PETALING JAYA: Fans of comic books and popular culture have something exciting to look forward to this month.
The art festival and exhibition P.L.A.Y. – an acronym for “pop culture”, “lifestyle”, “art” and “you” – is being held at The Ledge Art Gallery in 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Petaling Jaya, promising over 50 artworks by no less than 23 talented artists.
Jointly presented by online comics communities Pekomik and the appropriately named My Comics Community (MYCC), the third edition of the event is a great way to admire and support the works of Malaysian creatives.
Co-organiser Lee Heng Kok explained that P.L.A.Y. focuses on “celebrating the comics medium” while highlighting local and regional talent. “It is a celebration of visual illustration and rich colour palettes,” he said.
Lee is also the co-administrator of MYCC, which he founded in 2013. The group is made up of professional and aspiring artists as well as art collectors, and aims to promote popular culture and comics in Malaysia.
To that end, the range of artworks on dis-P.L.A.Y. is large and diverse, with gorgeous pieces of fan art hanging alongside unique and original creations.
There are tributes to the superheroes every Malaysian knows, Spider-Man and Iron Man among them. Plus, fans of local comic books can geek out to art featuring the country’s very own campy superhero, Keluang Man!
Lee told FMT that the artists were selected based on their styles and visual aesthetics. This talented group includes fellow co-organiser Adrian Tan, who has been collaborating with Lee since the previous edition in 2019 and has several works on display.
Also keep your eye out for Jon Tham, often a fixture at local “Star Wars” events; his portrait of Din Djarin and Grogu aka Baby Yoda from “The Mandalorian” impressive as always.
Video gamers, too, may be thrilled to view fan art of characters from their favourite franchises such as “Resident Evil” and “The Witcher”.
As much as adults will certainly find something to relish at P.L.A.Y., children are more than welcome to take in the artwork – and even submit their own!
Yes, folks, an art competition is afoot, with kids as young as six welcome to participate in a colouring contest, while tweens and teens are invited to submit artworks centred on the theme of “play”.
Winners stand to win up to RM300 in prizes. Whoo-hoo!
For those looking to sharpen their artistry, P.L.A.Y. is the best time to get tips from the maestros, who will be sharing their secrets during meet-and-greets on three consecutive Sundays starting today.
There will also be live art-jamming sessions by the artists for those who would like to experience spontaneity in creativity, so don’t miss out!
Ultimately, what do Lee and Tan hope this fest will accomplish? For Tan, it’s that youngsters will discover artistic skills aren’t developed overnight. “Everyone has a starting point, and I hope that’s what kids will see.”
As for Lee: “I hope visitors walk away thinking, ‘That’s a great artist I wasn’t aware of, and they’re Malaysian.’ Also: ‘Hey, comics are cool!'”
P.L.A.Y. @ The Ledge (free admission)
11am-9pm until May 28, with artist meet-and-greets every Sunday
Ledge Art Gallery,
3rd Floor, 1 Utama Shopping Centre,
Central Park Avenue,
Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
The art competition closes on Thursday, May 18. For full details and to enter, click here.