PETALING JAYA: Art aficionados have another venue to add to their list of must-visit places this month, as Wei-Ling Gallery in Kuala Lumpur is holding two concurrent exhibitions at its premises in Brickfields.
For the unfamiliar, the gallery was founded in 2002 by Lim Wei-Ling to encourage the works of local contemporary artists and Malaysian culture. Located on Jalan Scott, it is housed within a heritage shophouse that was ravaged by a fire in 2004.
Choy Chun Wei’s fifth solo show at the gallery, “Changing Identity”, is a collection of expressionistic paintings and totemic items that convey “how we live and communicate, and the effect on human identities” by deconstructing whole objects into various parts.
In a statement, the 50-year-old artist said: “The communication tool has evolved into something other than what it was intended to be. Fun, display, infotainment, and showcasing are additional features, and the effects are proliferating.
Consequently, “emotions and poetry are pushed to the sidelines”, he added. “Through my artwork and approach, I hope to reflect a feature of the environment in which we live.”
Meanwhile, sharing the space is the Wei-Ling Gallery’s Incubator Young Artists Show 2023, which features the works of two up-and-comers, Alicia Lau and Khabir Roslan.
The initiative was launched as a platform to highlight and collaborate on projects with emerging Malaysian talent and, to that end, Lau and Khabir were mentored by prominent artist Yau Bee Ling.
Lau’s “Diary of a Journey” is an autobiographical journal that stemmed from a recent life-altering experience. Diagnosed with stage-3 nasopharyngeal cancer, what followed was an emotional rollercoaster ride of “isolation, pressure and tension, a hiatus from work, and repeated visits to the hospital”.
She uses materials such as rubber hair grips, metal clothespins, carvings of tree branches, and X-ray scans in an effort to convey her story.
Khabir’s “Inter-Connectivity”, on the other hand, uses soil and other seemingly ordinary materials to express his understanding of physics and Nusantara (archipelagic) cosmology.
“The scope of my work is deeply embedded in the idea that soil becomes a common denominator that binds us all to the motherland, the ‘akar bumi’ (root of the earth) that shows what being human is about,” he said.
“We are intrinsically linked because of our ability to love and empathise.”
8, Jalan Scott, Brickfields,
50470 Kuala Lumpur,
Business hours: 10am-6pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays