By Shazwan Zulkiffli
Klang Valley has been blessed with art events from different collectives over the years. Rantai Art, Frinjan and Boco had conquered the late ‘00s and early ‘10s, preparing platforms with then-upcoming artists such as Grey Sky Morning, Couple, Art-tech, Fynn Jamal and a very young, Garage-sounding indie band, called Hujan. These art fests help build the very core of the independent culture that resonated well with people, and were pivotal in the development of everything indie now from coffee shops, barber parlors to start-ups.
A decade passed and well, you can say that we went through quite a decline. The indie music appeal died off for a number of years, numbers of alternative book readers decreased and the whole idea seemed unappealing compared to its glory days. However, things are slowly picking up again with a new heavyweight at the frontline – RIUH.
RIUH gathers Malaysia’s best artistic pillars – music, visuals, and even culinary to be hosted under one roof. Located at a strategic venue, RIUH offers an extravagant amount of content, an interesting mash-up of all killers and no fillers that has so far set a good standard for other events to achieve but most of all, RIUH is as genuine as it gets.
The well-curated music acts
The RIUH organisers are picky on the musical, but for all the good reasons. So far, RIUH showcased only the best talents and hidden gems from across the country. For the Hari Malaysia edition, the organisers brought a Sarawakian band called Meruked, a fusion of traditional and modern rock music, down to Bangsar to perform which featured a crazy Sape solo and a ‘Belaian Jiwa’ sing along.
Meruked in action
The culinary option is immense. They invited heavy hitters such as Thyme Out and Nachoslah, together with interesting new vendors that you may not find anywhere else including Durian Coffee Cendol Shake, Laksa Nippon, Nasi Lemak Burger, and Kelava Vegan Ice Cream.
Pop Up Stores
Time to fully acknowledge that Malaysian products can also be considered as world-class standard, and RIUH brought the good stuff to their table. Malaysia’s beloved prime pin company Pantun Pin and Sharina Shahrin’s batik products were celebrated-well by Malaysian and foreign guests, while The Morrocan Caravan is a sight to see. If RIUH continues to provide spaces like these to entrepreneurs, it could help increase the demand for quality Malaysian products in general.
RIUH is for all Malaysians
When I say all Malaysians, I mean it. RIUH succeeded in catering for all Malaysians by showcasing cultural aspects from across the states. The organisers invited artist, Thiviyanathan, for an interactive saree tutorial during Deepavali, Wayang Kulit workshop by Fusion Wayang Kulit and Christmas card making at the recent RIUH Christmas edition. RIUH also featured Bornean art, trick or treat during Halloween, and a performance by Nadirmusic, a rock group that combines irama melayu, classical indian and contemporary rock in one performance. How’s that for diversity?
RIUH, tak kira warna.
Over the course of a couple of months, RIUH has already attracted tens of thousands of visitors to their current home at APW Bangsar, and frankly they don’t look like they’re slowing down. RIUH has set the bar quite high for other organisers to follow in organising a well-balanced art event for all Malaysians, and for tourists to explore the beauty of our country in one compound.