Art & Places: Dataran Merdeka Fountain, KL

If you are visiting Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square)  in Kuala Lumpur, do take the time to look for the fountain situated near the flag-pole here. And also, please look at the very interesting details of the fountain.

Dataran Merdeka Fountain

Also known as Queen Victoria Fountain, this fountain was imported from England and assembled in 1897. The fountain was originally erected at Market Square, but was moved to Dataran Merdeka (previously known as Parade Ground) upon objection from the police as it obstructed the traffic flow. This fountain was erected as a tribute to the Queen.

Close-up of QV Fountain

The base of the fountain is a basin and from the centre, an octagon-shaped marble stones rise to support five tiers of basins and above them, a pinnacle where the water comes out. The basins are decorated with floral and shell reliefs.

The art nouveau fountain features Heraldic creatures of lions and dragons that I supposed to represent the Victorian empire. Nevertheless, the iconic beasts have been characterized as having the intelligence, loyalty, honesty, and strength necessary to guard what is valued.

The combination colors of green, blue and brown represents the colors of nature; tree, sky and earth.

Location: Jalan Raja, 50150 Kuala Lumpur.


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Art & Places: Barong-Barong, KL

Kuala Lumpur has quite many public arts and I will try to cover as many as I can. This is another interesting looking piece of art that I want to highlight this week.

barong barong

Barong-Barong is located at ASEAN Garden, in the vicinity of Tugu Negara, Perdana Botanical Gardens, KL. Barong-Barong is a modern interpretation of old type architecture existing in the whole of ASEAN region. The artist, Jerusalino V. Araos from Philippines made Barong-Barong  from stainless steel and glass in 1987. According to Jerusalino, the structure is a combination of 1,024 joints. It is like a big Lego set that can be taken apart.

Barong-barong, in general, is a shanty housing constructed from materials that can be salvaged around an area and is built with a degree of speed. Houses being built or rebuilt (after a fire, flood, or other calamities) are also referred to as barong-barongs. In most urban poor areas, particularly those often visited by demolition crews, barong-barongs are the practical housing units; light, recyclable, and easy to build.

barong-barong (close-up)

Jerusalino died of heart attack December last year at the age of 68.

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10 Fun Places for Kids in KL

10 Places for Kids in KL is a list I crafted from my very own experience for family with kids, taking into consideration the learning process that benefits them when visiting these places. It is a combination of discovery about science, animals, planetary systems, books, art and history.


1. Petrosains – A Science Discovery Centre where kids can learn about science and technology of the petroleum industry in a very fun and exciting way. Permanent exhibits and activities here include Dark Ride, Petrojaya Cartoon Village, Exploration, Sparkz, Geotime Diorama, Molecule Nano World, Speed, Music-Art-Science and Ungku Omar theatre. Other than that, there are also special programs and school holiday programs from time to time. Petrosains is located at Level 4 of the Suria KLCC mall. Admission fee is applicable.


2. Aquaria KLCC – This larger-than-life aquarium is a spectacular window to the colourful underwater world and promises a memorable learning experience for your kids. Aquaria KLCC boasts many galleries (with a great variety of real life exhibits) such as The highlands, Touch Pool, The Electric Zone, The Stream, Jewels of the Jungle, Flooded Forest, The Coast, Oceanarium, Weird and Wonderful, and Discovery Zone. Kids can witness divers feed variety of fishes (including shark) in the Aquatheatre. Check out the Fun & learning package where Aquaria KLCC is located at Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, just after the Mandarin Hotel and Petronas Twin Towers. Admission fee is applicable.


3. KL Tower – Take your kids up to the Observation Deck to view the KL city at the height of 276 meters above ground level. Other attractions here include 6D Motion Simulated Thrill Ride (for kids above 6 years old only), Pony Ride and Animal Zone. At the Animal Zone, a wide range of rare and exotic animals can be found, ranging from Capuchin monkeys to giant tortoise. Menara Kuala Lumpur is located at the junction of Jalan Punchak off Jalan P.Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur. Admission fee is applicable.


4. KL Bird Park – Reputed to be the largest walk-in free-flight aviary in the world, KL Bird Park is a home to more than 3000 birds. You can bring your kids to see and learn names of birds while enjoying the nature. Don’t miss the Bird shows at The Amphitheatre at 12.30pm and 3.30pm daily. Facilities here include resting shades located at the children’s playground area. Admission fee is applicable.


5. National Science Center – The Science Center is a children’s museum featuring many hands-on exhibits in the different science disciplines of Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science and Astronomy. Galleries here include Aquarium, Wonderspark, Pathway to Science, Eureka, Kidz Discovery Place, Kidz World, Little Explorer, Flight, Thinking Machine and Energy World. National Science Center is located at Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. It is a bit off the city center and you can get here by car or taxi. Admission fee is applicable.


6. National Planetarium – Here is a wonderful and interesting place to take the kids, or big kids for that matter. The National Planetarium is divided into two exhibition theme (i.e. Astronomy & Space Exploration) with interactive and hands on appearance. Facilities in the National Planetarium are Exhibition Gallery, Viewing Gallery with Binoculars, Outdoor Ancient Observatory Park, Picnic Area with Space Theme, Space Theatre, Observatory With Telescope and Accessories. National Planetarium is located at Jalan Perdana, Kuala Lumpur, not far from KL Bird Park. Admission fee is applicable.


7. National Museum – Take your kids and let them learn about the history of Malaysia while admiring permanent artefacts exhibited at the main exhibition building which boasts of Gallery A: Pre-history, Gallery B: Malay Kingdoms, Gallery C: Colonial Era and Gallery D: Malaysia Today. Get to pose near permanent outdoor exhibits like trishaw and vintage Austin Seven. Guided tours are available every day at 10.00am for one hour. Admission fee is applicable.


8. Perdana Botanical Gardens – Bring your kids to enjoy the nature and get their sweat out. Don’t forget to bring their bicycles, roller blades or skateboards. Facilities here include two playground areas, jogging tracks, flower and herb gardens, trees collection, conservatory garden, Cycas Island, fish pond, lakes, a deer park and a train ride. Admission is free for all gardens and deer park, small fee for the train ride.


9. KL Children’s Library –While you can buy books from book stores, taking your child to the library is a good thing to do as they can read as many books at no cost. If you need to take your kids to the library, take them to the KL Children’s Library. It offers a variety of services and activities especially for members who are at the age between 4 to 12 years old. KL Children’s Library is located at Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur, near the Merdeka Square. Admission is free.


10. National Visual Arts Gallery – It is good to expose kids to art because art comes alive when they can see it up close. A kid’s world is enriched by looking at a stone sculpture or oil painting and imagining the painstaking hours that artist took to create the art. For that matter, you can take your kids to National Visual Arts Gallery to admire permanent and temporary collections of art by local artists. You cannot take pictures inside the gallery but however you can encourage your kids to bring their sketchbooks and get inspired by the artworks they like. There is also a gallery here that is dedicated to children’s art. Weekend and school holiday art programs are also available but you need to enquire from the information counter about the schedule. National Visual Arts Gallery is located in Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur. Admission is free but for art programs, fees are applicable.

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Art & Places: Towards Peace, KL

When I visited Tugu Negara more than a week ago, I also got the chance to explore the ASEAN Garden located at the area. There are many sculptures in the garden and one that I like to highlight first is ‘Towards Peace’, a set of 6 sculptures that were created to present  ASEAN countries, namely Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Phillippines and Malaysia. The sculptures symbolise  the progress of growth, unity, peace and harmony of ASEAN.

It was officially created in 1987 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of ASEAN (the Association of South-East Asian Nations) by Ms. Han Sai Por, a sculptor from Singapore.

Towards Peace by Han Sai Por

Han’s main sculptural expression depicts a sense of contrast between the hard surface of stone and the softness of organic shapes.

Have you visited ASEAN Garden?


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Art & Places: Tugu Negara, KL

Went to Tugu Negara as per suggestion of UnsungHero (UH). Thank you so much for the idea, if not for you, UH, I will be taking my own sweet time to go. Frankly, I have never visit the National Monument simply because it’s here at home.

I spent the morning to walk around the area with my son, Yassin, before sitting down to sketch the monument.

Tugu Negara
Yassin was actually lying on his stomach to be in his comfortable position to draw. Haha.

Tugu Negara (National Monument) sketch. I made one round before finding a good angle to draw. Save me the time to draw all 7 statues! Pencil and colorpencil on Moleskine Plain Notebook. 

The sculpture depicts a group of soldiers, with two slumped at the base and one holding the Malaysian national flag aloft. Each of the bronze figures symbolizes leadership, suffering, unity, vigilance, strength, courage and sacrifice. The granite base of the sculpture bears the old coat of arms of Malaysia, flanked on either side by inscriptions in English in Latin script and Malay in Jawi script: ‘Dedicated to the heroic fighters in the cause of peace and freedom, May the blessing of Allah be upon them.’

The monument was designed by sculptor, Felix De Weldon who was also responsible for the Marine Corps War Memorial in Virginia, United States. Completed early 1966, the sculpture stands at 15 meters (49.21 feet) tall and is the world’s tallest bronze free-standing sculpture grouping.

Yassin at Tugu Negara Malaysia, KL

And here’s Yassin’s drawing:

Yassin said the monument is too hard to draw (left) so he later a soldier with gun (right).

Reference: Wikipedia – National Monument (Malaysia)



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