Slide12018 marks the 16th edition to Malaysia’s longest running creative arts festival that garnered 73, 000 people from all parts of Malaysia. It kicked off on the 3rd of November until 18th November, which is about three weekends filled with events and fun during November.

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The festival showed about 92 music acts and on the 4th of November, I managed to catch the great Khalid (American singer-songwriter) live with my friends at KL Live. The show was incredible as I have been an avid supporter of Khalid ever since his EP days. He was also very friendly and to be able to be part of a community that appreciates his music and his talent. Not only that, I managed to see a local actor, Talitha on the 16th November as she performs and introduces her new album ‘BOYS EP’ and call it the Heartbreak Party at the Urbanscapes House. It was nice being there as she came to greet us before she went up on stage and took pictures with us.

Other than music acts, Urbanscapes catered and saw about 95 artists-collectives in various locations in Kuala Lumpur (KL). There was art in Zhongshan Building, Lorong Hang Kasturi and the main hub was Urbanscapes House in Petaling Street area. The Urbanscapes House had five types of installations and themes.

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In the Basement space, there was Immersio 2.0 which was a multi-sensory immersive experience combining both visuals and audio curated by Filamen. On the 1st floor, it was a visual arts exhibition working with artists and collectives to rediscover, reimagine and recreate KL City; called #REIMAGINEUS and LIVE WIRE which is a curated media art programme in collaboration with final year students of the Media Arts Department of Multimedia University, Cyberjaya. On the 2nd floor, there was an immersive and experiential exhibition that highlights the life journey of refugees held in partnership with The Picha Project and Think City, called ‘This is Home’ to increase the understanding and create awareness among the public towards a global humanitarian crisis. On the 3rd and final floor, there was Kota Wayang, where people can see and experience Kuala Lumpur through the eyes and cinematic lens of some of Malaysia’s best film directors.

Other than the arts and lights, the public could also opt for a more immersive experience with the walking tours that was provided for free along the area. Such tours are Dancing in Place, Ketuk Pintu Guided Discovery Tour, GEC River Walk, Sketch-Time Continuum: Sketchwalk + Dialogue, Reimagining Narratives Photo Walk, GerakBudaya: Streets of KL Historical Walking Tour, GerakBudaya: Reach Out Community Walking Tour and Trust Your Eyes. Urbanscapes also provided outdoor installations such as AVAI (Audio Visual Audience Interaction), ARUS (an experiential installation which transient nature of our movements and the flow of humanity through space and time), Kuala Hijau (interact with singing plants in the middle of Kuala Lumpur), Paint The Light (reimagine the façade of a heritage shoplot by the River of Life) and lastly, Wayang @Warung Panggung: Nu-KL (a glimpse of what the future holds for Kuala Lumpur).

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On the last weekend of the Urbanscapes 2018, RIUH, a curated creative platform that hosts an eclectic array of pop-up stores, international and local food, creative workshops and activities, showcases and live acts. RIUH has been around since 2017 and ever since then, it has added a pop of soul for local acts and trinkets. This time, they collaborated with Urbanscapes and had it at the waterfront of River of Life in downtown KL. Out of all my experience with RIUH, this time was the biggest and the most entertaining and immersive one yet.

Who knew that dance can portray deep emotions and that food can come from beautiful but difficult backgrounds. This year’s 16th edition of Urbanscapes has so much to see and experience to the extent that it was overwhelmingly good to be part of a community. To be able to witness an array of art, music and markets that promotes positiveness and fun whilst learning the diverse cultures through all the organised activities.

I am most definitely looking forward to Urbanscapes 2019 and I hope you get to come along with me too!

Disclaimer: Pictures are taken and edited by me.

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