10 Things To Do at GMBB Before Catching a Show at Five Arts Centre

Published on 02/11/2023

Five Arts Centre is renowned for not just the works it has produced over the years but also its convenience, connection, and interaction upon opening its new home at GMBB, where art, heritage, culture, and creative retail converge. Here is what you can also explore at GMBB when you are catching a show at Five Art Centre.

Five Arts Centre

To kickstart your journey, Five Arts Centre was founded in 1984 by five artists: theatre directors Chin San Sooi and Krishen Jit, dancer-choreographer Marion D’Cruz, writer K.S. Maniam, and visual artist Redza Piyadasa. This 38-year-old performing arts centre seamlessly blends complexity and contemporaneity, delving into social, political, and cultural narratives infused with a distinct Malaysian essence. Upon establishing its roots at Kotak Black Box in TTDI in 1998, Five Arts Centre made its home GMBB Community Mall located in Bukit Bintang in 2022. Despite the intimate and smaller size compared to their former space (130sq m), Five Arts Centre is persistent in generating alternative art forms and images in the contemporary arts landscape. Some of their acclaimed projects, ANGGOTA 2: Re-Member (2023), A Notional History (2022), Tiga (2019) highlight different voices and pieces of mind in versatile performative elements. You can find out more about their works on our website here .

Location: GM-9-15
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Food & Delicacy

Jiak Kopi | Cafyn

Indulge in a delightful culinary experience at Jiak Kopi, a hidden gem tucked within the bustling GMBB Mall in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Cherrie Loh and her cousin, Tommy Low, have turned their childhood dream into reality by opening this charming café. You can savor the perfect pairing of RM5 nasi lemak with homemade spicy sambal and freshly brewed JK Signature, a delightful blend of Hainan Kopi and tea (Cham). To top it off, their house-baked banana cake boasts authentic flavors. Whether you're seeking a cozy spot to work or a relaxed environment for catching up with friends, Jiak Kopi has your preferences covered.

On the other hand, Cafyn specializes in brewing specialty coffee and handcrafted beverages, proudly sourcing their coffee beans from local and international roasters. This tranquil space offers respite from the daily hustle and bustle and fosters a sense of community among local home brewers and coffee enthusiasts through sharing sessions and workshops. With core values of Passion, Enterprise, and Community, Cafyn embodies the essence of Malaysian culture, bringing it all together in a truly wholesome way. Efforts like these are a testament to the addictive nature of passion.

Jiak Kopi
Location: GM-1-1
Opening hours: 11am - 6pm (daily except Mondays)
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Location: GM-1-2
Opening hours: 11am - 8pm (Thursdays - Tuesdays)
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Books & Museum

Museum of Picture Book Art | Books & Bobs 

Nestled in Malaysia, the Museum of Picture Book Art is a dream realized by passionate art and book enthusiasts. This groundbreaking institution seeks to become the haven for picture books, both historical and contemporary, from all across Malaysia. Their unique collection comprises 80% Malaysian picture books, 10% classic and award-winning international titles, and 10% art prints and gift items. As the first of its kind in Malaysia, the Museum of Picture Book Art is not just a museum but also serves as an educational center where art and literature intertwine.

Welcome to Books & Bobs, where books are given a new lease of life. The brainchild of Rachel Ang, a former accountant who embarked on this journey armed with just 50 secondhand books and a capital injection of RM200 after she discovered the high demand for specific books online during the pandemic, which inspired her to establish Books & Bobs. In her interview with FMT Lifestyle, Rachel candidly shared her financial struggles to sustain her reading habit which became one of the core motivations for her initiatives with Books & Bobs. At Books & Bobs, you'll find a diverse selection of genres, from romance to sci-fi, mystery, and even old magazines and childhood storybooks. What's more, every purchase you make at Books & Bobs contributes to charity, as a portion of their profits is dedicated to RUMAH K.I.D.S, a shelter for abandoned and abused children. What a way to kill two birds with one stone!

Museum of Picture Book Art
Location: GM-1-26
Opening hours: 11am - 8pm (daily)
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Books & Bobs
Location: GM-2-10
Opening hours: 11am - 8pm (daily)
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Art & Craft

Artery | Special Needs Artist Gallery | Chetping Handmade 

ARTERY stands as GMBB's exclusive boutique, dedicated to enhancing the visibility and appreciation of local artisans. This thoughtfully curated store spotlights the creations of over 40 independent, community-based artisans, presenting a diverse array of imaginative, innovative, and distinctive handmade items, ranging from decorative pieces to utensils and postcards. In alignment with their core brand value of "Enterprise," ARTERY is committed to fostering a supportive environment for emerging local artisans, offering them both a physical store and an online marketplace to showcase their talents and products, thus empowering one artisan at a time to produce and prosper.

The Special Needs Artist Gallery provides a nurturing platform for unique talents seeking their space within the local visual arts community. With four distinct yet interconnected units, it offers a secure and spacious environment for five emerging special talents - Ng Chee Hoong and Ng Chee Ming, Alicia Lee, Shana Lim, and Janet Lee to create and exhibit their artwork. 

Boasting over three decades of expertise in bead art and costume design, ChetPing Heartmade has built an impressive legacy. Their clientele is as diverse as it is discerning, ranging from Malaysian royal families and senior officials' spouses to anyone in search of unforgettable attire. They specialize in crafting bespoke garments for weddings, events, formal occasions, and even everyday wear. In addition, they offer regular DIY Training Courses and exclusive art workshops to cater to the broader public's artistic aspirations.

Location: GM-1-08
Opening Hours:  11am - 8pm (daily)

The Special Needs Artist Gallery
Location: GM-3-13A - GM 3-17
Opening Hours:  11am - 8pm (Tuesday - Sunday)

ChetPing Heartmade
Location: GM-8-18

Gallery & Exhibition

Fusion Wayang Kulit | Darkroom Gallery 

Fusion Wayang Kulit (Fusion WK) is a renowned Malaysian team, established in 2012 by Tintoy Chuo and co-founder Take Huat, with Mr. Pak Dain, the 13th accredited Master Puppeteer (Tok Dalang), as their chief engineer. Their mission is to revitalize the traditional art of shadow puppetry by seamlessly blending it with digital and multimedia elements, spreading its cultural significance globally while preserving its roots in Malaysia. Fusion WK breathes new life into this tradition by incorporating popular culture icons from modern times, including Star Wars, DC superheroes, Bruce Lee, Ed Sheeran, Predator, Japanese mecha like Evangelion and Gundam's Zaku, as well as Tokusatsu figures like Ultraman and Kamen Rider. Notably, they've also crafted the world's first transformable wayang kulit puppet, inspired by Macross and called Valkruda Seta.

Darkroom Gallery, an establishment inspired by the achievements of Chien C. Lee's renowned "Master of Disguise" exhibition, finds its home within GMBB. Housed in a meticulously restored gallery space that has previously proven its worth as an ideal setting for impressive photography displays, Darkroom Gallery capitalizes on its unique ambiance. During this exhibition, Lee shares his perspective on nature's ingenious trickery, emphasizing how organisms worldwide employ deception as a means of survival. Lee's journey over the past 25 years through tropical rainforests across four continents has led him to capture these cunning creations through his lens. Some encounters have left him astounded, requiring a second, or even third look to perceive the true nature of these wondrous disguises. If you wish to live this experience through his eyes, this exhibition would be your best choice.

Fusion Wayang Kulit
Location: GM-3-26
Opening hours: 11am - 8pm (daily)
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Darkroom Gallery
Location: GM-3-32
Opening hours: 11am - 8pm (daily)

Shopping & Souvenirs 

Mano Plus | Tanoti 

In the heart of Sarawak, Malaysia, there exists a thriving community of women weavers and artisans. They are the driving force behind Tanoti Sdn Bhd, an organization with a deep commitment to producing, promoting, and preserving hand-crafted fabrics that embody the cultural richness of this region. Each work of art is a testament to the time-honored indigenous craft, meticulously crafted by hand, offering a fresh perspective on luxury, one rooted in authenticity and the skill of dedicated artisans. Now you no longer need to go to Sarawak for their crafts, as we bring them to you at Tanoti!

As you make your way out GMBB, you’ll spot Mano Plus on your right. Mano Plus is inspired by life's simple joys, curating everyday design and craft that embodies clarity and integrity. They create modern products while honouring tradition through a design-focused, handcrafted philosophy by carefully selecting materials, partners, and personnel, ensuring each item serves its purpose without unnecessary additions. Mano Plus, where you celebrate local and international design, creativity, and community.

Location: GM-G-01, GMBB Mall
Opening hours: 10am - 7pm (daily)
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Mano Plus
Location: GM-G-01, GMBB Mall
Opening hours: 10am - 7pm (daily)
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Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur — GMBB, is a creative community mall that believes in doing #MoreTogether with diversity from different communities as their cornerstone. From creatives to entrepreneurs, arts to cuisine in the form of modern and traditional, or even better, both! GMBB acts as a platform for local creatives to exhibit their work and services, providing a wholesome experience for local as well as foreign visitors to grasp the beauty of art that comes in various forms and closing gaps within the creative community.

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