Art & Design

Lim Wei-Ling

Founder & Director of Wei-Ling Gallery

Lim Wei-Ling is someone who believes in pushing herself to achieve new things. It is that spirit that led her to leave her career in stockbroking to establish her own gallery. It also that which prompted her to take her first venture, Townhouse Gallery, in a new direction by setting up the eponymous Wei- Ling Gallery in the quaint Brickfields. She now has two spaces, the second being Wei- Ling Contemporary at The Gardens Mall. 

It has been a challenge for me. But I like challenges.

Lim Wei-Ling

Since day one, Lim has been focused on taking the road less travelled, pushing for the gallery and the artists to accomplish what has not been done before. The process has not been easy. The art world, she admits, is not easy. 

“It is no easy feat,” she explains. “I didn’t really have a mentor whom I could speak to about the industry. A lot of decisions that I made about running the gallery were based on following my own intuition and doing what I thought was right.” 

In the early days of the gallery, Lim says there was no real plan. It was simply about “putting one foot in front of the other and walking the path.” What was certain, however, was that she wanted to create a platform where Malaysian artists would be seen, with the idea of giving them international exposure. 

In my role at the gallery, I can’t be sitting back there doing the same thing. It is not enough to just have an exhibition. The gallery is my art project. It has to keep evolving, growing, changing.

Lim Wei-Ling

“The premise on which we started was to give Malaysians artists who had a lot to say, a voice to shout and present themselves.” 

The art world, she says, is often misconstrued as being a “soft” industry, unlike manufacturing or finance. However, her days in stockbroking, she adds, prepared her well for the reality of running a business. 

“If I had come in as an art student and tried to start a gallery, I do not know where it would have taken me.” 

Now that the gallery is in its 19th year, Lim is once again seeking to push the boundaries of her gallery. 

“We have published the books, done the art fairs, promoted artists and seen them grow,” she says. “We have reached new levels and achieved new things. It is about pushing yourself; it is about evolving, growing and getting better.” 

The focus now for her and the gallery is to expand the boundaries of how art is perceived. 

“We want to introduce more immersive projects like video, sound and performative art. It is not necessarily commercially viable but it is definitely a part of the international art scene.”

(Photo Credit: Ian Wong / PIN Prestige Malaysia)

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