KUL Biennale 2020’s Imminent Arrival

December 24, 2019
By Ili Farhana

National Art Gallery announced the second instalment of KUL Biennale, an exhibition created to further establish the progression of the local and international visual arts scene. KUL Biennale 2020 is scheduled to be held and exhibited to the public from 1st September 2020 till 28th February 2021.

‘KUL’ in KUL Biennale 2020 is referred to as the flight code for Kuala Lumpur reflecting on the partnership between National Art Gallery and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad. Following this partnership, udara (aviation) is included in the theme of Tanah Air (Sa)Udara – with (Sa) being placed before the word udara which when combined becomes Saudara, translating to ‘brother’. With an inspiring theme touching on environmental and social matters with emphasis on sustainability, the curatorial direction is focused on local and bordering issues associated with limitations in politics, economics, geography, culture, beliefs, flora and fauna.

Lead by Encik Amerrudin Ahmad as not only the Director General of National Art Gallery but also the Artistic Director, KUL Biennale 2020 will see the participation of 100 artists from Malaysia and South East Asia countries including Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and others who will be showcasing a variety of art pieces such as drawings, sculptures, installations, murals, and interactive performance arts. During the press conference, YB Tuan Muhammad Bakhtiar revealed the first group of 18 artists that will be part of this initiative. Apart from these 100 artists, the participants will also consist of art lecturers and collectors, and industry experts who will be participating in forums, seminars, art talks, art initiatives and among others.

Other than the main exhibition, National Art Gallery will also organise parallel programs around Kuala Lumpur to complement KUL Biennale 2020 which include Collateral exhibitions from selected private galleries (showcasing art pieces based on “Tanah Air (Sa)Udara”), and an Art Symposium targeted towards local and international art enthusiasts as well as students to be held at the National Art Gallery.

In the run up to the KUL Biennale 2020, National Art Gallery has also prepared a lineup of several programmes nationwide through its Route to KL Biennale 2020 initiative, one of it being the International Marble Art Camp in Langkawi from 30 November – 13 December 2019, which also indicates Langkawi as the largest producer of the finest grade marble. Throughout this art camp, 19 artists from eight countries including Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal, India, Italy, Belgium, France and Malaysia produced unique and fine marble sculptures based on the myths and legends of Langkawi. Previous art and cultural programmes through Route to KL Biennale 2020 include Balik Pulau Festival, Penang; Festival Anak Muda 2019, Kuala Lumpur; Lakaran Panorama Muar, Johor; Borneo Art Festival 2019, Labuan; Bamboo Sculpture by The Sea, Kota Kinabalu; International Marble Art Workshop, Langkawi; Projek Seni Komuniti & Pameran, Johor; Ipoh International Art Festival (IIAF 2019); and Street Art @ Kapit, Sarawak.

Kuala Lumpur Biennale 2020 is open to the public from 1st September 2020 until 28th February 2021. The entrance is free.

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