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Art of the Matter
Explore some of the lesser known art galleries and spaces in the Klang Valley.
There’s no shortage of art galleries in Kuala Lumpur and its surrounds, but if you’re keen on exploring the less-represented aspects of art in the Klang Valley, the niche and the fringe, don’t miss its most exciting independent galleries and spaces.
Whether it’s paintings, photography, installations, dance, film or music, every medium needs spaces where it can live, thrive and be presented to an engaged audience. The following venues inject diversity into the mix, offering artists alternatives to larger commercial galleries while putting together unique events to appeal to the city’s most discerning culture vultures.
RAW Art Space
When Kuala Lumpur’s Findars art collective disbanded in June 2017, visual artist and former member Tey Beng Sze renamed the space they occupied, setting out on his own to continue Findars’s mission of banging the drum for envelope-pushing, experimental art forms.
In addition to being the only space in KL with regular events for improvised and experimental music (Serious Play Improv Lab), experimental cinema (KLEX Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film Video & Music Festival) and animated short films (AWAS! A Weekend of Animation Shorts), RAW aims to host three to four exhibitions annually and serve as a meeting point for guest curators, visual artists, illustrators, graphic designers, musicians, film and video-makers, dancers and choreographers.
Address: RAW Art Space 4th Floor, 8 Jalan Panggung, 50150 Kuala Lumpur. Open Wed-Sun, 12pm-7pm.
Segaris Art Center
UiTM’s Art and Design Faculty has a rich 50-year history of developing Malaysian fine art students, so it was a natural decision for associate professors Jalaini Abu Hassan, Ramlan Abdullah and Dr. Baharudin Ujang to set up a space to showcase their talents.
While the gallery reserves priority for alumni in their scheduled ten-plus shows each year, it extends invitations to artists from other schools, as well as hosts seminars, workshops, performances and offers itself as a resource centre for visual art.
Address: Segaris Art Center, Lot 8, Level G4, Publika, Solaris Dutamas, 1 Jalan Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur. Open Tue-Sun, 10am-7pm.
A+ Works of Art
Tucked in Sentul’s stylish D6 is collector-turned-gallerist Joshua Lim’s oasis of art with a strong Southeast Asian focus. Lim established the space in July 2017 wanting to foster dialogue and collaborations with regional artists and curators as well as to make room for oft-overlooked mediums including photography, video, performance and installation, and even solo exhibitions. “We are moving more into conceptual work. Not that we don’t do paintings,” he assures.
Watch out for the regular Kadang Kadang Dekat Dekat Akan Datang series of shows, which offer a taster of future programmes and insightful art talks featuring academics and experts from outside the art world.
Address: A+ Works of Art, D6-51100, G-8 Jalan Sentul Sejahtera, Sentul Selatan, 51000 Kuala Lumpur. Open Tue-Sat, 12pm-7pm.
When a group of ten collaborators and friends in art, design and education – KakiKongsi – found a disused warehouse on Old Klang Road, their first instinct was to set up an art space for sharing. And so they did, after being entrusted the site by its developers. “The pure reason is that currently rental for the art spaces are quite high and some artists and students want to have a space to showcase but they don’t get to,” explains KakiKongsi designer Doris Quek.
Last December, every weekend KongsiKL hosted the Site-specific Art Exhibition and Performance, a festival-style event with programmes flexing the limits of the site for different mediums: dance, music, exhibitions and installations. “We always hope for crossover of different performers and different artforms. Art is still very genre oriented, and we hope that Kongsi is about more than sharing a space… we hope for a different spark,” Quek says.
Address: KongsiKL, Gudang Yee Seng 2, Jalan Klang Lama, Taman Goodwood, 58000 Kuala Lumpur.
By Grace Wong
Photos of Segaris Art Centre and A+ Works of Art by Teoh Eng Hooi.
Photos of RAW Art Space and KongsiKL courtesy of respective venues.
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