There are few festivals in the Malaysian capital that encompass the scope and scale of DiverseCity: Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival (KLIAF), which returns for its fourth year this month, ready to deliver a vibrant set of performances until the end of October.
This annual celebration of arts and culture aims to unite communities through creative expression, while working as a platform for professionals and volunteers with a passion for the arts, to share ideas and present their creations to the world. It is also dedicated to providing equal opportunities for budding artistes and established names, both local and international, the traditional and contemporary.
Working on the foundation that artistic and cultural experiences enrich people’s lives, the festival offers a programme that ranges across drama, music, dance, literature, visual arts and for the first time this year, targeted community reach out projects that bring arts experiences to the less fortunate.
A mainstay in the performing arts scene for over two decades, HANDS Percussion lights up this year’s KLIAF with a special gamelan performance called Taksu. Combining Malay and Balinese styles of the music, the troupe will be striking up a unique blend of metallic and deep timbre sounds that also incorporate Chinese drums.
Another highlight on the music calendar is Keluan, a concert featuring the talents of sape’ master Mathew Ngau Jau and the sape’ led music ensemble Lan e Tuyang. If you’ve never heard this traditional lute instrument of central Borneo before, do not miss this multi-disciplinary team live in the flesh.
Brandon Stanton’s massive photography project Humans of New York has impacted countless viewers by providing everyday glimpses into the lives of New York City’s inhabitants since 2010. Freelance photographer/photojournalist Mushamir Mustafa started Humans of Kuala Lumpur in 2012, and meanwhile it has transformed from being a story telling narrative into a social advocacy platform.
Mustafa and his team of 15 storytellers aim to change, influence, inspire, educate and create change by presenting their portraits and and KLIAF will host their New Beginnings exhibition featuring never before seen photostories of KL’s humans.
Humans of Kuala Lumpur
To meet some of the people behind these stories, head to The Intermark every weekend where you’ll be able to hear from them personally and ask them anything you wish.
There will also be art performances, workshops on photography and handicraft booths, as well as a Story Party where you’ll be able to join the experienced storytellers on a photohunt and share your own stories.
Taking place at the Malaysia Tourism Centre, this arts showcase dubbed Awang Batil: Hikayat Cendawan Putih (Legend of the White Mushroom) highlights the traditional form of musical storytelling from the state of Perlis. Encik Romli bin Mahmud proudly carries on his family’s heritage and appears here alongside the Persatuan Teater Opera Mimpi Negeri Perlis to tell this time-honoured tale. Various masks are used by the storyteller to inject humour and other emotions, and a copper container serves as one of his main instruments!
When Until 25 Oct
Tel 03 2166 0788