Art is for anyone. In fact, art is for everyone. Whatever shape it may take in your life, be it a source of inspiration, a meal to feed your curiosity, a blanket to comfort yourself in, or simply an excuse to dodge the rain, it’s a necessity. Art galleries are a welcome respite from an afternoon with no set plans, or even that 9-5 grind, with the added bonus of being able to immerse yourself in room after room of creativity.
And in a city like Kuala Lumpur, where galleries abound, there are plenty of places to get your fill. Below, find 7 art galleries we turn to when the desire strikes.
A gem of a gallery, hidden in Brickfields. Founded in 2002, Wei-Ling Gallery has since been a platform for established and emerging artists, both local and international, to showcase their works. It has an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, installations and mixed media pieces, and its exhibitions are known to be thought-provoking and innovative.
Address: 8 Jalan Scott, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 10am to 6pm
Ilham Gallery opened its doors in 2015, nestled in the towering Menara Ilham. It features 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.
Address: Levels 3 and 5, Ilham Tower, 8, Lrg Binjai, Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 11am to 7pm
UR-MU Art Gallery
Nestled within a quiet residential street in Bukit Bintang, UR-MU – short for Urban Museum – gives one a dose of the locale’s culture and story. Recently opened in early 2022, it houses over 100 artworks by artists from Malaysia and neighbouring countries. The exhibited collections are said to reflect the artistry of the collector who is an architect. They are regional, eclectic and convey some of the aspirations and moods of the recent era.
Address: 3, Jalan Bedara, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 10am to 8.30pm
Established in 1989, Taksu Gallery runs two art galleries, one in Singapore, the other in Kuala Lumpur. Over the past three decades, it has promoted some of the most outstanding and exciting artists from acclaimed names to young and hungry producers, and offers a glimpse into an impressive stable of artists from various creative endeavours.
Address: 17, Jalan Pawang, Kampung Datuk Keramat, 54000 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 10am to 6pm
National Art Gallery
The National Art Gallery or Balai Seni Negara (often referred to as Balai in short), is Malaysia’s official art venue for workshops and exhibitions. Located along Jalan Tun Razak, the gallery has more than 2,500 works displayed in its spacious 13,000 square metre building. There’s plenty for visitors to explore ranging from photography, textiles, instruments, paintings and more.
Address: Lembaga Pembangunan Seni Visual Negara, 2, Jalan Temerloh, off, Jalan Tun Razak, 53200 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 9am to 5pm
The Back Room KL
Located in The Zhongshan Building, The Back Room is an independent gallery that showcases art from emerging and alternative artists. With an intimate space and cosy atmosphere, it allows artists, creatives, curators and the general audience to easily engage in conversations and exchange.
Address: 80A, Jalan Rotan, Kampung Attap, 50460 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 12pm to 6pm
Islamic Arts Museum
The Islamic Arts Museum features the largest collection of Islamic art in Southeast Asia. Situated amidst the leafy surroundings of central Kuala Lumpur’s Lake Gardens since 1998, it houses more than seven thousand artefacts and art pieces, as well as an outstanding library of Islamic-art books.
Address: Jalan Lembah, Tasik Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 9.30am to 6pm
Featured image: Taksu Gallery