National Visual Arts Gallery
Neighboring the illustrious Istana Budaya, where national theatrical and orchestra performances are often held, the National Visual Arts Gallery is the place to go for visually striking artworks by both local and foreign talents. Here you can explore the many different styles found all over the country, from the distinct Kelantan Malay styles to the diverse rising modern arts from Kuala Lumpur.
Don’t let this little shop lot space fool you; Awegallery is one of the best places to witness projects bursting with local, everyday flavors in the form of flea markets, performances, presentations and little exhibitions. This tiny indie space is great for finding hidden gem talents for both visual and collectible arts, and often serves as a platform for artists to test the waters for public audiences. Keep a careful eye out for Awegallery, as the minimalist shop sign may be easily missed. Should you wish to host a showcasing of your own, the hall is available for rent, with some event planning advice available.
The longest single cafe in the whole of Penang, this cluster of heritage houses is art gallery/cafe/library/play space/restaurant rolled into one. Offering entertainment from brunch to evening, the ChinaHouse serves up art in the form of food, literature, furniture, performance, paintings and even has a tiny pretty garden.
Publika Shopping Gallery
Located on the border of the affluent town of Hartamas and greater Kuala Lumpur, the Publika Shopping Gallery is more than any ordinary mall in the region. Offering spaces for exhibition hosting with flexible walls for customization to further suit artistic needs, Publika is a one-of-a-kind large-scale art gallery featuring contemporary works all over the mall. It also houses a permanent gallery called Artemis Art, which is dedicated to encouraging young emerging Southeast Asian artists and appreciators to further hone their crafts and learn how to critique art in order to grow as international talents.
Publika Shopping Gallery, 1 Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, KL, Malaysia. T: +60 3-6211 7877
The Orangutan House
The Orangutan House makes itself a distinct attraction among the little shop lots of Melaka with a humongous mural of the cheeky forest dweller. A gallery and studio by artist Charles Cham, this quaint and quirky little shop offers his artworks in the form of prints and paintings. The gallery is committed to an ongoing effort to save the orangutans, who face extinction due to heavy palm oil farming. His fascination with Chinese folklore translates into beautiful dot work reminiscent of Australian Aboriginal styles, yet still distinctively unique.
The Orangutan House, 59 Lorong Hang Jebat, Melaka, Malaysia, +60 6-282 6872
Art in Paradise
At this interactive 3D museum, visitors are treated to optical illusions and forced perspectives via amazing murals and displays. In line with Malaysia’s love for record-breaking architecture, the Art in Paradise Gallery on the beautiful island of Langkawi is the largest 3D museum in Malaysia, and so far the second largest in the world. The 100+ exhibits are the handiwork of several Korean artists with amazing skills and attention to detail.
Spotlighting the local contemporary art scene, Artcube provides a growing voice for the younger, more abstractly influenced artistic generation, and hopes to amp up Malaysia’s creative industry. Its large crea