The first time I went to Galeri Petronas in Suria KLCC was out of curiosity, since I’d seen it umpteen times before — presumably always empty — and never went in, but came away quite impressed by the gallery contents. Since that first visit, I’ve been back three times because exhibits change within two to three weeks. I’ve seen an exhibit featuring Islamic influences in art, a showcase of the decay or the rise of cities in the world, as documented by various photographers, and most recently, an exhibit of #tanahairku, a street art project in KL sponsored by Petronas themselves.
It’s free to enter and is open Tuesdays through Sundays. All you have to do is sign the guestbook at the counter before entering. The art itself is good — often great — but your eye might be drawn to some tacky minor details, like how the description of each piece is printed, cut out and stuck on a piece of white cardboard, making you feel at times like you’re in an exhibition run by students at the campus gallery. Once, the descriptions were also far too long and rambling; on another occasion, did not have enough to fully understand the goal of the art pieces. And when I visited #tanahairku, there was a documentary of the project, split into three parts and screened at different parts of the exhibit — and part two was missing because the tv didn’t work! Even if the exhibits are temporary, those details could be better taken care of, especially when you’re under the wing of the national oil company.
But if you aren’t as nit-picky as I am, you’ll definitely enjoy the artwork themselves, for which the gallery is definitely worth a visit. Here’s a sampling of past exhibitions:
Level 3 Suria KLCC
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Open: Tuesdays-Sundays; 10 a.m.-8 p.m.