Some neighbourhoods might be artsier and considerably more creative than others.
There is a row of shoplots, featuring a few community art galleries and artist studios, tucked in a corner of Taman Sri Rampai in KL that fits the bill here.
It is the venue – or street – of the inaugural Serfest: Seni Rampai Festival, which is on daily till June 24.
Serfest, a visual arts community event, offers many different sights and sounds, from workshops to exhibitions and a craft market.
Want to learn how to sketch a portrait with charcoal? What about fashioning a dreamcatcher from scratch? Linocut printing, Shibori indigo dye, painting and pastels, stamping and printmaking, cute plush toys and flower arrangements?
All these activities and more await you at Serfest this weekend.
Local artists such as Ahmad Rais, Aleff Ahmad, Ellie Ng, Foong Yeng Yeng and Izatt Azman will be among those leading the workshops.
The festival is initiated by Studios SamaSama and Studio Antologi, and is a collaborative effort with the Titikmerah collective, S’Kaki Studio+Art Gallery and Ababil Aswad Dance Studio.
“Serfest aims to bring artists and the community (in Sri Rampai) closer, while exposing art to the masses and providing a platform for local artists to showcase their work,” says Andrew Pok, an artist and arts educator, who also runs Studios SamaSama.
“Essentially, it is a festival initiated by local artists working in the neighbourhood. We thought an art festival would bring something different and exciting to the local community. We have to start at the grassroots, to create an event to build interest in art,” he adds.
Together with artist MeiKei Ho, they are the co-founders of Studios SamaSama and Serfest.
Indeed, Serfest has to find its place in the world of community art events in the Klang Valley.
It might not be as edgy or as street level as past community-based events like Nottbatbalai Art Festival and Pesta Chow Kit Kita, but Serfest has the participation of a wide array of emerging artists and fresh art graduates to give it the necessary push.
Besides more than half a dozen workshops, talks and performances, another highlight of the festival is the arts and craft market, which offers handmade gifts and DIY products from the likes of Meoww Factory, Passion.Precious, Sa3three and The Bizarre Show.
Ajim Juxta, a founder member of the Titikmerah art collective, says this row of shoplots in the Sri Rampai neighbourhood offers art enthusiasts a unique experience.
“Aleff (Ahmad) and me use Studio Antologi as a meeting and archival space when planning Titikmerah events. We also store our art there. Studio Antologi is glad to be a part of this Sri Rampai community. We have cool neighbours. Just imagine an ‘art row’ with lots of interesting creative people around you – that’s the Serfest,” says Ajim.
Titikmerah member Syahbandi Samat also has his own studio space on this street.
There is also an art exhibition, Now We Meet Again, which brings together nine artists from Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam, who were part of the Sasaran International Art Festival last year.
Now We Meet Again will be held at Studios SamaSama from June 23 till July 15.
In addition, Pok says 15 local artists will be taking part in the open studio programme, which means that you can pop in their work space, chat with them and check out their works.
“Art comes in all sorts of shapes, forms and approaches, and we hope that this varied showcase will help expose the public to the different art forms,” concludes Pok.
On June 24, you can also head on over to the parking area just outside Studios SamaSama for a dinner/makan session done potluck style.
Rampai’s Feast is open to the public – just bring a little something to share – and is held in conjunction with Serfest.
Serfest is supported by Dasein Academy of Art, District Enterprise, Kaizen Distributors and Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Seri Rampai.