PENANG, known for its rich heritage and vibrant culture, will soon welcome the opening of the RM80mil Lin Xiang Xiong Art Gallery at The Light City in Gelugor.
Named after the owner-cum-world-renowned artist and entrepreneur, the seven-storey gallery will have retail shops, basement carpark and restaurant sited on a 0.36ha land.
The 86,929.34sq ft gallery is expected to be completed in 15 months.
Prof Lin, who was at the gallery’s commencement ceremony, said there was potential for further international recognition with Penang’s cultural and artistic development on the rise.
“I aspire for my gallery to become a platform showcasing the fusion of East and West cultures, thus elevating Penang’s cultural and artistic ambience and global standing, and at the same time fostering a harmonious atmosphere that unites diverse cultural beliefs and traditions.
“I believe that cultural and artistic works possess the power to promote global peace, infusing positive energy into cultural and artistic content and guiding those who may have strayed from the right path,” he said in his speech.
Prof Lin, who is also Space Art and Culture (Malaysia) Private Limited chief executive officer, said the art gallery was on track for completion and its opening date had been planned for Sept 9, 2025.
“I intend to showcase 500 of my artworks but I can only showcase 300 at any one time so the remainder will have to be rotated periodically.
“Penang has also stood out as my choice location in my quest to establish this gallery, due to its storied history, international recognition and the unwavering support of the Penang government and its people,” he said while talking about luminaries like Penangite Dr Wu Lien Teh, who invented the medical face mask.
Prof Lin also highlighted the state’s rich East-West cultural exchange history spanning over two centuries and emphasised George Town’s rich multiculturalism, which has ignited a lively and diverse cultural tapestry.
Also present at the ceremony were IJM Land advisor Datuk Toh Chin Leong, IJM Land northern region general manager Goh Su Yin and other guests.
Toh, in his speech, lauded Prof Lin’s unwavering commitment and sacrifices in making the gallery a reality.
These include the challenges encountered during construction such as having to deal with escalating costs of building materials and labour, and disruptions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The art gallery is not a conventional investment but a dream to use art as a conduit for peace and harmony among humanity,” said Toh.
Goh said the gallery’s design would be that of a turtle approaching the shore – signifying longevity and kindness.
“Prof Lin was inspired by the turtles we used to have in our nearby Light Collection project. That was how he came up with the building’s design,” she said.
The artist, hailing from Guangdong, China, has gained international acclaim as both an artist and entrepreneur.
Currently a citizen of Singapore, Prof Lin pursued his studies on the island republic and France and has exhibited his artworks at exhibitions worldwide.