17 Nov 2016

A surprising twist to Zen Garden

There’s a dark canopy at the end of the exhibition hall. Tucked away under layers of black cloth, I wasn’t sure what am I suppose to see behind the peculiar yet mysterious setup. But of course, my curiousity got the best of me. 

I peeked behind the dark veil and found myself in an utterly different environment. It was dark and quiet, layers of black cloths muffled the voices outside. At this place, it was surprisingly peaceful. For a moment there, it was nothing else but tranquillity. 

Eyes were automatically directed to the light source in the middle. Light sources, I stand corrected. Out of my delight, it’s a reverse night sky with beautiful starlights aplenty. They were buried under 80kg  of salt that represents the infinite ocean – according to Ryunosuke Kikuchi, the artist behind this alternative representation of Zen Garden.

Challenging the conventional setup of Zen Garden, as mentioned by Woon Bing Chang, a collaborative artist partner in this product, which is usually bustling with life with botanical landscaping. This art installation felt vast and empty. Salt is usually used to depict the absence of water and in turn, the void of life. However, this young Japanese artist decided to draw its cultural belief in warding off the bad and keeping the pure in tact. 

Without me realising it, I actually sat at the corner of the art installation for a good 15 minutes. My mind was calm but I remained hopeful – much like a voyager sailing forth through the sea. Especially since salt was intentionally shaped to represent the ripples of the ocean. And the stars, that will always be there to provide guidance, when we needed it the most.

I found peace, in this little corner Ryunosuke Kikuchi and Woon Bing Chang called the Zen Garden. And this is, to date, my favourite art installation piece I have ever experienced. 

17 Nov 2016 Ferado

Let The Great Exploration Begin!

With an art conference hosted among more than 100 artists from 33 countries, the international Langkawi Art Biennale 2016 has begun. Carrying the theme of “Exploration” for this year around, the Biennale expands on the theme of the previous Biennale, “Migration” in the hope to encourage artists of different principles to explore further and farther in their respective creative endeavours.

Through a short art conference moderated by a panel of experienced artists from different countries, artists get to obtain an inkling into the landscape of art in various cultural background. It was particularly interesting when artists begin to express on their perspective in promotion of art from multiple facets of approach to the similar motivation.

Artists gathered around to share their hopes and dreams as the conference came to an end, followed by a casual mingling session at the exhibition area. While some of the artists resumed building their respective art installation, others were sharing their passion and motifs behind each and every one of their masterpieces.

As the night slowly crept up the venue, it marked the herald of the new biennale for 2016. With many exciting activities coming up in the next few days, one should come in an open mind and embrace the diversity and versatility of the little passion that we share that we called art. Now it’s the time we let the great exploration begin!

17 Nov 2016 Ferado

Highlights of Today’s Art Talk, Langkawi Art Biennale 2016

“Rome was not built in one day,” Mr. Liew Kian Yap, Langkawi Art Biennale Founder stated this in his message to international artists gathered at today’s Art Talk held at Langkawi International Convention Center. He referred to the many sacrifices that have been done to make this meeting of artists from all over the world a reality.

Gathering 128 artists from 33 countries is not a simple task as it entailed strong cooperation among teamplayers who are involved to make this vision of making Langkawi an international art tourism destination. Today we witnessed the gathering not only of the international artists, but also of the event’s sponsors, art enthusiasts and other key players to see this dream become a reality.

Representatives from Reunion Island, Mauritius and the Philippines joined Mr. Liew Kian Yap, LAB Founder, Ms. Zainariah Johari of Yayasan Hasanah, a foundation of Khazanah Nasional and Prof Raja Dato’ Zahabuddin Raja Yaacob in this Art Talk session.

Prof Raja Dato’ Zahabuddin Raja Yaacob with LAB Patron YM Raja Ikram Raja Omar



Today’s gathering of Langkawi Art Biennale 2016 international artists showed the beginnings of seeing the vision fulfilled.

16 Nov 2016 Ferado

Langkawi Art Biennale begins!

But before that… Breakfast At Simfoni! (not Tiffany’s)

Elliza Hashim, Ngdawiyah, Hudry  Hayat, Rozlina
Elliza Hashim, Ngdawiyah, Hudry Hayat, Rozlina
Rasid Yusof,  Agus and Ahmed Fauzi Arshad
Rasid Yusof, Agus and Ahmed Fauzi Arshad
Malaysian artists  all ready to go!
Malaysian artists all ready to go!


Arriving at Langkawi International Convention Centre from their respective accommodations – homestays Cottage and The Viillage at Pantai Cenang, Simfoni Resort and Bella Vista.

Ah, more breakfast!
Ah, more breakfast! Lets mingle


Here, our next blogger, Miho Miwa is setting up her computer to blog, in Japanese. How cool is that?

Ohayou gozaimasu!
Ohayou gozaimasu!

The visual artists were very excited to see their paintings displayed. Each artist was required to submit 3 art works.

This way, everyone
This way, everyone






Participating artists:  Boo Suan Eng,  Liza, Susanna Hernesniemi
Participating artists: Boo Suan Eng, Liza, Susanna Hernesniemi

Liza and her paintings, in foreground  and background
Liza and her paintings, in foreground and background

Abdul Raoof Ali
Abdul Raoof Ali
Elliza Hashim
Elliza Hashim
Close-up of Elliza'work
Close-up of Elliza’work

Explaining the motif
Explaining the motif

This only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ ie.many more beautiful paintings, in so many genres, so many media and with so much creative energy in each of them,


Visiting artist from Iraq
Visiting artist from Iraq


16 Nov 2016 Ferado





16 Nov 2016 Ferado

LAB2016 Artists’ Night: A Celebration of Life

Everybody aims to make this Langkawi Art Biennale a successful event. To kick off the week’s forthcoming activities, Langkawi artists gathered together for a dinner fellowship, and celebrated through food, singing and dancing.

Mr. Sadao Ishida, a long-time friend of Mr.Liew Kian Yap and a supporter of the Langkawi Art Biennale celebrated his 90th birthday with artists from all over the world sharing the joy of long life for him.

Langkawi Art Biennale Founder, Mr. Liew Kian Yap and LAB2016 Patron YM Raja Ikram Raja Omar graced the evening along with some special guests. The highlight of the evening was the community dancing of all international LAB 2016 participants.

It's great to see Mr. Liew Kian Yap, Langkawi Art Biennale Founder and YM Raja Ikram Raja Omar, LAB2016 Patron together, towards making Langkawi an international art tourism destination.
It’s great to see Mr. Liew Kian Yap, Langkawi Art Biennale Founder and YM Raja Ikram Raja Omar, LAB2016 Patron together, towards making Langkawi an international art tourism destination.

Celebrating Mr. Sadao Ishida's 90th birthday with the Langkawi Art Biennale participants
Celebrating Mr. Sadao Ishida’s 90th birthday with the Langkawi Art Biennale 2016 participants

14 Nov 2016 Ferado

Artists coming together for Langkawi Art Biennale 2016

Langkawi Art Biennale 2016 is bringing 33 countries, 128 artists, 216+ artwork together towards making Langkawi an international art destination.

Today, is another day of surprises! Even as the “Exploration” painters and sculptors are intently working on the final touches of their masterpieces, more artists are still coming in. Meeting them is such a privilege.

Towards the evening, our Patron, YM Raja Ikram Raja Omar came to meet and greet some of them.

Heidi Fosli/Norway, Shahril Azwan Salleh/Malaysia, Freddy Sofian/Indonesia, Abdul Mansoor Ibrahim/Malaysia, and Jik Villanueva, Philippines

Heidi Fosli/Norway, Pandora Apostoloska Sazdovska and Saso Sazdovski/Macedonia, Lawrence Dinesh Wilkes/New South Wales, Australia and Helen Crawford/Adelaide, Australia

Helen/Australia, Saso/Macedonia and Dinesh/Australia exchanging notes about their sculpting instruments

Saso/Macedonia, Dinesh/Australia and Jik/Philippines: a meeting of sculptors

Indonesia meets Norway: Freddy exchanging pleasantries with Heidi

Light moments with Mansoor/Malaysia, Pandora/Macedonia, Freddy/Indonesia and Charly/Reunion Island, France

Heidi Fosli/Norway, Fe Madrid Pepito/Philippines, me, Celso Pepito/Philippines and Charly Lesquelin/Reunion Island, France on the way to The Cottage

Mickael Boyer and Charly Lesquelin/Reunion Island, France, LAB2016 Patron YM Raja Ikram Raja Omar, Jean-Daniel Orian/Mauritius, Hairul Azizi Amat Tokimin/LAB2016 Coordinator and Donald Eaton/Reunion Island, France

14 Nov 2016 Ferado

LAB 2016 Sculptors in Focus: Mauritius Team

For the past days, I have been excitedly following up the progress of the many sculptural works being done for the Langkawi Art Biennale 2016 at the marble factory and in Zul Idris’ place. Like the rest of the sculptors, the Mauritius group were all powdered with marble dust, working under the temporary shelter they set up as they took turns hewing, cutting and polishing the marble pieces. They also did the same work on the log: cleaning it, shaping and molding it to what it is now.

Jean Lewis Dick, a teacher of sculpture in Ecole Sculpture de Bambous, Mauritius worked with his students Jean-Daniel Orian, Nicolas Mariette, Ryan Azenor and the only female in the group, Baliram Ourmila to come up with these masterpieces.

Title: Observation
Message: Let’s explore the underwater world

The first time I asked the Mauritius group what they are going to produce for their Langkawi Art Biennale 2016 sculpture project, Jean Lewis Dick told me, “We will allow the materials to tell us what form it will take“.

It took them some time of exploration in order to get acquainted with Langkawi Island before they got together and brainstormed what visuals they are going to portray. They came up with these marble pieces showing a figure enjoying the sea. The relaxed smiling figure seemed to show appreciation for the seascape represented by the fish.

On the other hand,the tree that was once dirtied and was just lying around in the place now stands up, proud with the images carved on it. One sees an eagle, the famous symbol of Langkawi swooping down from the top. The image is approriately centered by some buffalos in the middle of the trunk. One also sees some leaves adorning the figure and the images of ducks below with their necks and bills pointed upward, all representing Langkawi’s rich biodiversity.

Title: Let the tree open its heart to you;
Message: The harmony between nature and animals under the theme Exploration.

These sculptures are just some of the artwork we are going to see and experience for the forthcoming Langkawi Art Biennale 2016. We will be seeing more art coming from various parts of the world in the coming days.

14 Nov 2016 Ferado

Initial Installation works at LAB2016: Freddie Sofian, Indonesia

In this installation work, Freddy Sofian of Indonesia chose this simple chair to express a very significant message.

The chair, he says, symbolize a position, a status. Some people want to take this “seat” that signifies status or position and would do anything to get such, even to the point of hurting others. For him, such “greed” for position should have no place. As an artist, he does not like such aspiration for power, position and status. Thus, that rope that he tied around it would prevent anyone to take that seat of position or power.

It is worth noting that even the simplest artifact could carry so many messages to be expressed.



Zul Idris, the former owner of this chair says “Every nation has sat on that chair.”

This is just one of the many art installations we will be seeing at Langkawi Art Biennale. Come, join us!

This time, I have to help  Freddy carry his chair.
This time, I have to help Freddy carry his chair.