Curating Cultural Creativity
by Parisa Pichitmarn
It’s evident that the Asean region is under-represented, but Lim Wei-Ling, director of Malaysian gallery Wei-Ling Gallery, does not necessarily see this as a bad thing.
“If the fair is not well curated, with no proper selection process and was driven primarily by exhibition space, then you’ll have a fair with anything and everything and everyone represented,” she comments. “I think this is what makes Art Basel stand out, because they’re very particular about the quality and standard of the artists. That’s why it’s such a draw for galleries and many want to partake in.”
“Private galleries play play a really big role in Malaysia,” says Anurendra Jegadeva, an artist with Wei-Ling Gallery. “Profiling Malaysian artists should be the job of institutions, but there’s not enough funding or a priority for it.”
The gallery has been running for 13 years now, but without a doubt, Malaysia’s art scene is still relatively young. It’s promising that new collectors are coming up and, according to the gallery director, getting more discerning, and collecting for the right reasons.
“Malaysian collectors are willing to look beyond the decorative piece for the wall and this encourages our artists to make more challenging and difficult installations,” says Lim. “It helps that there’s an Art Basel in Asia. It means there is interest and that the world is looking East and helps put Malaysia on the map.”