4 Insider Insights on Art in Kuala Lumpur
Painter Christine Das offers the broad strokes and fine points of life in her adopted city's lesser-known neighborhoods. Story by Marco Ferrarese.
Published on Apr 29, 2015
Malaysia's fast-moving capital takes on an extra sheen when seen through the eyes of artist Christine Das (christinedas.com). Her work, capturing hoofed, horned, tusked and tufted subjects in a powerful blend of color-soaked strokes, has been exhibited in galleries across Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States, raising global awareness of endangered Malaysian species. Though originally from Penang, nature-lover Das has been wooed by Kuala Lumpur's ever-evolving urban canvas. Here, her favorite spots to indulge in, and escape, the city life.
Artist Christine Das.
For British colonial charm, stay at The Majestic (+60 3 2785 8000; majestickl.com), with its romantic orchid garden. For a contemporary KL experience, E.City Hotel (+60 3 5115 1111; ecityhotel.my) offers luxe comfort and shopping under one roof.
The Majestic hotel.
2. See + Do
Nature is my muse, and I find it at Kuala Lumpur Bird Park (+60 3 2272 1010; klbirdpark.com) and the Perdana Botanical Garden (klbotanicalgarden.gov.my), two easy green getaways from KL's concrete jungle. + Bank Negara Museum and Art Gallery (museum.bnm.gov.my; free entry) has a superb collection of artworks set in a meditative ambience.
A local at Kuala Lumpur Bird Park.
Monthly Fuyoh Art Bazaar in Publika (+60 3 6211 7877; publika.com.my) sells loads of artisanal items, and is a great place to meet other artists. When I feel nostalgic, I go to the Amcorp Mall's flea market (+60 3 7956 2999; amcorpmall.com), a treasure trove of Malaysian memorabilia.
Publika hosts a monthly art fair.
4. Eat + Drink
As a Penang native, I constantly crave northern delicacies. Penang One (penang-one.com) always satisfies my taste buds. For Western, Zest Café (zestcafe.com.my) dishes up great Mediterranean mains in a homely setting. + For cocktails and live music, go to Bricks & Barrels (facebook.com/bnbhartamas) or Mandolin Plaza Glomac (+60 3 7886 8434), which hosts bands daily. My favorite is Alphabeat's 1980's retro covers on Tuesdays.
Lamb shank at Bricks & Barrels.
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