga tiket daripada RM12 kepada RM10 bagi dewasa, dan kakak-kanak RM6 daripada RM8.


It looks like heritage and culture can also be experienced in the living room.

Kaki Lima, a new light strategy board game designed by Penang-based media artist Goh Choon Ean promises a fun walkabout around the historic city of George Town, all in the comfort of your homes … or wherever one plays board games.

Kaki lima means five foot way, describing roofed walkways commonly found in front of old shops in Malaysia.

“The game was designed and themed to reflect a day in the life of a pedestrian in Malaysia, with hopes to bring up reflections on (street) accessibility and community. We incorporated into the rule book a few simple questions to trigger thought about those two things. How has the kaki lima experience been like for you? What are your views on kaki lima as a private, public and shared space? What is your idea of an excellent neighbourhood?” says Goh, 47, in a recent interview.

Expect very Malaysian, or rather very Penangite elements, in the game. From the design of the scoreboard and cards to its characters, Kaki Lima sports a street level feel.

This was something Charis Loke, Kaki Lima’s illustrator, was conscious about.

The illustrations of the game, from the scoreboard to the characters, were all based on actual people in George Town and kaki lima tiles. Photo: Kaki Lima

“The characters are based very much on real George Town residents whom I know or have seen walking around on the streets.

“I also spent a few months keeping my eyes open for interesting people around town, going to Chowrasta Market or streets around town and observing people there, making note of the way they dress and their routines.

“It is important for me that the Penangites (and Malaysians) who play this game will be able to recognise themselves, or their communities, in it, ” says the 28-year-old Loke, a freelance illustrator.

Goh says the idea for Kaki Lima came about in September 2017.

“It was an example for a tabletop game design workshop for Arts-ED’s Youth Arts Camp (in Penang). I decided to incorporate a long-time fascination with five-foot ways into a theme for a tabletop game.

“There was just something about walking through the archways of George Town that made you feel inspired to create. So I started by walking around George Town, taking pictures of both clear and blocked kaki lima archways, and close-ups of tiles found there to incorporate into the artwork of the cards, back and front.”

Goh Choon Ean says one of the goals of the game is to make players think about community and cultural heritage. Photo: Kaki Lima

The board game (retailing RM168) is a three to eight player game suitable for ages eight and up.

In the game, you have to pick up quest exploration cards to get you out and about in George Town, while completing tasks and earning points along the way. Just like real life, you will find some of these walkways in George Town blocked and you can collaborate with other players to remove the obstacles.

Kaki Lima gives players awareness about George Town’s heritage spots and the challenge of navigating five-foot ways safely. This is a small reflection of reality of George Town and a social issue that should be highlighted as the kaki lima path is a public space, ” says Lim Ming Ling, Kaki Lima Chief Packing Officer.

Players on a kaki lima along Lebuh Pantai in George Town intently playing the board game. Photo: Kaki Lima

According to Goh, this interactive feature of the game came about when she realised after the workshop period that Kaki Lima lacked interaction between the players.

“We noticed that nobody was talking to each other throughout the game, and we realised that we didn’t want people to just play on their own, do their thing in town and not talk, because in George Town, there’s actually a great sense of community.

“I thought of what happens when you meet a friend: you say, ‘Hey, where are you going? Are you going to the kopitiam? Wanna walk there together?’

“So that’s when I introduced this game mechanism called the ‘ajak’ culture: inviting friends or ‘jio peng yu’ (in Hokkien) to come along with you, meet you somewhere or do something together, ” explains Goh.

“Once that mechanism was in place, it just felt like a better game, talking about not just accessibility of the walk space, but also bringing community together, ” she concludes


Street artiste living his dream

October 14, 2019 | Art, Inspiring, Lifestyle | No Comments

WHEN flutist Ayawan Musafir Singgah, 53, told his mother about quitting his engineering job to pursue his dreams as a street artiste in 2007, she called him a fool.

“I told my mother that if I had to choose between wealth and peace, I would choose the latter.

“I had to convince my wife about my decision too and finally she relented. Life has not been easy moving from a stable income job to relying on people’s generosity.

“It has been over a decade since I took the big leap of faith and by God’s grace, I have survived, ” said the father of nine, whose real name is Mohd Shahriznam Sahrie.

Ayawan said he started playing the flute at the age of 17.

“My brother-in-law made a bamboo flute but could not play it, so he gave it to me. I blew into the flute and moved my fingers instinctively, and was surprised by the sounds that came out of it. Playing the flute was very natural for me.

“There was no end to my obsession with playing the flute. I started composing songs and performing on the streets in the evenings when I still had my day job.

“After becoming an artiste full-time, I realised that the money was not good, despite me also playing the guitar, writing songs and poetry, singing and painting on the side.

“People laughed at my determination because even talented buskers performing famous songs were barely surviving, so what more for me who “only” played the flute and that too only my own compositions.

“I opened a karaoke cafe hoping to get more income. I tried it for a few years and struggled to stay afloat, ” he said.

In 2010, the Perak-born self-taught musician who was based in Penang decided to move to Kuala Lumpur in search of more opportunities.

“Back then, people in the kampung believed that if you wanted to be successful, you must go to the capital city.

“It is true for me because I got many job offers here, apart from just busking.

“At present, I play the flute at two hotels in the city. On other days, I perform on crowded streets such as in Brickfields,

Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur Citywalk and outside KLCC LRT station.

“Despite getting gigs at hotels, I am still drawn to performing on the street.

“My music is for the masses and the only way to reach them is by playing on the street for all to enjoy.

“I make between RM200 and RM1,000 in two to three hours of busking.

“I have also worked in movies such as Langsuir (2018) and Lari Hantu Lari (2017).

“I produced my first album in 2017 titled Magic of Life, which features 77 minutes and seven seconds of continuous flute playing with seven types of bamboo flutes.

“My recent achievement was winning the silver medal at the Malaysian Championship of Performing Arts 2019 to qualify for the World Championship Of Performing Arts in California, the United States. However, I did not go because I could not get a sponsor.

“I have also taught many people to play the flute. Many tourists, especially foreigners are eager to learn. I teach the techniques and they pay me a token sum. Some even return for a refresher session.

“Art is God’s gift. I am not the owner of it but merely passing on the knowledge, so I never put a price on my work.

“I am blessed to have people like my wife Nur Farhana George Abdullah, who has always stood by me, as well as talent scout George Fuad, Malaysian Buskers Club president Wadi Hamdan and film director Mamat Khalid who have helped me be where I am today as an artiste.

“My policy in life is simple… be nice, be cool and relax.

“When you hear the soothing sounds of my flute, you are sure to be calmed. That is why I love what I do. It reflects the person that I am… a spiritual nature native artiste, ” he said.


Juara Bigg Boss Mugen Rao tiba di KLIA

October 11, 2019 | Art, Viral | No Comments

Penyanyi dan pelakon Malaysia Mugen Rao yang menjuarai program realiti TV ‘Bigg Boss’ di Tamil Nadu, India Ahad lalu, pulang ke tanah air pagi ini.

Mugen disambut ratusan peminat yang menanti ketibaannya di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur (KLIA) sejak awal pagi lagi.

“Saya amat gembira dapat memenangi pertandingan ini. Saya ingin ucapkan terima kasih kepada rakyat Malaysia yang menyokong dan terus memberi semangat sepanjang program Bigg Boss,” katanya di sini.

Beliau dijangka bertemu peminatnya di Batu Caves pada jam 11 pagi nanti.

Bermula sebagai model kemudiannya pelakon dan penyanyi, Mugen merupakan rakyat Malaysia pertama menyertai program Bigg Boss musim ini bermula 23 Jun lepas, iaitu musim ketiga selepas dua musim terdahulu iaitu pada 2017 dan 2018.

Beliau diumumkan sebagai juara program realiti itu yang dihoskan oleh pelakon tersohor industri perfileman selatan India Kamal Hassan selepas kekal dalam rumah Bigg Boss itu selama 105 hari dengan penyertaan dan kejayaan beliau menjadi tumpuan di media sosial dalam kalangan rakyat Malaysia.

Peringkat akhir Bigg Boss disiarkan pada 6 Oktober di saluran Astro Vijay TV (Saluran 224) dengan tempat kedua dimenangi koreografer Kollywood Santhosh Kumar atau Sandy, diikuti pembaca berita dari Sri Lanka Losliya Mariyanesan di tempat ketiga dan artis Kollywood Sherin Shrinagar meraih tempat keempat.

Terdahulu, Mugen memenangi tiket emas yang melayakkan beliau terus ke peringkat akhir selepas melalui minggu yang penuh dengan cabaran mental dan fizikal.

Album ‘single’ Mugen bertajuk ‘Kayalvizhi’ yang diterbitkan pada 2016 menjadi tular di YouTube dan menjadikan beliau popular dalam kalangan penonton digital.

Program Bigg Boss itu memaparkan peserta yang dipilih daripada filem, televisyen dan juga industri muzik dengan ia berlangsung dalam sebuah rumah unik yang mana 16 peserta tinggal selama 105 hari, dengan setiap aktiviti mereka dirakamkan 60 buah kamera.

Sepanjang 105 hari itu, orang ramai akan mengundi peserta pilihan mereka dengan peserta yang mendapat undian paling rendah akan tersingkir.


Visitors to the Louvre in Paris should have a clearer view of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa after the museum installed a new, more transparent form of bullet-proof glass to protect the world’s most famous painting.

The Mona Lisa has been behind safety glass since the early 1950s, when it was damaged by a visitor who poured acid on it.

Since then there have been several other unsuccessful attempts at vandalising the painting.

Vincent Delieuvin, curator of 16th-century Italian art at the museum, said that glass technology has improved significantly in recent years and the painting’s previous 15-year old bullet-proof glass no longer gave the best possible viewing experience.

“Today, the Mona Lisa is behind extremely transparent glass, which really gives the impression of being very close to the painting,” said Delieuvin.

On Oct 24, the Louvre will open an exhibition celebrating the works of Leonardo da Vinci to mark the 500th anniversary of his death.

The exhibition will feature nearly 120 pieces, including paintings, drawings, sculptures and manuscripts from European and American institutions, but not the Mona Lisa which will remain in its dedicated room in the Louvre’s Denon wing.