Exploring Art in Kuala Lumpur and Creatively Curating Your Travels

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There are a variety of ways to explore artistry throughout the city, whether it be through galleries or even the streets.

This article was written by ExpatGo contributor Jennifer Dawson.

With the goal to attract more than two million international tourists in 2022, Tourism Malaysia, the promotional board under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), has embarked on a continuous effort “to showcase the country’s unique blend of ‘Truly Asia’ heritage to the Middle East and the world,” notes Travel Daily Media.

For those who are planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur soon, there are a variety of ways to explore artistry throughout the city, whether it be through galleries or even the streets themselves. From where you can go to how you can preserve your travels through your own artistic endeavors, here’s what you should keep in mind when creating your travel itinerary. The best part? This is all also great advice for residents (Malaysians and expats alike) who want to take the opportunity to be a “tourist in their own city.”


When seeking to explore art in Malaysia, there are a variety of galleries worth adding to your travel itinerary. Time Out KL highlights a few, which each have something different to bring to the table. The Print Room, for example, “prides itself on its commitment to analogue photography,” making it great for those who appreciate the artform.

MAP @ Publika | Art in Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur
MAP @ Publika | Image Credit: Time Out KL

MAP @ Publika is another gallery worth the visit — MAP’s White Box and Black Box are spaces-for-hire, which ensure that there is a healthy mix of rotation among the city’s galleries (thus making MAP a great option for anyone who wants to see something new each visit).

Time Out explains that “MAP’s stringent selection process ensures quality in its rotating mix, and to date, it’s played host to art auctions and award shows, as well as group exhibitions from KL’s brightest talents,” also going on to highlight the fact that there are F&B options nearby, making for a great visit for coffee enthusiasts, as well.


Outside of the galleries, exploring art in Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur can also be done simply by walking around. The culture of street art in the city is certainly one to be admired, as there are a variety of depictions that work to capture the country’s culture, people, and animals. The Global Wizards note that Kuala Lumpur is “one of the best places to see some amazing street art.”

Kenji Chai: The Artist Behind Chaigo, A Dog Graffiti All Over Malaysia
Kenji Chai graffiti art | Image Credit: Vulcan Post

The blog further goes on to explain the history of street art in the country, noting, “In the past, graffiti and wall paintings were considered vandalism. But the attitude has changed, and the government has organised a few initiatives to promote urban art and give artists a place to express their art form.” When it comes to the particular location of street art in Kuala Lumpur, one Medium post by Splatrs notes that most can be found in Chinatown (though street art can be found outside of this location, too).

Meet Kenji Chai, Street Artist Extraordinaire | Tatler Asia
Kenji Chai — graffiti street artist | Image Credit: Tatler Asia


For those who wish to capture their memories of their Malaysian adventures forever, there are ways to do so in addition to taking a few photos. If you plan to visit Kuala Lumpur’s Butterfly Park, for instance, a tropical garden that hosts more than 120 different butterfly species, capturing the experience on a canvas can make for the ideal souvenir.

Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park in Kuala Lumpur - Attraction in Kuala Lumpur,  Malaysia - Justgola
KL Butterfly Park | Image Credit: Jusgola

With the garden having over 5,000 butterflies of various hues, painting a scene inspired by the park is a fantastic way to experiment with a variety of vibrant colors that reflect different species. While using a photo for reference can be a great reference for your painting when it comes to getting the colors just right, drawing an outline of the butterfly garden on the canvas beforehand can make things easier when painting. For those who are unfamiliar with drawing wildlife, using an online tutorial will allow you to successfully navigate drawing the aspects involved with a butterfly garden — from the grass to the flowers and the butterflies themselves.

Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park | Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park | Flickr
KL Butterfly Park | Image Credit: Flickr

When looking to explore art on your travels, Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur has a variety of ways to do so. From a wealth of galleries to creativity that can be found simply by wandering the city’s streets, unleashing your own artistry once home can allow you to capture your travels in the perfect way.

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