Part of the work I did during my artist residency in Kuala Lumpur is research about the crafts of the city.
Most of the folks I talked with shared that the crafts centers are not really situated within Kuala Lumpur or in its surrounding areas. The craft hubs like the batik village were in other provinces. That was too bad, but then it did highlight another nuance of the project I was undertaking.
I needed to know the crafts that the locals are exposed to. The ones they grow up seeing and using. The crafts they live with. So my 2 important stops for this research purpose was the Kraf Kompleks (craft complex) and the Pasar Seni (central market).
I didn't get to take a lot of photos in Pasar Seni. But it was a really helpful visit for me. A few days after my 1st visit there, I went back and ended up making batik.
|store where i made the batik|
After painting, I submitted my fabric to the local artist, who then applied the fixer on the fabric. Instructions were to let the fabric soak in the fixer for 12 hours and then wash it. After this, there was the extra step of having to boil the fabric in some solution to melt the wax away. And for this step, I traveled from Ampang to KLCC to the posh condominium unit of my Filipino friend who is working in KL. Yup, that's the pot I borrowed from HoM on my friend's clean stove.
The batik fabric I made became the foundation of an artistic work, which is one out of a series of 3 that I plan to finish for my Kuala Lumpur project. It is on Work 2 of the KL series that I draw directly from the city's woven crafts. With special attention to patterns.
This is from the Kraf Kompleks. I also noticed their pottery products, and end up buying some as souvenir of my visit there. Their woven crafts are more expensive than some of their pottery stuff. And their woven crafts are more expensive than woven crafts here in Manila.
Here's a surprise from the Kraf Kompleks...
... a craft souvenir vending machine!
I sourced the other materials I needed for my work from various other stores in Bukit Bintang and Ampang Park Mall. What will always be a must-visit, though, when in KL or Singapore is ... Art Friend. It was quite a distance from where we were staying, but well, I ended up visiting it twice during my stay.
|art friend, my friend|
My next post may be on the patterns and shapes that the city impressed on me. Or it could be on my happy visit to their National Textile Museum. ;)