The Pudu Art Fest, an upcoming art program to be held at Pudu this month; is set to revive Pudu’s communal identity and cultural heritage.
An idea initiated by the Artists of Lost Generation Art Space (LGAS); the art fest will take place from September 11 to September 25, with participation from the local Pudu community.
This event will witness the artists and Pudu residents interact with each other in activities such as oral history, collection of old photos, performance art, installation art, and My Pudu multimedia workshop at streets, schools, and shopping plazas.
Artists interviewing community folks to gather oral history
Student drawing her impression of Pudu at Pudu Multimedia Workshop
The 15-day event will have its highlight on September 18, when visitors and residents will be invited to walk on the streets with lanterns in conjunction with the Mid-autumn Festival; basked with traditional music, dance and theater performances at various sites in Pudu.
Even coordinator Yeoh Lian Heng said that the 120-year-old Pudu possesses a “peculiar charm” as historical sites remain standing out despite the tide of modernity and urban development.
“However, the demolition of the Pudu Jail wall last month had accelerated our efforts and groundwork in retaining the communal identity,”
The artists have also launched the Pudu Community Art Project (PuduCAP) in line with their recent efforts, and are releasing a Pudu community newsletter monthly under the initiative.
Artist Teoh Chee Keong and students from University College of Sedaya International (UCSI) are also building a site model for Pudu, which scheduled to be ready before the festival kick offs.
“The motive of us making a model is to inherit the memories from the elderly before they forget one day. Hopefully we can revitalize the features of old Pudu,” said Yeoh.
German visual artist Astrid Koppe, who will be presenting installation art during the event, said she will derive her inspiration from ‘strange local things’ such as the durian.
“I will extract the element from its contexts, draw it, and make a light box out of the drawings,”
She said her works will not be titled as she prefers to leave it open for viewers to have their own interpretation of her ideas.
As an artist who came to Malaysia under the international artist exchange program, she lauded the locals’ effort of having such project to divert public attention to an aging community.
She added that Germany too had spent a long time before finally realizing the importance of retaining heritage buildings.
The event is supported by Bukit Bintang assemblyperson Fong Kui Lun, Rukun Tetangga Pudu, Pudu Vendors and Merchandisers Associations, Dasein Academy of Art and UCSI.