Culture / Art Republik

Art Expo Malaysia Plus 2016: Free for All

A guide to Art Expo Malaysia Plus 2016, one of the most ‘public-friendly’ art fairs in Asia that has gone without an admission fee since 2007.

Oct 22, 2016 | By Tyen Fong

To celebrate its 10th year, Art Expo Malaysia Plus 2016, held from 20 to 23 October 2016, at the Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre (MECC), Kuala Lumpur, promises a spectacular show with a record number of galleries and artworks from 30 countries. Known for being one of the most ‘public-friendly’ art fairs in Asia, Art Expo Malaysia Plus does not charge an admission fee and has continued to keep their exhibitions free since the fair’s inception in 2007. The aim of the art fair is to promote higher public engagement with the Malaysia art scene, while attracting more investors within the art market.

“Art Expo Malaysia promotes Malaysia art on an international art platform, promoting local galleries and artists world widely, educating the public about art appreciation and art investment, promoting arts to a wider community (via intensive marketing) thus nurturing the interest towards arts in them, bolstering Kuala Lumpur as an important arts hub in Southeast Asia that is active in art commerce and art development, as well as networking within the community,” says Fair Director Sim Pojinn.number-1-gallery-from-thailand_leela-promwong_patronage-system-2_oil-on-canvas_140-x-180cm_2016

Malaysia’s local art scene is well represented within the fair with more than 100 local artists showcasing their works. With a good balance of pioneer artists, internationally-acclaimed artists, as well as young emerging artists, the fair provides an accurate depiction of the current progress of Malaysia’s art scene. The line-up of exhibitors include Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers, Masterpiece Auction, Bank Negara Malaysia Museum & Art Gallery, National Visual Arts Gallery Malaysia, Galeri Prima (NSTP), Art WeMe Contemporary Gallery, City Art Gallery, G13 Gallery, HOM Art Trans, Jeth Art Gallery, Nadine Fine Art, Pelita Hati Gallery Of Art, Pin Wei Zhai Art Gallery, Segaris Art Center, Taksu, Tiny Rose Gallery, TJ Fine Art, Tree & Me Furniture Design, and Yahong Art Gallery.

Similar to previous years, Singapore will also be a key player in the fair with eight of its largest galleries showcasing their works. This includes the likes of Art Xchange Gallery, ArtBlue Studio, Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery, Kato Art Duo, Maya Gallery, REDSEA Gallery, The Gallery of Gnani Arts, and White Space Art Asia. In addition to featuring the works of Singaporean artists, the galleries also represent artists of various nationalities; for example, Art Xchange Gallery mainly represents Indonesian artists; ArtBlue Studio mainly represents Vietnamese artists; Kato Art Duo mainly represents Japanese artists; and REDSEA Gallery will be debuting their Korean and Indonesian works.

Other foreign Asian exhibitors include Hong Kong’s Chit Fung Art that represents top-notch level Chinese ink masters such as Jia Youfu and Pan Gongkai. Korea’s Zoom Gallery, in collaboration with Nine Gallery, will present fascinating works of strong Korean identity. Besides the frequent exhibitor LSD Gallery, two other galleries namely Gallery UG and SHINSEIDO from Japan will be joining for the first time. From Taiwan, 91-year-old Taiwanese Chinese ink Grandmaster Prof. Li Chi Mao will be exhibiting a few of his newer works. Colour Cube Art Gallery will represent Myanmar; Number 1 Gallery represents Thailand; Viet Art Space represents Vietnam; and REDBASE Contemporary Art represents Indonesia. Most of the mentioned galleries are first-time participants at the fair.taksu-from-malaysia-park-seung-hoon-textus-217-1-wall-street-2-digital-print-120-x-180cm-2015

Not forgetting the European galleries, Spain’s ATR Gallery is a must-see booth. The mesmerising works of Spanish sculptor Jesus Curia, and pieces by Spanish master Joan Miro, are worth a visit, and viewers might even get a chance to view some pieces by Picasso himself.

The Embassy Zone of the expo involves 13 Embassies: Argentine, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, France, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Mongolia, Philippines, Romania, and Russia (debut appearance). Each Embassy represents one selected solo artist from its country.

Following last year’s success of MYR16.9 million sales of artworks and an audience count of 24,200, Art Expo Malaysia Plus 2016 foresees an even larger viewership this year given the dynamic line-up of participating galleries.

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