Guide to The Zhongshan Building

What to do, where to grab a bite and do a bit of shopping at the independent arts and research hub in Kampung Attap

The Zhongshan Building

What once housed the Selangor Zhongshan Association has now come back to life in the form of a three-building independent arts and research hub housing the likes of art gallery OUR ArtProjects, music store Tandang Records, Tommy le Baker's Kampung Attap outpost and more. We checked out what to do, where to grab a bite and do a bit of shopping at The Zhongshan Building.

Art, design and exhibition spaces at The Zhongshan Building

Our ArtProjects
Art

Our ArtProjects

After some years in the arts scene, juggling between being an arts consultancy and organising pop-up exhibitions, OUR ArtProjects have finally reached their endgame. The OUR ArtProjects Gallery is among the 12 units which make up the newly restored Zongshan building in Kampung Attap. In fact, it’s the first unit in the building to be fully operational and open to public. What the gallery lacks in size it makes up for in the quality of its curation. For example, for its inaugural show, the exhibition debuted with Nirmala Dutt’s ‘Great Leap Forward’. Also, since the space is small and contains fewer pieces, it allows for longer contemplation of the artworks. According to Snow, one of the co-founders of OUR ArtProjects, the gallery is focused on showcasing contemporary Southeast Asian art. So, expect to see some regional names here too. While you’re there, don’t miss exploring the rest of the Zongshan building. Apart from running their gallery, OUR ArtProjects are also responsible in leading the creative direction of the building. They’ve carefully handpicked the other tenants in the building, which include Malaysian Design Archive, Tandang record store, Ricecooker Gallery and more.

Design Union
Things to do

Design Union

This design initiative aims to elevate the status of the local creative scene by gathering like-minded folk to have conversations about design, as well as to promote the art via workshops, film screenings and exhibitions.

A Good Reason
Shopping

A Good Reason

This risograph printing studio lets you make all sorts of quirky prints such as posters, personalised name cards, bookmarks and even an entire photograph journal.

KerbauWorks
Things to do

KerbauWorks

Previously a community space in Bangsar, KerbauWorks is now an exhibition space and playground run by Joe Kidd and Yee I-Lann; expect art and music showcases. It currently shares a space with The Ricecooker Archives at The Zhongshan Building.

Food at The Zhongshan Building

Piu Piu Piu
Restaurants

Piu Piu Piu

This minimalistic café is located on the second floor of The Zhongshan Building, right above OUR ArtProjects. One way to reach this eatery is to go through the Tintabudi bookstore and head out the back where you’ll be greeted by a mural drawn by Japanese chalk artist Chalkboy. The intimate space and alfresco area is filled with wooden decor and little knickknacks nonchalantly scattered around. The drinks are Piu Piu Piu’s calling card. Crowd-favourite Sour Lemon + is preserved lemons in a concoction of soda and shochu; sweet, sour and bitter all at once (there’s also a non-alcoholic version). For coffee, barista Unagi sources his beans from local roasters Aim Coffee and uses them in the café’s espresso, black and white coffee drinks. Pair that with the kaya butter walnut toastie made by home baker Queeny, who also bakes cakes on a rotation basis.

Tommy le Baker at The Zhongshan Building
Restaurants

Tommy le Baker at The Zhongshan Building

As with its main shop tucked away at the back of Viva Residency, this outpost of Tommy le Baker is also tucked away in The Zhongshan Building, holding fort in the creative hub's well-lit courtyard. Breads are still freshly baked here, though at a smaller variety compared to its headquarters. Menu items comprise of sandwiches and tartines (open-faced sandwiches) with a selection of cheeses like camembert, goat, brie and emmenthal. We say go for the smoked salmon tartines which come in a serving of four, and are made with sweet tomatoes, lashings of creamy mustard and mayo.

Books at The Zhongshan Building

Tintabudi
Shopping

Tintabudi

Pick up books on philosophy, literature and the arts at Tintabudi in The Zhongshan Building. Carefully curated by owner Nazir, the vintage and secondhand books are gems, with rare restored classics sometimes available.

Rumah Attap Library & Collective
Attractions

Rumah Attap Library & Collective

A collaborative project between Ameteur, In Between Cultura and Au Sow Yee Studio, this library functions as a gathering ground for individuals to share ideas, read, educate and learn. The library also regularly hosts talks by local writers, artists and activists.  

Punarvasu
Shopping

Punarvasu

This cosy bookstore peddles all things classic, ranging from literature and magazines to documentaries and history. Most titles here have only one copy available, so check their Facebook for more information on the latest additions in their inventory.

Music at The Zhongshan Building

fono
Music

fono

fono is a listening room, bar and collaborative space for live music, selector's night, film screenings and workshops. Keep an eye on their Instagram for event announcements.

Tandang Store
Shopping

Tandang Store

If you’re rocking an obviously 1977 original punk rock look, Tandang Store is perfect for you. There’s more than just vinyl, cassettes and CDs here; you’ll find zines, books and other punk-related merchandise. Be a good sport and support the venue by attending the gigs held regularly.

Archives and research at The Zhongshan Building

The Ricecooker Archives
Things to do

The Ricecooker Archives

Currently sharing the space with KerbauWorks, The Ricecooker Archives is a community that explores and shares the history of rock'n'roll in Southeast Asia.

Malaysia Design Archive
Art

Malaysia Design Archive

Malaysia Design Archive (MDA) is an initiative to preserve and map the country's visual history. The space acts as an archiving centre for MDA as well as the venue for their public engagements like workshops, talks and reading groups. Visits are by appointment only. Read more about what they do in our interview with them. 

Institut Pondok Perancis
Things to do

Institut Pondok Perancis

Located in The Zhongshan Building, this Malaysian-French research centre is an academic hub for co-operation and co-working oppoturnities between researchers and scholars of the two nations. The space is equipped with a journal library, as well as other work and research facilities. Institut Pondok Perancis was set up in May 2017 to encourage the development of academic projects in the country and promote exchanges in knowledge among French and Malaysian scholars.

Shops at The Zhongshan Building

Atelier Fitton
Shopping

Atelier Fitton

Helmed by Joshua Fitton, the brick-and-mortar store for this menswear label offers bespoke tailoring services, ready-made accessories such as ties and handkerchiefs and more for all your formal wear needs.

Bogus Merchandise
Shopping

Bogus Merchandise

Looking high and low for silkscreen-printed clothing? Bogus Merchandise in The Zhongshan Building offers both custom made and ready-to-wear items, along with tote bags, posters and stickers, so go crazy.

Naiise
Shopping

Naiise

Founded in Singapore in 2013 by Dennis Tay as an online sales site that curates locally made products and supports local artisans, Naiise now has six outlets across Singapore and London, with Naiise's KL outpost their first in Malaysia. Designed to fit into the overall aesthetics of Zhongshan with tiled black and white floors reminiscent of old kopitiams, exposed concrete and white walls, it's a calming space. The main idea for Naiise KL is to create a communal space where Malaysians can be exposed to local brands and artisans, as well as to create a retail channel for local artisans. There are about 800-1000 items in store, from stationery by Mossery, candles by Hush, teas to home furnishing products. If you can't swing by, all of their products can also be found online. At the end of the store, there's a space where future workshops will be conducted; keep tabs on their site and social media channels for updates.