Art galleries in KL are few and far between. Our art scene seems somewhat uninspiring in comparison to the likes of our neighbours, Thailand and Singapore that showcase the works of internationally-acclaimed artists curated with strong narratives. But fret not — we do have several decent ones for you to check out if you want to learn more about art.
These art galleries in KL feature a combination of both international as well as local artists’ works, with the latter being a good way for you to get to know more about Malaysia’s very own talents. You’d be surprised to find out that most have actually been featured in exhibitions out of the country, whether group or solo. In fact, our very own fine artist Yeoh Choo Kuan has been in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2016 list, and his works can be found in the Richard Koh Fine Art gallery.
Now that we’ve gotten you all impressed, it’s time to check out more art galleries in KL that can get you cultured.
Wei-Ling Contemporary may have a cool, expansive space on the highest floor of The Gardens Mall, but its flagship sister gallery started out in humble Brickfields, amidst a formerly fire-ravaged shop lot. The Peranakan antique doors greet you at the front, but its interior is kept bare to best illuminate the artsy treasures it holds. From time to time, Wei-Ling Contemporary hosts talks by artists and art investors that are open to anyone who’s interested. The fact that the art gallery is located within a shopping mall also makes it that much easier and accessible for those who may be intimidated to go to one.
Hidden within a housing neighbourhood in Jalan Pawang is Taksu Kuala Lumpur, a small but punchy art gallery. Getting there might not be as accessible, but pay a visit during their many exhibitions and you won’t be disappointed. The home setting is not just for aesthetics but also helps potential buyers envision how the art piece would look like in their own home. Taksu is known for hosting “Locals Only!” exhibitions from time to time that put an emphasis on only displaying – you guessed it – local artists’ works.
While this private art gallery is by appointment only, Richard Koh Fine Art regularly hosts interesting art exhibitions that make it worth the call. The gallery features many international names focusing on more contemporary works. Our very own Yeoh Choo Kuan is represented by Richard Koh, and his works can be purchased in this gallery.
One of the newer-established art galleries in this list, Ilham Gallery opened its doors in 2015, nestled in the towering Menara Ilham. In here you will find a collection of modern and contemporary Malaysian art pieces, as well as notable pieces from the Southeast Asian region and internationally. Ilham Gallery regularly hosts art exhibitions and educational programmes that are open to the public.
Balai Seni Negara has been around for ages – since 1958, to be exact. While most Malaysians may look at the Balai Seni Negara in the same vein as the Muzium Negara, the former actually has some pretty good international exhibitions. Also known as the National Arts Gallery, this public space preserves and conserves local artwork, as well as owning over 3,600 pieces of art. And if you think this space isn’t cool, this information may change your mind: they once housed American artist Robert Rauschenberg’s works before.