With the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions, we have traveled around the city much more. To keep safe, we look for uncrowded city streets and empty indoor venues. Museums are not popular currently, so it has been a dream to view the exhibits at our leisure, talk to the guards. We have better luck on weekdays keeping social distance, especially in popular museums. Galleries are generally good any time. [As always with the new WordPress, right click the images to view the larger version]
The GMBB, Gamuda Mall Bukit Bintang is a mall with event and art exhibit spaces, a creative community mall as their website says. This artist, Phillip Wong, creates sculptures from everyday materials.
In a similar way the Intermark Mall exhibited new fashions using recycled textiles.
The Fahrenheit88 Mall in Tourist/Shopping district has a marvelous gallery on the top level with interesting displays. A bus ride took us to the Kedai KL Mall near the University. It features boutiques featuring local entrepreneurs.
As I write this entry at the GMBB, local illustrators invited me for a little bit of Hari Raya treats celebrating end of Ramadan Fasting.
They have an exhibit here until the end of May and Congress coming in September.
Back on the street, there is new art popping up all over the place.
The REXKL is a repurposed cinema as a bookstore with art gallery, restaurants, and music venue.
The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia was really interesting. There were only two or three others the day we visited so the galleries were wide open for photos. Really clear explanation and displays on Arabic writing.
In contrast to the Islamic Museum, an early mansion houses the Wei-Ling gallery. Very lively art works along with Exhibit catalogs dating back twenty years.
We’ve been to the Ilham Gallery a couple of times. It’s a smaller space in an office buiding. The lighting and area provide a good space to present works with local appeal.
Over the last year, we have stopped over in Kuala Lumpur several times for family events and personal pursuits. Recently, we have tried to find some less common venues involving city walks. It is steaming (and when it rains, streaming) in KL and never ending construction forces us into the streets as we approach our quest.
Prime Minister Memorials and the Bank Negara Museum and Art Gallery.
We took the free Red GOKL bus from KL Sentral and exiting at Menara DBKL (City Hall Tower). A walk up Jalan Raja Laut (street) to LRT station Bandaraya arrives at a foot bridge to KTM station Bank Negara. Either of these stations are also good starting points for the walk north up Jalan Dato Onn and circling west to the Memorials for the first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, and third prime minister, Tun Hussein Onn. These huge buildings are stuffed with mementos about the accomplishments but shy away from controversy.
Across the road is Bank Negara (National Bank) which has an extensive art gallery and museum with no entry fee. Bags are not allowed but the information desk has tokens for the lockers.
The works are technically well done but tend to show an idealized village. Here are few inspirations that bend the rules.
The Artist is unknown for one of the paintings on the left.
I like the recursion of this batik landscape of batik cloth drying
One that catches the heat and the dust of a tropical afternoon
KLCC-Bukit Bintang Walk
A 3-4 km walk I took several times starts at the Avenue K Shopping Mall at the KLCC LRT stop. This goes underground from Avenue K via (tunnel 1) Suria KLCC Mall to the Convention Center (tunnel 2), then via elevated Walkways (skyway 3) to the Pavilion Shopping Mall. From there, a tunnel (4) connects under Jalan Bukit Bintang to the Fahrenheit88 Shopping Mall. Exiting on ground floor by Shoopen and walking along Jalan Bukit Bintang about 30 meters arrives at the down escalator (5) into the Lot10 Hutong basement restaurants. From here, escalators up to second floor of the Lot10 shopping mall access the skywalk (6) from H&M or Isetan leading under the monorail over to the Sungei Wang Plaza. Except for 30 meters, this entire route is protected from sun and rain.
Here’s a map from Google that I annotated with numbered pathways. Brown lines are underground, Green lines are Skyways.
River of Life
Masjid Jamek (the Jamek Mosque) marks the confluence of the Klang and Gombak Rivers where Kuala Lumpur (meaning Muddy confluence) gets its name. These rivers run through the heart of Kuala Lumpur. A new program plans to beautify the area by cleaning up the rivers and erecting walkways along the banks. It is quite impressive around the Jamek Mosque in the evening.
Cats and Bikes
To complete this post, Kuala Lumpur has many cats and many oBikes, a station free bicycle sharing system. Here are a few photos of each. I have an oBike account and use them frequently when public transportation does not have a direct route.
At the Masjid Jamek Interchange Station
An inventive exhibit at the PM Hussein Onn Memorial