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A Paradise for Art Lovers

National Art Gallery Malaysia

What tourists are saying about the National Art Gallery, KL

“Great place to drop by if you are in KL!”

This is the National Art Gallery and is located between Istana Budaya and the National Library on Jalan Tun Razak.

This gallery is under the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage and showcases and gives support to Malaysian artists.

Exhibitions are held for both local and foreign art-work. There is a permanent exhibit of 2500 artworks by local and foreign celebrated artists.

Guided tours are available at specific times. Entrance is free.

Visited December 2014

national art gallery

National Art Galley (Balai Seni Lukis).

“A paradise for art lovers!”

Now, I’m no art buff, just went for a visit one morning. I liked the art selection, especially some of the local artists’ work that are more layered in symbolism – prior context could be helping make the art resonate with me.

It was quiet when I went, which was on a Sunday, and I appreciated that. With the exception of the nature photography gallery (which for some reason was playing two competing documentaries of the expedition, on top of Borneo themed music, which I found to be disruptive of the enjoyment of the displays), the other areas had no or only subtle audio.

Visited December 2014

“Out of my expectation!”

I must say the galleries were well curated, and the quality and quantity of art far exceeded my expectations. one of the best cultural sites to visit in kl.

All of the art is done by local Malaysians and it spans the last century or so. you get a good mix of contemporary and older works.

The challenge is there is no easy way to get there by public transportation. plan to take a taxi and plan for bad traffic.

Visited August 2015

national art gallery

Art exhibition at the National Art Gallery.

“One of my favourite weekend hangouts”

Once every three months or so, I like to make a trip to the National Art Gallery, whether with a friend, guest, or alone.

It’s a quiet space in busy KL where one can reflect on art, mostly by Malaysian artists but occasionally the odd visiting artist or two. It’s a nice bit of tranquility and whimsy to spend a great weekend afternoon at.

And better yet, it’s completely free!

Visited May 2015

“Excellent gallery, well curatored”

Really loved this gallery. There were two main exhibitions while we were there and both artist, Dr Choong Kam Kow and Ismail Hassam were new to me. What struck me was their prolific-ness and diversity of techniques and styles.

Also many interesting contemporary artists reflecting new and old Malaysia. It’s a fantastic gallery and very well curatored. We took the monorail and found Chow Kit stop easier than Titiwangsa.

Off at Chow Kit, walk on the side of the road with the main hospital on your right. Head towards the main road intersection but stick to the right following the road around on a pathway.

After about 100 metres you’ll notice the park area across the road including the Performing Arts Centre and take the pedestrian bridge over and you are there. It’s a must see in my book.

Visited April 2015
Source: Tripadvisor

national art gallery

Some murals seen at a wall.

About the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

The National Art Gallery of Malaysia is one fine example of an exhibition center that displays the finest collections of contemporary Malaysian art.

Also known as the Balai Seni Lukis Negara in Malay, the National Art Gallery was established on August 28th, 1958 by the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman.

Established about 1 year after the country independence day in 1957, the National Art Gallery of Malaysia is definitely a historic building that has witnessed the growth and development of Malaysia.

national art gallery

A completed totem pole.

What to see at the National Art Gallery

Aside from collecting the country finest contemporary art piece, the National Art Gallery also hosts temporary exhibitions of Asian and international art.

From time to time, the temporary exhibit area showcases some of Asia most exotic art pieces as well as modern Asian art including photography, sculpture and installation art.

Generally the temporary exhibitions will be held in the first floor of the building while the permanent collections of art are being showcased on the second floor.

Some of the highlights of the exhibitions are the unique arrangement of painting into themes such as Spirituality and Work.

national art gallery

A piece of artwork at the gallery.

Attractions of the National Art Gallery

Other highlights in the permanent exhibition area are the Patrick Ng Kah Onn’s Spirit of the Earth, Sky and Water, Samjis Mat Jan’s portrait of a boy in Rendezvous; Ismail Mat Hussein’s batik canvases depicting traditional village life and Ooi Kooi Hin’s It’s So Quiet, in which a woman screams in a room filled with corpses.

national art gallery

Another piece of artwork at the gallery.

National Theatre Kuala Lumpur

Situated next to the National Art Gallery is the striking National Theatre or Istana Budaya in Malay, designed in the shape of a wau bulan or Malay Kite.

The National Theatre hosts several interesting cultural shows as well as national and international theater, and also features a traditional Malay theater costume gallery.

national theatre kuala lumpur

National Theater which is right beside the National Art Gallery.

The gallery is situated along Jalan Tun Razak, on the northern edge of central Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur hotels rates that you can’t resist!

Nearby attractions that you might be interested

Photo credits: Li Tsin Soon, Heng Hau Yeo, Bentley Smith, Jess Cheng.

Driving Direction and Map to National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur

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