Malaysians may look forward to the much-anticipated world-class pop-up museum ‘The World of Tim Burton,’ which will create long-lasting memories with loved ones and ignite art and cinema fans from all walks of life. Toybox Projects Sdn. Bhd., a multi-entertainment and cross-media multinational corporation, organised and presented the event as an endeavour to raise awareness of the Malaysian tourist sector via entertainment and attract more local and international visitors in 2023.
The World of Tim Burton has paved waves across prominent countries around the world since its debut in 2009, including China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, Mexico, Belgium, Prague, and more. This year, Malaysia has been officially added to the line-up to experience this world-class event. Toybox Projects has dedicated their utmost hard work and efforts to the investment, negotiation, planning, and execution of such a world-class event in hopes for Malaysians to experience one of the world’s most demanded forms of entertainment. As a result, Malaysia will be the first and only Southeast Asian country to play host to The World of Tim Burton and last Asia stop in the pop-up museum world tour.
YB Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture (MOTAC) shared, “We are honored to be the only Southeast Asian country to play host to this world-class pop-up museum – this speaks volumes about Malaysia’s excellent creative sector and I am positive that this will definitely inspire and invigorate current and aspiring filmmakers, artists and creatives to showcase what our Malaysia Truly Asia has to offer.”
Visitors will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a deep dive into Tim Burton’s personal archive which represents the artist’s creative output from childhood to the present day, with over 500 drawings, paintings, photographs, sketchbooks, moving-image works, and sculptural installations focusing on the recurrent visual themes and motifs that resonate in the distinctive characters and worlds found in Burton’s art and films.
Additionally, the pop-up museum will include 10 thematic sections composed of paintings, drawings, photographs, videos, and media arts as well as a teaser into current Tim Burton projects provided to the visitors through the exact replica of Tim Burton’s personal work studio:
- SECTION 1: INFLUENCES
Tim Burton’s versatility and range, as well as the influence of his predecessors, are demonstrated in this section where the earliest works of the exhibition are found. Drawings from Burton’s childhood and early career pay homage to classic cartoonists and illustrators such as Edward Gorey, Charles Addams, Don Martin, and Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss). Burton’s class notes and sketches from his studies at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) offer insight into his formal training. The substantial influences of Japanese kaiju (monster) movies, Expressionist Cinema, Universal Studios’ horror catalog, stop-motion animation master Ray Harryhausen, and suspense maestro Vincent Price are also revealed in these works.
- SECTION 2: HOLIDAYS
This prominent theme originates from Tim Burton’s upbringing in Burbank, California, a homogenous suburban neighborhood that came alive only during the holiday seasons. Representing a creative respite from dull monotony, this early influence is seen throughout his work—in the form of sincere appreciation as well as a satirical wink. Examples include his 1997 book of illustrated poems The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories (1997) and the stop-motion animated musical Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) in which Halloween and Christmas are ghoulishly and gleefully linked.
- SECTION 3: CARNIVALESQUE
The theme of the “carnivalesque”—the mixture between comedy and the grotesque—is seen in Tim Burton’s films from Beetlejuice (1988) and Batman (1989) to Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Dark Shadows (2012) as well as in his personal drawings and paintings. These selections exemplify Burton’s treatment of the balance between the seemingly opposing genres of horror and humor. The imagery of twisting tongues, eyeballs wandering out of their sockets, and poisonous clowns—often accompanied by deadpan wordplay humor—alludes to this dichotomous theme.
- SECTION 4: FIGURATIVE WORKS
These drawings, paintings, and sculptures, unrelated to Tim Burton’s professional projects, are some of his most personal artworks. Burton depicts physical reality not as it appears, but how it is personally felt through a distortion of perspective and the human figure. Included in this section are Burton’s studies for Blue Girl with Wine and The Green Man, positioned alongside the final paintings which highlight Burton’s signature aesthetic.
- SECTION 5: MISUNDERSTOOD OUTCAST
The most recognizable theme of Tim Burton’s art and films is the archetypical—and perhaps autobiographical—“misunderstood outcast.” These sympathetic monsters are found in projects from the stop-motion animated short film Vincent (1982) to the Hollywood blockbuster Alice in Wonderland (2010). Included in this section are drawings and the concept maquette for Balloon Boy, a 22-foot site-specific installation that the Museum of Modern Art commissioned for its entrance lobby during the inaugural presentation of the Tim Burton exhibition tour. This original creation bears a melancholy countenance and embodies the characteristics of the artist’s beloved outsiders.
- SECTION 6: FILM CHARACTERS
For visitors who are well-acquainted with Tim Burton’s movies—from his first feature, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), to his latest, Dumbo (2019)—This section offers a deeper look into familiar characters and worlds. Paintings, videos, script notes, storyboards, puppets, and maquettes show how film characters progressed from ideas in Burton’s mind to the cinema screen.
- SECTION 7: POLAROIDS
Using a rare 20 x 24 large-format instant camera, Tim Burton produced several series of oversized Polaroid prints between 1992 and 1999. These personal photographs express visual themes and motifs that appear in his professional films.
- SECTION 8: AROUND THE WORLD
The spontaneity of Tim Burton’s creative process is highlighted by the works in this section. Drawings made in sketchbooks and on hotel notepads and restaurant napkins are impulses of his restless imagination. The worldwide travels that are necessary to the itinerant life of a film director—shooting locations, film festivals, publicity tours—provide inspiration and subject matter. The resulting dream-like imagery of hyper-reality reflects Burton’s perceptions of the people and places encountered.
- SECTION 9: UNREALIZED PROJECTS
These works from Tim Burton’s film, television, and book projects that were halted in various stages of development reveal the extent of his artistic output. Some of these projects never progressed beyond the beginnings of the ideation stage while other projects in this section were fully realized but did not incorporate any of Burton’s concepts in the final product. The drawings in this section provide a rare glimpse into previously unknown projects that affirm the continuity of the artist’s themes and motifs and also served as inspiration for the exhibition design of Burton’s art exhibition.
- SECTION 10: THE ARTIST’S STUDIO
Tim Burton is a solitary artist, constantly drawing, painting, and planning, working away in his studio. For the first time, a part of Tim Burton’s studio is replicated in the exhibition as a way for visitors to experience how the artist’s passion and artistic spirit come to life. The sketches and drawings on cork boards feature works relating to current projects, including those he created for his Seoul exhibition’s entrance sculptures and his new TV series project, Wednesday.
Ms. Yuri Aizawa, President & Chief Executive Officer of Toybox Projects Sdn. Bhd and Organizer and Presenter of The World of Tim Burton said, “We have been known as a Japanese entertainment specialist. But this year marks our 10th anniversary and with one of our goals being to contribute to expanding the entertainment market in Malaysia as well as connecting with Japan and now to the world, we know “The World of Tim Burton” is the perfect one to bring in not only because of Tim Burton’s popularity, creativity and the iconic style, which will surely bring in more tourists to Malaysia but also by bringing in this one of the kind and the first class pop-up museum, we hope to influence the Malaysian creative industry to expand its market.”
Furthermore, fans of Tim Burton will be able have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about the art of films through an exclusive virtual masterclass titled “Tim Burton’s Masterclass” hosted by Tim Burton himself on 14 April 2023 where he will tell his story on the art of films, his unique creative processes, and the road to becoming a prominent household name in the entertainment and film industry.
This once-in-a-lifetime experience to immerse one’s self in the artworks of one of cinema’s most valued filmmakers will be available to the public starting tomorrow 21 March 2023 to 30 July 2023 and can be purchased at https://kol-nation.com/the-world-of-tim-burton-malaysia/ priced at only RM88 for adults, RM68 for children and senior citizens, and RM48 for the OKU. In addition to this, visitors can also opt for a season pass (multiple entries to the exhibit) priced at RM498 or the VIP Bundle inclusive of a season pass, a master pass to the virtual Tim Burton’s Masterclass, The Art of Tim Burton book, and special signed merchandise for only RM1,500.
The World of Tim Burton was organized and presented by Toybox Projects Sdn. Bhd. in collaboration with Tim Burton Productions and partnered with Eurasian Entertainment Consultants Ltd (EEC) and KOL Nation together with Onecare Wellness™ as the main sponsor and event partners:
- Venue Partner – Pavilion Bukit Jalil
- Official Hotel – Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur
- Official Radio – 8FM, FlyFM
- Official Outdoor Media – 3thirds Inc
- Official PR Agency – Global Creative Media Agency (GCMA)
For more information on The World of Tim Burton, kindly visit: https://www.toyboxprojects.com/timburton