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Colours of Highlands by Alena Murang opens Saturday

KUCHING: Award‐winning sape ’songstress Alena Murang is putting the finishing touches on her

first art show, Colours Of The Highlands, at Hoan Gallery, La Promenade Mall, here.

Opening this Saturday (note to ed: March 18), Alena’s describes the exhibition as a joyous

reclamation of Kelabit heritage through memory. More than 50 pieces will be on display, including

figure studies from the early 2010s, large portrait canvases completed in 2018 and pieces featuring

traditional Kelabit swirls called arit.

Alena’s weaves what she calls contemporary Kelabit stories onto her canvases and the results are

beautiful, faithful renditions of Sarawakian culture.


All works are for sale. Alena, working with Hoan, have created a catalogue ranging from RM3,000

to more than RM25,000.


“My dream is to see Sarawakian artists flourish on the national and international scene. Alena’s

talent shows great potential,” Hoan said.


For the Kelabit musician, her talent for painting was encouraged by her mother who saw her

prowess for the arts as a child. After leaving her corporate job in 2013, Alena pursued a Visual Arts

Certificate at the LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore before going on to participate in group

exhibitions in Taiwan, KL and Kuching. In between music and other ventures, Alena has also been

quietly taking private commissions.

”I think Alena’s show will prove to be one of the most impressive openers of any Malaysian artist

for some time to come. Certainly, it’ll be remembered as one of the best art shows in Sarawak of

recent memory.”


Several large works were previewed to the media. A seven‐feet piece called “The Storyteller” was

an immediate highlight.


“To me, Storyteller is a showpiece. Alena’s blended time, paint, a sense of place, sight and sound,

all into one. It’s mesmerising,” Hoan added.

Accompanied by a hypnotic audio piece featuring the process of Alena receiving songs from her

village elders, The Storyteller is the piece you should be looking out for.


The show opens March 18, 7pm. Entry will be free. All pieces are for sale.

For more info, visit hoangallery.com.



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