Saturday, April 05, 2008

Art Bazaar At KL Railway Station

Its days are numbered, but someone has found a creative way to "rebrand" the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station - probably as an art bazaar.

I know, you may not have heard about it before unless you stop over at the Railway Station. And these days, you don't need to as it is no longer useful as a transport hub because the next stop - KL Sentral - is much, much more useful and convenient.

Anyway, I found out that there is an art bazaar at station. Whoever put it there, I must say it is a good idea and the limited few stalls that I saw showed some potential as a mini art mart - nothing more, and even that, if you noticed them.

Perhaps, this is what the owners of KL Railway Station building can think about - turning the station into a viable economic venture than let it go to waste and grow cobwebs on the ceilings. With the Central Market a cough away, this could be yet another heritage reclamation project. And why not!

Anyway, from the art work on display, I gathered that there are only a handful of artists exhibiting. And selling. There are some watercolour and some oil. Some abstract, some sketches. The latter I liked a lot - splendid architectural pieces done in ink and pencil, depicting the nation's landmarks.

Seeing this place reminds me of the Laman Seni which is now but a memory. It was set up to give artists a place to converge once a month and sell their work amidst a carnival-lie atmosphere. Just when it was about to reap its first taste of success, some big brother decided that it would be better off in Putrajaya, and so it was dismantled and artists who sold here was invited to move to Putrajaya.

The idea fell splendidly on its face and without Laman Seni, few people find reason to visit the National Art Gallery in Jalan Temerloh. Otherwise, the first Sunday of every month is looked upon by people living around the Lake Titiwangsa area, which is just a stone's throw away from the gallery.

Footnote: Hopefully the new Tourism Minister Shafie Apdal will read this blog and perhaps bring back the Laman Seni? You can't draw crowd to the gallery with art alone. Activities like Laman Seni is important and popular. Just look at Amcorp Mall's flea mart. There is a lesson to be learned there. Bring back the Laman Seni at Balai Seni Lukis Negara and I bet your last packet of nasi lemak the crowd will be back and the National Art Gallery not so eeriely deserted on weekends.

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