Phuan Thai Meng

Phuan Thai Meng

Phuan Thai Meng is one of the most established fine artists in Malaysia. He was born in 1974 from Batu Pahat in Johor. Thai Meng’s art education came from the Malaysian Institute of Art in Kuala Lumpur where he obtained his Diploma in Painting. Currently a full-time artist, he is one of the founding members of the Rumah Air Panas or RAP which is one of the most active art movements in Malaysia.

Thai Meng is very active in the Malaysian art scene where apart from working on his paintings, he is also an educator. After finishing his education, the found that it was hard to establish a full-time career in art in Malaysia where he embarked onto working on several freelance art projects like working on stages, murals and other initiatives. It was only after 2000 that his work began receiving positive response and began being recognized. Together with a group of friends, they then established the Rumah Air Panas (RAP) where it would provide him with the platform to showcase and develop his artistic work further. It was in 2004 when he had his first solo exhibition at RAP entitled ‘PTM0001020304’ which eventually saw the industry taking notice of the artist who will continue on to receive awards and accolade from both the local and international art scene.
Phuan Thai Meng’s first solo exhibition was held in RAP where he continued on to work on other mediums that include photography and in 2006 he was one of the finalist at the Sovereign Asian Art Prize in Hong Kong. 3 years before that, he received Honourable Mention while in 2005 he was the artist-in-residency at the P10 programme in Singapore. His most recent works were seen at the “Tenggara, Southeast Asian Contemporary Art” show held at Liverpool’s Novas Contemporary Urban Centre (CUC) while in 2008 they were on show at Singapore’s VWFA in the ‘Tukar Ganti’ show.

His most expensive work to date is known to be the ‘Fragment of Development – Direction’ piece which was sold for S$16,500 at an auction there while he was also one of the Juror’s Choice Award recipients of the Philip Morris Asean Art Awards in 2000. In 2009, his ‘Made in Malaysia’ exhibition in Valentine Willie Fine Art gallery in Kuala Lumpur also received some very positive responses. Apart from shows and exhibitions, Thai Meng had also previously been involved with art projects and programmes to help develop the movement in Malaysia such as being the Exhibition Manager of the art project in Stelle Marris in Kuala Lumpur for the ‘Contemporary Art in School’ initiative as well as the Production Manager of the “ Let Arts Move You ”project.
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