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It is not often that anyone can find a shopping mall in a vibrant city which focuses on a single theme all throughout the year and that is what Publika aims to do. Being one of the latest malls to join the many in the Klang Valley, Publika has become quite an icon in itself for having reinvented the idea of shopping.
In the midst of all the mega shopping malls which are very huge and hundreds of retail outlets, Publika stands out as the artistic and more creative one. In fact, Publika is the only mall which is this artistic. Developed by Sunrise Berhad and nestled among the newly built township of Dutamas, Publika is very much like an art gallery in itself so much so that it is often referred to as the Publika Shopping Gallery instead of the usual shopping mall persona.
To innovative factor about Publika is that it chooses to differ from the usually common shopping malls with chain stores, departments stores, cinemas and food courts. Visiting Publika gives the customer the impression that they are visiting an art gallery because almost every inch of the building seemed to exude art in every way.
The whole objective of Publika is to be innovative and that is one thing that no one can take for granted today, particularly in the stiff competition of the market. Publika is where it offers a ‘space for all’ where cultural activities can be held and enjoyed. The inspiration behind Publika was to bring art to life and vice versa, a strong statement and yet achievable here.
If looked closely, Publika Shopping gallery is actually made up of 2 rows of shophouses which have been given a makeover into an artistic and creative shopping space. It has been around for only a few years where today is a thriving place where ideas flow and creativity is manifested. It was originally planned to be called Republika but the name was not approved before it became what it is today.
To get to what it is today, the Publika Shopping Gallery was changed from the conventional shophouse format into an integrated shopping mall with a glass roof and a whole lot of architectural and interior design efforts. However, that is not the only thing that made Publika such an artistic space. They had to bring in the art scene to Dutamas which came through the likes of programmes, activities as well as galleries.
There are now designated art spaces like MAP which stands for Making Art Public. MAP is made up of 2 spaces namely White and Black Box respectively. The former is basically an art gallery while the latter is an experimental theatre that can accommodate up to 200 people.
Apart from that, Publika displays sculptures, paintings and many other types of art around its premises and that is the philosophy of this space. The KL Fashion Weekend, the KL Design Week and many other art festivals are also held here to draw the art loving crowd of Malaysia which essentially changes the idea of art appreciation. In Publika, art is everywhere.