This year’s Kuala Lumpur Art Book Fair (KLABF 2023) returns bigger and better, showcasing new, remarkable talents from 13 countries.
The KLABF 2023, which takes place at the Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH), hosts 112 exhibitors, out of which 52 are international exhibitors spanning China, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, The Netherlands, and the USA.
Driv Loo, the Art Director and Designer at Little Ideas Everyday (LIE) Design, highlighted the escalating global interest in KLABF since its inception in 2021.
“It’s truly gratifying to witness the fair’s consistent growth annually, fueled by an enthusiastic community passionate about this immersive experience.
“Incorporating international participants has not only fostered healthy competition but has also inspired local Malaysian artists to aim higher, showcasing their distinct talents and striving for recognition.”
Driv initiated KLABF, inspired by platforms in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Noticing the absence of such an event in KL, he took the initiative. Thus, KLABF became Malaysia’s leading annual art and design celebration through printed works. It unites creatives and self-publishers globally for collaboration in one space.
For the last two years, KLABF took place at The Godown. However, due to increased participation and visitors, a larger venue became necessary this year. Driv expressed his anticipation in continuing to organize KLABF and sought suitable venue providers in KL. He mentioned the challenge of finding a spacious venue that accommodates the growing booths while ensuring visitor comfort.
This year’s lineup promises an array of visual delights. Notable additions include Ajim Juxta, an award-winning Malaysian artist renowned for exploring architecture, dystopia, and mythology in his creations.
Another highlight is the imaginative world of Radio Woon, an artist and designer famed for quirky character creations inspired by Malaysia’s rich multicultural tapestry.
The showstopper, Grafis Nusantara, hails from Indonesia, passionately dedicated to preserving vintage label stickers across their archipelago. Their digital archive features some of the rarest collectibles, captivating collectors and enthusiasts alike.
Singapore’s In Plain Words, an editorial studio exploring daily life through food and design, adds an intriguing perspective. Meanwhile, Sojanggak from South Korea specializes in crafting books that capture Southeast Asia’s visual culture and narratives.
A standout feature is the youngest exhibitor, 10-year-old self-taught artist Enya Lim from Malaysia. Her endearing doodles, gracing various canvases from tote bags to t-shirts, showcase remarkable talent at a tender age.
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Among the captivating art and artists at KLABF 2023, some personal favorites included Alexdrina Chong, whose book “100 Pages of Solitude” presents an enthralling blend of poetry and painted art.
Additionally, Somewhere in The Kuala by Lisa Goh and William Chew stood out as a hidden treasure. This children’s book vividly portrays recognizable scenes of Kuala Lumpur, inviting readers on a journey through the bustling city. Accompanied by a helpful map, the book facilitates an engaging visual exploration of KL for both parents and children within its pages.
Beyond the plethora of art books, zines, magazines, and limited-run imprints, visitors can anticipate an engaging lineup of book launches, talks, workshops, and exhibitions.
Notably, KLABF has teamed up with Cahaya Create and G.F. Smith to curate a captivating art installation featuring multicolored paper clouds, elevating the fair’s overall experience.
KLABF 2023 takes place between 8 and 10 December 2023, from 12pm to 8pm, at KLSCAH, at Jalan Maharajalela, Kampung Attap. Admission tickets are at RM12 for adults and free entry for children under 12. You can buy tickets here.