Wei-Ling Gallery was founded in 2002 by Lim Wei-Ling with the ambition to nurture the development of Malaysia’s contemporary art scene. The flagship gallery is housed within a heritage shophouse that was ravaged by a fire in 2004. The unique interior is an installation unto itself, having been designed by renowned Malaysian architect, Professor Jimmy CS Lim. In 2011, the gallery expanded with its second space, Wei-Ling Contemporary, dedicated to showcase special projects and more experimental art forms. With two art spaces in Kuala Lumpur, it establishes itself as the largest commercial gallery in Malaysia.
The galleries’ positions have been achieved through ambitious, diversified and contextual curatorial projects and programming. Wei-Ling Galleries have repeatedly presented Malaysian contemporary art to international audiences, simultaneously representing a selection of widely-acclaimed local and international artists. Our exhibitions are free and open to all as a space for public imagination and inquiry.
In its continuous efforts of cultivating the local contemporary art scene, Wei-Ling Gallery is also one of the most prolific publishers of art publications in the country, valuing the importance of archiving. The gallery’s publishing activity encourages an appreciation for contemporary art with a backlist of monographs, artists’ books, and exhibition catalogues which highlights the often-overlooked characteristics of an artist’s practice.
The gallery’s mission comes from the founder’s intentions, as well as, from ongoing national and global reflection on what the purpose of a private art gallery is in contemporary society. We aim to:
Encourage passion in the arts (understanding and engagement of art; and art collecting)
We are committed to art accessibility, engagement and art education which underpin the varied, year-round programming at Wei-Ling Galleries that entails exhibitions, webinars, artist talks and innovative workshops for a wide range of ages and target audiences.
In 2021, we launched our podcast channel ‘Wei-Ling Gallery Podcast’ which delves deep into different art questions, getting insights from artists, curators and creative practitioners, and sharing our own art world experiences to offer an answer. We also presented ‘100 Pieces: Art for All’ which aimed to reevaluate the misconception that art collecting is for the elite few and hopes to make art collecting more accessible to the wider public.
Nurture development of Malaysian contemporary art scene to an international level
In a concerted effort to push the boundaries of art engagement, the gallery’s programme now incorporates more experimental art forms, site-specific projects and installations. In 2018, the exhibition ‘Seen’ at Wei-Ling Contemporary brought together some of the important names from the art world featuring works by Ahmet Öğüt, Roger Ballen, Viktoria Binschtok among others.
For 20 years, the gallery has taken major exhibitions of Malaysian art to China, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Taipei and Hong Kong. In 2019, Wei-Ling Galleries played a role in the presentation of Malaysia’s inaugural national pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale). The pavilion was commissioned by the National Gallery of Malaysia under the auspice of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and supported by generous patrons and sponsors of the arts in Malaysia (Creador Foundation, BRDB and Seeing Eye Films).
Identify and support the next generation of Malaysian artists
Launched in 2002, our gallery programme WLG Incubator identifies the next generation of Malaysian artists, by bringing together the opportunity for them to be advised and guided by an established artist. WLG Incubator also aims to highlight and encourage project collaborations with emerging Malaysian artists, helping them develop a practice that is authentic, experimental and progressive.
Spark awareness through art
Our gallery’s curatorial projects at Wei-Ling Contemporary which are based on thematic, conceptual or formal approaches often showcase practices of art and activism. Through exhibition-making as a methodology, we hope that contemporary art could be a more effective and affective tool in bringing about social change.
Believing in the importance of giving back to the community, Wei-Ling Galleries have collaborated with different artists and stakeholders to host art programmes as a means to support charitable causes and create new opportunities for audiences to engage with art. At the end of 2020 alongside Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM), we successfully raised RM133,200 from the Arteon Charity Auction. The funds were channelled to the Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia (BCWA), with a minimum token of appreciation presented to each artist for their contribution. The 18@8 exhibitions at Wei-Ling Gallery saw the gallery collaborate with artists and brands such as FURLA and Absolut to raise funds for Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES).