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The best art galleries in KL

KL is one of SE Asia's great art cities, and here's the proof. These are the best art galleries in Kuala Lumpur

Written by
Time Out KL contributors
&
Grace Yap
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A life spent in the art galleries of the world is a life spent well. This is as true in Kuala Lumpur as anywhere else on the planet, and these galleries will fill the lungs with inspiration and excitement in equal measure. The so-called Garden City of Lights has a long history of art and creativity, and there’s a lot of evidence that suggests that reputation has plenty left in the tank.

KL is a great city for visitors. The city’s best attractions are the envy of other cities in the region, while its restaurants are right at the forefront of culinary trends and innovation. The Malaysian capital is home to some of the best wellness facilities going, spas and baths that are tailor-made to rejuvenate the body and mind. Art has a similar effect on the latter, so get yourself to the best art galleries in Kuala Lumpur and let the work of masters wash over you.

HOM Art Trans
  • Art
  • Ampang

Looking for art by emerging artists? Want to make a name for yourself in the local art scene? HOM Art Trans, or HOM for short, has come to be known as an incubator of sorts, putting all the nuts and bolts in place to support young talents. Its efforts include artist residencies and awards, including the Malaysia Emerging Artist Award, and its collaborations are spread across Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, everything has moved online for the time being as the world struggles to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Galeri TAKSU
  • Art
  • Galleries
  • KL City Centre

TAKSU may boast a domestic setting but its art borders on the stately, and the gallery remains one of the oldest in the business. It’s hosted artists-in-residence, featured talents from across the globe including the late Robert Rauschenberg, and TAKSU also has a base in Singapore. Contemporary artworks dominate its line-up, and the gallery’s domestic setting allows you to picture what your potential purchases will look like in your very own living room.

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Wei-Ling Gallery
  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Brickfields

In its early days, Wei-Ling Gallery grabbed headlines for the restoration work of its fire-ravaged interior, but attention today has turned towards its artists and exhibitions. The gallery has Lim Wei-Ling to thank for this success. Clever and opportunistic, the gallery represents leading artists like Ivan Lam and Anurendra Jegadeva, and its growth is evidenced by the mushrooming of sister galleries and its presence at international events like Art Basel Hong Kong.

MAP @ Publika
  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Solaris Dutamas

MAP’s White Box and Black Box are spaces-for-hire and there’s healthy competition among the city’s galleries, all vying for a share of time in its annual calendar. MAP’s stringent selection process ensures quality in its rotating mix, and to date, it’s played host to art auctions and award shows, as well as group exhibitions from KL’s brightest talents. The bonus? Publika’s many F&B options nearby, which promise ample cups of coffee to sip on while you mull over the artworks you spotted on your visit.

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G13 Gallery
  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Kelana Jaya

Getting to G13 will involve some crafty navigating if you’re not familiar with the inner parts of Kelana Jaya, but the journey is recommended if you’re looking to source artworks from an up-and-coming gallery. Owner Kenny Teng has been navigating around the circuit with bundles of enthusiasm, and headway has been made in cultivating closer ties between our artists and the region.

The Print Room
  • Art
  • Petaling Jaya

The Print Room prides itself on its commitment to analogue photography – a tough call, considering the digital age’s penchant for smartphone cameras and #selfies. If printing and apertures are in your vocabulary, the gallery’s suburban cul-de-sac base promises regular exhibitions by its students and also classes that guide you in the ways of the darkroom. There won’t be any hashtags involved, but The Print Room is worth the visit.

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R A Fine Arts
  • Art
  • Galleries
  • KL City Centre

Temporarily closed

This gallery has had a nomadic existence over the last decade, having once been based near Jalan Ampang, before a pivotal move to its current station at Solaris Dutamas in 2011. Local artists lie at the heart of its efforts, and peaks in the gallery’s career include 2008’s solo exhibition by the late Malaysian icon, Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal, and Amir Zainorin’s solo exhibition at The Brick Lane Gallery in London. 

Richard Koh Fine Art
  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Bangsar

Vintage furniture floods the interior of Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA), and while this hints at Richard Koh’s background in the interior design business, it doesn’t reveal the gallery’s strong international presence. Big names like Natee Utarit and Nadiah Bamadhaj are on the gallery’s books, and the general slant inclines towards the contemporary. Plus, with an outpost in Singapore and connections across the globe, you should have RKFA on speed dial if you’re looking to get serious about collecting art.

See more art galleries in KL

  • Art
  • Galleries
What makes an art gallery stand out isn’t just about the artwork that’s exhibited – the space matters too. The possibilities are endless with a versatile space; the lighting, the furniture and of course the way the art pieces are displayed, they’re all factors to creating a great art viewing experience. 
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