Urbanscapes 2018 Steps It Up With Impressive Art Installations, Festival Fashion & More

Urbanscapes, Malaysia’s creative arts festival which has been running for around 16 years now, started off as a small event at Grappa Soho on Bintang Walk back in 2002, before expanding itself into a three week long celebration that feature headliners the likes of Crystal Castles, M83 and Sigur Ros.

The first edition played host to a couple of hundred guests, but over these past few years, we have seen Urbanscapes grow to become one of the leading festivals in Malaysia, with thousands of music fans flocking venues all across the Klang Valley to get a piece of the action.

And lucky for us, we get to see the festival’s best and biggest influence on the Malaysian creative arts landscape this year!

The art scene

As we’re all know, the support for the Malaysian art scene has always been a little mediocre, since not many are aware that we have great, skillful artists living around us. Often times, the media and our society will usually focus on the mainstream stuff such as reality TV shows, gossips or even politics — but not so much on our local creative scene.

Thankfully, with Urbanscapes, local artists now have a platform to showcase their sweat, blood and tears — a long-awaited opportunity that could help boost Malaysia’s art and culture game. Taking advantage of KL’s glorious city-scape, the festival has collaborated with various talented minds namely Bono Stellar, Biji-Biji Initiative, Saishahogen, Filamen, as well as Cervello, to present their unique art installations that are beyond impressive.

I have to say, this year’s art installments are the best we have ever seen thus far. From Medan Pasar and River of Life to Urbanscapes House at Jalan Kasturi, you can expect to see unique, cutting-edge artworks that merge art and technology through new visual concepts by incorporating nature, materials and objects spread all over the city. Fitting to the spirit of the festival which is to represent the energy and vibrancy of the KL arts scene.

The fashion scene

When there’s art.. it goes without saying that there will be festival goers who would take this opportunity to flaunt their fashionable skillz at the event too. Many opted for daring outfits despite the unpredictable weather, where stylish ladies arrived in everything from thigh-skimming short skirts to tasteful tops and dresses in a dizzying range of colours and styles.

Meanwhile, we spotted male festival goers donning Kanye West-esque ensemble, floral tops and of course, super lit shoes. It is so nice to see so many people putting in the effort to look good, especially since trying to tow the line between being stylish and being practical can be hard when you can’t predict the weather.

Read our article here to see more fashion snaps from this year’s Urbanscapes.

The music scene

Although early editions of Urbanscapes featured artists mostly from around the region, much to our surprise, the festival sent the nation into a frenzy back in 2012 when they announced that they’ve added Icelandic post rock giants Sigur Rós as headliners, followed by the likes of Franz Ferdinand, Tame Impala and M83 in the following year.

Unfortunately, the festival was hugely affected by the controversial FMFA issue back in 2013, which led them to split their event into several satellite shows in 2014, with music gigs happening from the bright lights of KL Live to the sleepier suburbs of Taman Desa and art exhibitions held in the Urbanscapes House.

It was a little inconvenient for some at first, since we couldn’t see all of the acts together at once. However, after four years, it seems like everyone has gotten used to these separate shows and honestly, I pretty much prefer it this way too. We’re able to catch the performance of our favourite bands whenever we like (according to their dates, of course), without having to stay at a venue for one whole day or two.

In fact, we can even catch showcases straight after work such as the one at Chin Woo Stadium which featured Toronto-based band Alvvays and Zee Avi who performed on 8 Nov. It was on a Thursday, FYI, and since the event only took place for around 4 hours, we didn’t need to take one day off to recover from standing so long at the festival.

On that note, we’d also like to remind everyone to party safe, since there has been a rise of drug abuse among youngsters including teenagers under the age of 16.

Therefore, here’s a message to young girls everywhere — if you are partying with strangers, please remember to always check your drinks to avoid from being drugged. There has been so many cases of girls being gang-raped nowadays because the word is, people are now using anti-depressant pills such as xaxax or valium as a substitute to roofie, a date rape drug, in which they will put the pills in their target’s drinks discretely. As a result, the target will feel extremely drunk to the point that they pass out, after drinking just one glass of liquor.

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