Art in Malaysia: A complete guide to creative industrial space APW Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur

Art in Malaysia: A complete guide to creative industrial space APW Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur

New territory

Text: Aravin Sandran

APW Bangsar
Between the 1960s and 1980s, the sleepy neighbourhood of Jalan Riong was abuzz with the rackety sounds of commercial printing factory Art Printing Works (which still operates on-site). Today, the vicinity is alive with hip youngsters, visiting tourists and well-off locals who are looking to soak in the good vibes of its inspiring creative and F&B spaces that have hosted everything from artisanal workshops to weekend thrift markets since its 2013 redevelopment efforts. We've rounded up the best spots to get you on a creative high below.


WORK: Uppercase
Co-working space Uppercase sits on the second floor of the factory. Spanning over 6000 square feet, its eclectic industrial aesthetic clashes repurposed wood, concrete, and steel with a much-needed jolt of fresh greenery. For RM50, you'll be able to get a 1-day pass to get stuff done during your visit. Look out for upcoming yoga sessions, casual networking evenings and other community-centred events.


EAT: Breakfast Thieves, Kaiju, Proof and PULP by Papa Palheta
There's more than a handful of beautiful eateries and cafes on offer at APW. To start the day on the right foot, indulge your brunch cravings at Breakfast Thieves. The Malaysian outlet of the popular Melbourne hotspot sits within a glasshouse-like space that allows plenty of natural light to flood through. From crisp soft shell burger to braised Aussie beef on toast, there's something to excite every palate. For coffee, you can't go wrong with PULP by Singapore-based coffee roaster Papa Palheta. Still hungry? Proof serves up some pretty good wood-fired artisanal pizzas while Kaiju specialises in Jap-Thai fusion rice bowls and salads. 


MEN: 52 Barbers
Looking a little furry? You'll be in good hands at 52 Barbers. Located opposite Breakfast Thieves, the compact two-seater space caters to men only with services including old-school wet shaves, trims and haircuts with that killer fade. Book an appointment online in advance to avoid disappointment at the door.


SHOP: Preloved is Reloved market
If you enjoy rummaging through racks of second-hand clothes to find that one special piece, check out this marketplace that takes place approximately once every two months. Don't expect a run-of-the-mill selection of vendors here; instead, KL's macro and micro influencers of every shape, size and style will be offering up some of their preloved wardrobe goodies. 


SEE: Pocket Park
Cafe-hopping can be hard on the feet so pick up a takeaway coffee from PULP and head to Pocket Park. The tidy corner gets lit up in the evenings by Malaysian architect-artist Jun Ong's light installation Bolt, which consists of LED tubes on steel legs. Paved in gravel and concrete — there are plenty of other quiet spots around APW for that perfect IG pic.


APW Bangsar is located at 29, Jalan Riong 59100 Kuala Lumpur. Check their FB page for more updates regarding pop-up markets, live performances, exhibitions and other special events.