The KL Art Book Fair has been going on for some time, but this was the first time we’d had visited intentionally. Hosted at the KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, it was a little bit of a squeeze through the rows of creatives showcasing their works.
The array of designers brought different styles and stories, but still held familiar through typography and illustration. One of the booths was an online shop from Melbourne, holding a physical space for the first time (Slow Burn Books). Their hope was to carry some of the Asian stories and writers from all around the world. At a booth a little further down, Sine Theta Magazine carried stories of the Chinese Diaspora. There were other booths holding similar stories, and it was amazing to be able to see their works physically.
Another interesting item that appeared on a number of booths were Riso Color Charts. I personally found this quite amusing, because the different creatives had different takes on the Riso printing styles. They obviously enjoyed it enough to make color books. “These help us to remember what colors worked well together”, Zhao Hong and Shin Chi from The Inkling Press shared with us.
There were also some items that were out of this world: Sankaku produced a ramen magazine, with shrink-wrapped noodles in front. Yabai Yabai joined in with a ramen bowl and t-shirt collab for this edition. Together the items looked amazing, and it gave such a good vibe to the people coming around.
The only minor difficulty of the fair itself, for a non-Malaysian, was the payment methods. Some of the stores were cash only, and others had preferred digital payments, like PayPal or local bank based transfers. Having enough currency and means to transfer money within the country of visit is important, and something to take note for the future!
Traveling to KL was also quite a breeze. With modern ride share technology, like Grab in Southeast Asia, it was easy to move around even with a heavy rain half way through the day.
As a whole, if you’re looking for a nice reason to visit KL for, I would say the KL Art Book Fair was a great one. We wished that we could have spent more time around KL to enjoy the place and visit some of the really awesome looking cafes. But alas, we made our way home in time for the Christmas Arcade at Eng Hoon Street! (for our next post :))