The Contemporary Art Scene of Malaysia

Malaysia has a very healthy and competitive art scene, more so if it involves contemporary art. In saying this, contemporary art could be very subjective as it deals with issues which are current and  modern and hence, the issues of society, religion and politics are usually adopted. 

The medium used in contemporary art too has been developing over the years. While oil and acrylic are the most common mediums used, others like silk-screen printing and sculptures too have been widely adopted. Contemporary art in definition includes art which are produced at the present time as well as those after World War II and hence, it would include a lot of Malaysian artists in this context.

Where this is concerned, one can also identify the Malaysian contemporary art scene with that of the more modern approaches like works seen in the likes of Ahmad Zakii, Ivan Lam and Jalaini Abu Hassan. Sculptors like Multhalib Musa too has been associated with the contemporary art scene of Malaysia as his works have been widely exhibited and collected by major galleries and corporations.

Artists in Malaysia are commonly attached to a certain gallery, while most if not all of them are associated with federal efforts like the National Art Gallery, private spaces like Valentine Willie Fine Art, Wei-Ling Gallery and NN Gallery are all very common for art shows and exhibitions. There are also certain places which are considered to be ‘prestigious’ like the Petronas Galeri as well as agencies like the Australian High Commission. Malaysian contemporary artists are also known to be engaged with residences like the Rimbun Dahan Artist’s Residency, one of the country’s most established art spaces today.


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