The Star, 29 September 2005
Gallery opening ‘a feeling of resurrection’
by Lim Chia Ying
The new Wei-Ling Gallery in the deeper suburbs of Brickfields opened its doors to much aplomb on Sept 17, coinciding auspiciously with the eve of the Mid-Autumn festival.
On a serene evening devoid of activity hive within its immediate surroundings save for a crowd offering prayers at the nearby Indian temple, the gallery’s opening certainly provided life and conjured up happening vibes to the atmosphere.
Occupying a fire-ruined pre-war shop lot, the gallery is opened and refurbished by Lim Wei-Ling, an artist who is no stranger to the art scene and also previously the owner-cum-director of Townhouse Gallery.
“This was in fact my dad’s office. Sometime last year, fire razed through the place, and everything went down into a pile of rubble. We couldn’t save anything.
“The gallery that you see today was rebuilt from scratch by my architect dad Jimmy Lim and it’s like a feeling of resurrection for us,” said Lim.
With “shades of white” being the theme for the night, the event saw ladies in flowing white and demure, and elegant dresses while men were smartly clad in their formal suits and casual apparel.
HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad chairman and chief executive officer Berhad Zarir J Cama, who is the guest-of-honour, launched the event at about 8pm.
“In line with our HSBC in the Arts 18@8 programme, we are proud to be involved in the art exhibition, which is a rare opportunity for art lovers as it brings together some of the most innovative names in the region.
“There’s also the Special Edition 18@8 book, published in commemoration of the exhibition. It is the first of its kind and captures the work of artists who are participating in the showcase,” said Zarir.
HSBC in the Arts is the presenting sponsor of the exhibition and the book.
The floor was then set for more than 300-plus guests – including corporate professionals, entertainers, and ex-beauty queens – who danced and chatted away while looking at the various paintings displayed throughout the four-storey exhibition space.
The 18@8 exhibition features a convergence of artistic talents and a cross-section of styles through the use of a variety of styles by the 18 artists.
Besides works by Malaysians, it displays the works of two international artists – Pakistani sculptor Amin Gulgee and Australian painter Stewart MacFarlane.
Primarily decorated with timber and the walls painted white, the gallery is spacious with a cosy feel. Glass panelling is another element deployed widely in the interior.
Flooring on each level, meanwhile, were created with wooden planks and in some, the usage of transparent glass to enable one to see through some of the burnt remains.
While guests sipped on drinks and chomped on snacks served, they had the opportunity to also obtain the 18@8 special edition book.
“I’m confident that this new space will enlarge the scope of Townhouse Gallery in promoting contemporary Malaysian art and works from the international scene,” said Lim.
The 18@8 exhibition will be held until Oct 5. For more details, call 03-2274 2368/9 or 017-8877216.