EXCLUSIVE: Wei-Ling Contemporary Gallery, The Gardens Mall

Photos courtesy of Hui Yen for Elements Magazine As I stepped into Wei-Ling Contemporary one Sunday morning, I took in the apparent minim...

As I stepped into Wei-Ling Contemporary one Sunday morning, I took in the apparent minimalism of the gallery. I was as eager as a cat is to tuna every time I see a new art establishment or gallery of sorts. The gallery, a scene of tranquillity and calmness, was a far cry from the cityscape buzz of the Federal Highway adjacent to The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley in which the gallery is housed in. Suspended warm spotlights drew attention to the exhibited art pieces hung against the wall. It didn’t take long for Nesa, the gallery associate to introduce herself to me and also to show us participating artists of the ‘Timeless’ series.

Chin Kong Yee’s creation, sporting KL city depicted the town in its entirety, the pavement we all tread upon as pedestrians and the people, in a fish-eye-esque oil on canvas painting hung against cream-coloured walls. Nesa explained to us how Chin’s piece of art entitled ‘Timeless’ has a total of 4 permutations to its arrangement. View it here.

Set-up by Wei-Ling and Yohan Rajan in 2011, Wei-Ling Contemporary is the extension of the flagship gallery located in Jalan Scott, Brickfields. Opened at a time where there were no major art galleries in Kuala Lumpur, Wei-Ling helped shape the tastes as well as decorate the interiors and homes of Malaysia’s new class of people who appreciates art.

"In many ways we have taken on the role of a public institution much like a museum or a national gallery to promote art to the people of Malaysia to encourage them to appreciate and understand it.” – A recent statement in conjunction with the 10th Anniversary book launch entitled A Decade of Collecting.

This new 3800 square foot space showcases contemporary art exhibitions by both local and independent artists, which provides a greater awareness of the contemporary art scene inevitably. The general tenor of ‘Timeless’ centred on a theme which was reflected upon its title itself; art that withstands the test of time and its apparent transcendence over time. The gallery was enclosed within by sliding gray grills interlaced between heavy antique Chinese wooden doors, intricate. I was told that Wei-Ling has a penchant for antiques and the lot.

Wei-Ling Gallery has organized more than 100 exhibitions at both its galleries. Those involved in the Timeless series include Anurendra Jegadeva, Ivan Lam, Choy Chun Wei, Yau Bee Ling, Chin Kong Yee, Kim Ng, Nor Azizan Paiman, Umibaizurah Mahir, Zulkifli Yusoff, Hamidi Hadi and Amin Gulgee.

To commemorate its 10th year anniversary, the gallery with the support of United Overseas Bank Malaysia will be publishing a book entitled A Decade of Collecting. It is a hard cover 200 page book that will document retrospectively artworks that have been showcased in the gallery and also highlight the development of the local art scene over the decade.

Above: The Illusory Correlation of Ana Hata by Rajinder Singh

While the advent of digital art and technology makes up for a massive part of art and design these days, the death of drawing on canvas isn’t quite imminent yet. Some say digital art is a lesser form of art than traditional art. Others may argue that whether it’s analog or digital, it takes equal planning, idea-generation and a prowess for the arts to produce the final product. I personally think, sometimes, being old-school is good. Also, what beats admiring a finished piece of artwork that is truly tactile?

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