Ask a hipster about a good coffee shop in the city and they’d gladly show you a bunch of cafes located at the most unexpected places. The coffee culture is booming in our city and cafe-hopping has become a norm among the younger generation. With the coffee culture extended into our city, it means one thing – the growth in aesthetic expressions of ideas and opinions.
Sure, places like Petronas Twin Tower or Putrajaya are the popular tourist getaways in our country, but a lot of new places are mushrooming, most of which have yet to be added into our travel guidebook. So it’s no surprise that people have come from all over to explore the artsy sides of our city.
Given that Instagram provides the perfect platform to show off the aesthetically pleasing photographs, we searched high and low for some of the places that show us different side of the city. Let the city-hopping begin, shall we?
To change the negative perception towards the dirty back alleys, Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) ran a clean zone programme to develop the back alleys in their vicinity. Together with Bank Muamalat and KNZNH Studio, the city council started 2 different art projects, “Laman Seni 2” and “Laman Seni 7”, to exhibit a number of art projects by UiTM students and all the other artists who were involved in the project.
The project transformed the Prima Dua food court (behind the the business park) in Section 2 in Shah Alam and Jalan Plumbum Q7 in Section 7 into 2 beautiful art sites that shout creativity and colours. The art site can be used as a location for any beneficial activities such as basking performances and handicraft sales. As of now, there is no entrance fee to visit the art site and everyone is allowed to visit the site at any time of the day.
- Laman Seni 2: Seksyen 2, Shah Alam, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor
- Laman Seni 7: Seksyen 7 Shah Alam (Jalan Plumbun 7 Q/7), 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor
- Hours: Any time of the day
From National Art Gallery to the Annexe Gallery in Centra Market, our city has a thriving contemporary art scene where some little-known galleries become inspiration hubs for those who’d like to appreciate the beauty of art. Wei-Ling Gallery, formerly known as Townhouse Gallery, is an art space much loved for its aesthetic appeals.
Located in Brickfields (the culture-rich district of KL), the gallery was established by Lim Wei-Ling and Yohan Rajan in 2002. The gallery has since featured a number of exhibitions held by both established artists and emerging talent, including those who came from Asia, the Pacific, and more. The gallery organises up to 12 exhibits per year which art enthusiasts always look forward to.
- Address: 8 Jalan Scott, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur
- Hours: 11am-7pm Mon-Fri; Saturdays 10am-5pm; Sundays by appointment
3. Publika Shopping Gallery, Solaris Dutamas
The feeling one gets from stepping into Publika Shopping Gallery is very much akin to stepping into an art heaven as every corner of the building is splattered with art. From the creative murals on the wall to the uniquely-shaped benches to the weird sculptures, the artistic concept of the mall has undoubtedly brought art to life and worked its way to being an inspiration for the younger generation.
As the first-ever artistic mall in the city, Publika is a hub where a lot of cultural activities are held, including the vintage art bazaars, the small-scale fashion shows, or their own music showcases. Occasionally, the exhibitions will be held in the MAP, which is a great art space in Publika. Publika also aims at bringing a younger and livelier crowd to the mall by featuring a bunch of “hipster”-like cafes and trendy boutiques too.
- Address: 1 Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, KL.
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Sometimes, the best way to relieve your stress is to walk around leisurely in a unique building while brainstorming for ideas. Times like those, Empire Damansara is the right place to be as the exposed brick walls and pathways give off a rustic feeling to the building.
From the outside, the building isn’t all that appealing but it made us feel at ease while strolling around the open-air building. Similar to the urban installation at Agitagueda Art festival in Portugal, the building features a sea of colourful umbrellas hanging above the pathways in the building – but it’s never stagnant. The umbrella display does occasionally morph and gets other decor items added to it for other events as well. The building now features more than 10 restaurants, including Malaysia’s first acid jazz restaurant and bar, Porcelene Jazz.
To avoid any disappointment, do note that a permit is needed to do a professional photography or videography in this building.
- Address: No. 2, Jalan PJU 8/8 47820 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
- Hours: 11:00am-12:00am
Surrounded by lush greenery, Sasana Kijang is a hidden gem of the city which is located within walking distance from Bank Negara KTM station. For art enthusiasts, this place might be a bit of a hassle to find as not many people are aware of the building tucked away in the corner of the city. The museum features a total of 7 galleries but it is mostly known for its Art Gallery, which is on the 3rd floor. In the museum, you’ll see an impressive array of the bank’s art collections.
- Address: No. 2, Jalan Dato’ Onn 50480 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
- Hours: Open daily, 10:00am-6:00pm
6. Sky Park at Nu Sentral Mall (Coming Soon)
Located strategically near the most connected transit point in KL, Nu Sentral Mall is Malaysia’s 1st integrated “green” lifestyle mall that incorporates unique architectural designs with a touch of modernity. The mall plays host to variety of F&B venues, high-street fashion brands, specialty stores, and entertainment venues all under one roof.
Speaking of roofs, the mall’s rooftop structure displays various geometric glass art pieces hanging from the ceiling. These glass art pieces are part of the floor design for the 2-acre Sky Park in the mall. From there, you’ll find yourself overlooking skyscrapers and city landscapes while enjoying the evening breeze in a relaxing landscaped environment.
- Address: Jalan Stesen Sentral 5, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
- Hours: Monday – Sunday, 10:00am – 10:00pm
So, there you go. Don’t just take it from us though! If you have found any unique places to visit in Malaysia, feel free to add them in the comment box below 😉
Don’t forget to check out some other iconic and historical buildings (i.e: Sultan Abdul Samad Building, KL railway station, etc) in Kuala Lumpur too!