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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 ( 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.

Christine Das
Artist Christine Das.


1. Stay

For British colonial charm, stay at The Majestic (+60 3 2785 8000;, with its romantic orchid garden. For a contemporary KL experience, E.City Hotel (+60 3 5115 1111; offers luxe comfort and shopping under one roof.

The Majestic
The Majestic hotel.


2. See + Do

Nature is my muse, and I find it at Kuala Lumpur Bird Park (+60 3 2272 1010; and the Perdana Botanical Garden (, two easy green getaways from KL's concrete jungle. + Bank Negara Museum and Art Gallery (; free entry) has a superb collection of artworks set in a meditative ambience.

Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
A local at Kuala Lumpur Bird Park.


3. Shop

Monthly Fuyoh Art Bazaar in Publika (+60 3 6211 7877; 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;, 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 ( always satisfies my taste buds. For Western, Zest Café ( dishes up great Mediterranean mains in a homely setting. + For cocktails and live music, go to Bricks & Barrels ( or Mandolin Plaza Glomac (+60 3 7886 8434), which hosts bands daily. My favorite is Alphabeat's 1980's retro covers on Tuesdays.

Bricks & Barrels
Lamb shank at Bricks & Barrels.


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Publika, Kuala Lumpur
  • Refuge by Das
  • Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
  • Artist Christine Das
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