The Street Artists in Central Market, Kuala Lumpur

Posted by shloke 27 December 2012
It's been a couple of years since I've traveled to Central Market (Malay: Pasar Seni; Chinese: 中央艺术坊; Tamil: மத்திய சந்தை) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Taking photos inside of Central Market is generally prohibited. Any attempt to take photos will be met with looks of disapproval ಠ_ಠ These artists and sales associates will keep harping "TAK NAK", "JANGAN!" and "NO-NO!" That kind of attitude...it really turned me off, BIG TIME! >.<" Well, that was years ago...

What makes me so attracted to Central Market? The talented portrait artists! These professionals espoused a style of naturalistic portraiture in oil and pastel, celebrating Malaysian identity, culture and values. I’m always fascinated with the artistic’s process, how he achieves his unique drawing, and to be let into the painter’s world, as it was happening, was truly rewarding. Seeing him in motion sketching, splattering and painting was magic to see. And that's the reason WHY I returned to Central Market :)

Here are some amazing facts and figures about Central Market, Kuala Lumpur:

  1. Central Market is located at Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock and the pedestrian only section of Jalan Hang Kasturi, a few minutes away from Petaling Street (KL Chinatown). It was founded in 1888 and originally used as a wet market. It has since been classified as a Heritage Site by the Malaysian Heritage Society and it is now a landmark for Malaysian culture and heritage.
  2. The building was built in 1888 by the British who were ruling Malaya at that time and it was used as wet market for Kuala Lumpur citizens and tin miners. Further expansions were made in 1889, 1895, 1920 and 1921. By 1933, the expansions to the warehouse made the market now in its present size and cost around $167,000.
  3. Towards the end of the 1970s, the Malaysian Heritage Society decided to preserve the building under its heritage programme and through an allocation of RM9 million granted by the Federal Government, the building underwent another facelift to renovate the building from a wet market to a Centre for Malaysian Culture, Arts and Handicrafts.
  4. The English speaking locals call it the “Cultural Bazaar” while the Malays termed the market as “Pasar Seni” (This is the Malay phrase for Handicraft market or Cultural market).
  5. Central Market is a one stop shopping centre for Malaysian products such as handicrafts, art, kebaya, songket, batik and the wide variety of Malaysian cuisine. 
  6. The Annexe in Central Market, is an alternative free space for the arts, hidden on the top of the market's small auxiliary building. On the ground floor, portraitists and street artists can be found — giving a dose of old-time character along the long-obscured riverfront.
  7. On 17 November 2012, Central Market Kuala Lumpur, has been awarded the prestigious FIABCI Malaysia Property Award (Heritage Category). This award recognises Central Market's transformation into an award-winning tourist attraction and shopping destination, without compromising its enduring significance as a centre for the nation's culture, heritage, arts and craft.

NOTE: Facts and figures were obtained from Wikipedia, The NST and Central Market.

I'll let my pictures do the talking. If you LIKE my photo blog article, feel free to click the 'LIKE' button :)


Title: Cluttered
About: Is it possible for an artist to keep his or her studio clutter free? Yes...but I bet a cluttered space does evoke a sense of C.R.E.A.T.I.V.I.T.Y in an artist :) The elderly man pictured above greeted me warmly when I entered and was asked right away if I wanted to take pictures.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/50 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/4, FOCAL LENGTH: 25mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Let my inspiration flow
About: What a stylish and interesting way to wear a pair of shades :) 

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/50 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/4.2, FOCAL LENGTH: 34mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Work in progress
About: He was so busy that he didn't even notice me standing right next to him! I thought he was painting Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom ◕‿◕

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/40 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/4.2, FOCAL LENGTH: 34mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Suria portrait
About: A typical corner for street artist in Central Market. They are now relocated at the Annex Central Market at the back of the main building. Get your majestic image captured on canvas by these talented portrait artists.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/50 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/3.5, FOCAL LENGTH: 18mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Gentle strokes
About: You can commission an oil portrait for as little as RM 250 at the painters studios in the Central Market Annexe. Worth every single penny!

Psst....how many of these faces can you recognize?

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/500 s, ISO: 2800, F-STOP: f/4, FOCAL LENGTH: 25mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Handmade sand art
About: That's 39-yr-old Ahmad Anshoiae. I was told that the sand art is a folk art and many Syrians can do it. He added "it’s an Arabic art I learned from my dad when I was nine. I've been making this sand art in a bottle for almost 30 years, and have been travelling around the world to promote our folk art".

Renting out a place at the Central Market for a year now, he produces art works showing camels with a desert scenery, dolphins frolicking in the sea and even words and geometric designs.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s, ISO: 200, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 38mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: The beginning
About: He scoops the fine sands into a funnel and works his way up layer by layer from the bottom of the bottle, filling it up to make a lovely art work for home decor or gift to family and friends.

Time-consuming but well worth it, beautiful job!

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/5.3, FOCAL LENGTH: 80mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: This is how I do it
About: An artist sketching a portrait from photo, changes his gaze many hundreds of times from looking at the subject matter to looking at the paper and back again. Clearly, this changing gaze is a fundamental aspect of portrait production, and a direct consequence of the subject-to-picture transformation taking place in the artist's brain.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1000 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/5.3, FOCAL LENGTH: 70mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200


Title: Collection of artwork
About: A mosaic of artwork from Dhanik Studio. That's one creative way to advertise! \(^_^)/

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 28mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: The artist's brew
About: Ahmad Anshoiae, the sand art master has 24 containers for keeping different colored sands which he mixes to create more vibrant colors.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s, ISO: 250, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 35mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: The faces of rich and famous
About: I wonder how much an artist make for a living? 

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/60 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/4, FOCAL LENGTH: 18mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: Tools of the trade
About: Pastel is a fascinating medium that traverses the boundaries of both drawing and painting. Simple yet elegant.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/30 s, ISO: 400, F-STOP: f/4.8, FOCAL LENGTH: 48mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: The siblings
About: The process of creating an amazing portrait can be nerve wracking, tedious and time consuming. Perhaps that's the reason for a high price tag.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/500 s, ISO: 1000, F-STOP: f/4.5, FOCAL LENGTH: 35mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: A. Samad Said
About: The white-haired and bearded literary icon famous for his anthologies such as Suara Dari Dinding Dewan (2003) and Dirgahayu Dr. Mahathir & Rindu Ibu (2004). He reminds me of Gandalf the White :) An impressive work of art! 

Abdul Samad bin Muhammad Said, pen name A. Samad Said (born 9 April 1935) is a Malaysian poet and novelist who, in May 1976, was named by Malay literature communities and many of the country's linguists as the Pejuang Sastera (Literary Exponent])receiving, within the following decade, the 1979 Southeast Asia Write Award and, in 1986, in appreciation of his continuous writings and contributions to the nation's literary heritage, or Kesusasteraan Melayu, the title Sasterawan Negara.

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s, ISO: 320, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 105mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Title: Colorful kampung life
About: If I had the money, I'll buy it!

Photo Technical Details:
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 s, ISO: 100, F-STOP: f/5.6, FOCAL LENGTH: 70mm, CAMERA: Nikon D3200

Note: Last updated December 28th, 2012 (12:30 a.m.)

9 comments

  1. AWANG Says:
  2. Whenever i visit KL,I don't want to miss this place.I guess you have permission to photograph this pasar seni.During my last visit no photograph allowed.Anyway Thanks for sharing.

     
  3. shloke Says:
  4. AK, I believe taking pictures is still NOT ALLOWED in Central Market, Kuala Lumpur. The security guard manning the side entrance mentioned that tourists are allowed to take pictures, strictly NOT for commercial photography.

    But then again, I bet most handicraft sellers are not in favor of photographers, be it commercial or vice versa.

    ARGH! All these conflicting mumbo jumbo. I do not obtain any prior permission to snap these photos. Just walk around and snap, snap, snap :)

     
  5. Amazing Asia Says:
  6. Thanks for sharing this post..... I read your blog post great artist in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And nice pictures collection related to art.
    Travel to Borneo

     
  7. Kristy Says:
  8. I wish I can also draw as good as them. Haha. They're very talented and you can see that the picture and painting is alike.

     
  9. Your article is very good. Thank you for sharing.
    threeland travel

     
  10. Anonymous Says:
  11. central market is that one place i will not missed if i ever go to kuala lumpur. The pictures you take are really magnificent and it truly brings out the colour of central market. this is one thing that i like alot about ur blog. you provide very good picture that's related to the topic you talking, and u even titled the picture as well ;) keep up the good work mate!! looking forward to read more blog of yours =)

     
  12. great post and thanks for sharing with others.

     
  13. Travel Blog Says:
  14. Wow, photo realistic drawing!

     
  15. Neha Kapoor Says:

  16. Wow!!! What an amazing trip. 10 months to experience so many things. I am really impressed.
    City Travel

     
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shloke
Traveling & photography are the most rewarding & enriching experiences in my life. Photography is all about discovery, enjoying myself, having adventure, learning people & nature. The greatest experience for me is the connection I felt with NATURE. If you haven’t seen Malaysia, you haven’t seen the world! My photography works are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.
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