Drawing On Experience
Keep your schedule open from 15 to 17 November: the return of Gallery Weekend Kuala Lumpur (GWKL) promises an absorbing series of events that combine local talent, global perspectives, and heritage skills, all within the Malaysian capital. More than 30 galleries, independent projects, open studios, public and private collections will participate in showcasing a wide variety of aesthetic talent, along with engaging creators and curators.
“The development of GWKL itself is a process of discovery – witnessing the strong energies and dynamics that are being exercised by local practitioners, curators and venues," comments Datin Shalini Ganendra. As the cultural leader responsible for organising its programme, along with being the Founder of Shalini Ganendra Advisory, she emphasises the importance of making all facets of GWKL as engaging as possible.
“Challenge is the best aspect of all programming, and in itself is extremely enjoyable. Each edition of GWKL must be an improvement on the last, marked by increased attendance and traction – as a testament to making art and culture accessible, and moving away from this outdated idea that art is elitist." This year’s edition will welcome the Open Studio feature, with collectives showing in situ or digitally, to include newer art forms such as clips of performance art, while the ever-popular Luminary Programme will provide a platform for lively discussion.
This year’s Luminaries – selected for their sparkling reputations and strong communication skills – will include the Aga Khan Museum’s Asia Curator, Marika Sardar; Malaysian textiles specialist Edric Ong; and UNESCO Observatory Director, Lindy Joubert. “I’m honoured to be part of the Luminary Programme, and see the speakers’ role as finding important – but perhaps unlikely – connections across subject matter and types of art," says Dr Karin Oen, the newly appointed Deputy Director of Curatorial Programmes at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA).
“The goal is for GWKL to serve as a convener for diverse perspectives on art and culture, and I’m looking forward to rich conversations with my fellow panellists whose areas of research are very different from my own." Dr Oen will feature at one of the Luminary Programme’s major discussions during GWKL 2019, entitled ‘Platforms for Showcasing the Creative – Biennials, Museums, Placemaking & Audience’, where she will highlight two of NTU CCA’s upcoming exhibitions.
“We select topics that would be of interest to all groups – generalist and specialist alike – inviting adept speakers who can communicate in an approachable way on what are often perceived as elusive, complicated, intimidating topics," Datin Shalini explains. “GWKL promotes accessibility to culture and appreciation, to all interested participants. We want everyone to walk away with ideas to consider, and knowledge to develop."