One of the most striking impressions I had when coming to KL was its verticality. Especially the commercial city center is mostly made of high-risers in sleek concrete and glass outfit. The Petronas Twin Towers are the landmark of KL and held the record of the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004. Development and construction are omnipresent, and the city was recently ranked the ‘second best shopping destination in South East Asia’ with an overwhelming number of shopping malls throughout the city, featuring virtually any brand one could imagine.
The wasteland site Saubin Yap introduced me to is a bit further off that city center. But even here, a shopping mall is close and numerous apartment buildings are ready to be taken over by their new inhabitants, or will be soon. Another thing that is never missing is food, as anyway in SEA food is a very public thing, with lots of street food restaurants and hawker stands. The images only show the blocks directly adjacent to the wasteland site, but at both ends of the yellow apartment houses you'd find the same sort of blocks, up to 4 stories high, with different restaurants on every floor.
During a presentation of the WTN I did at the New Black Coffee Lab right next to the site organized by the R.A.P collective, a rather lively discussion started on the utility of preserving architectural heritage (even if colonial reminders) as opposed to using the space for new developments. On an other occasion, speaking to a KL galerist about the project, the question came up if I believed "that there really are any wastelands left in cities."