KL art gallery turns into 'pop-up' store, embraces creative newcomers


Apart from art on the walls, 'The Back Room Shop' also has books, zines, ceramic works, silkscreen pillows and limited edition prints for art lovers and the walk-in crowd to discover. Photo: The Back Room KL

This month, the Back Room KL at the Zhongshan Building (Jalan Rotan, off Jalan Kampung Attap, KL) has transformed its art gallery space into an "art retail" pop-up to sell exclusive merchandise/artworks from a selection of local artists.

The Back Room Shop, which runs until Jan 31, is a collaboration with Outlet, an online platform for printmakers and more.

Opening a pop-up shop has been a long time dream of the Back Room KL team, and during this Chinese New Year season, it is a good place to grab unique festive and artful gifts.

Apart from art on the walls, there are also books, zines, ceramic works, badges, tote bags, silkscreen pillows, small artworks and limited edition prints for art lovers and the walk-in crowd to discover.

'The Back Room Shop' is open at the Zhongshan Building in KL till Jan 31. Photo: The Back Room KL'The Back Room Shop' is open at the Zhongshan Building in KL till Jan 31. Photo: The Back Room KL

“Merch shops in famous galleries like The Met (in New York) and The Louvre (in Paris) are such a treat to shop in because you get to take home a piece of the gallery back home with you,” says gallery assistant Ellen Lee.

“With The Back Room Shop we’ve collected various (art) pieces over our past exhibitions with our frequent group of collaborators and made a space where we could give back to the artistic community and support the artists as well,” she adds.

A carefully curated selection of artworks from The Back Room KL. Photo: The Back Room KLA carefully curated selection of artworks from The Back Room KL. Photo: The Back Room KL

Among the artists featured are illustrator Valen Lim’s colourful and vibrant prints made with Japanese graphic designer Asuka Watanabe. Also featured are saturated prints of Alvin Lau’s documentary minimalist photography, while sculptor James Seet's unique creations (porcelain/ceramic urchins) are interesting conversation starters.

Established artist Yee I-Lann has also contributed works, while a series of works from Justin Lim and Hasanul Isyraf Idris right to Shieko Reto and CC Kua point to the diversity to be found at this pop-up shop.

“We want to build a small, intimate space where people can check out and buy what the local scene has to offer. That has been the focus of The Back Room in our exhibitions and in this small shop. Giving our artists more accessibility has always been our goal.” says Lee.

More info here.

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