KongsiKL is located at the oldest major road in Kuala Lumpur, Old Klang Road, which runs parallel to the Klang River. Several centuries ago, Klang River was a source of the country’s wealth and contributed to the founding of Kuala Lumpur. In the 1960s, Old Klang Road was the only link between the city centre and Port Klang which is at the coastline, and since has remained as an important point of transport and communication of the city.
Village settlements, residences, small businesses and industrial factories grew along the river and main road. Here at Old Klang Road, KongsiKL shares a compound with several other warehouses at Gudang Yee Seng 2. KongsiKL is a space entrusted by a local developer, EXSIM Group, to cultivate creative and cultural vitality. Before turning into an experimental ground to encourage equilibrium in the city to unleash possibilities between the place and all parties with different resources and talents, it was a stainless steel factory for more than a decade.
In July 2017, a site-specific work, ‘Dances in Ruins’ was made in KongsiKL and marked the birth of this experimental ground. Today, the structures and textures of the warehouse remain untouched, including the high ceiling with saw-tooth roof, concrete floor and old statements on the textured wall. Through several rounds of minor repairs and upgrades, the warehouse still retains the non-centralized and non-definitive spatial qualities that makes the space highly versatile.
KongsiKL embraces the spirit of ‘kongsi’ – ‘sharing’ in Bahasa Malaysia and ‘collaboration’ in Chinese – while developing social and artistic projects as well as experiments, believing in the ripple effects of sharing time, talent, space and resources. The many activities that have taken place in the warehouse include performance, shooting, exhibition, screening, discussion, talk, workshop, market, badminton competition as well as community gathering.