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July 31, 2018

Malaysia top Art residency programmes

Residency to promote artists

One of the very unique activities that Malaysian artists embark into is in residency programmes. This is where certain organizations provide a space for a short duration for the artist to create art. In most cases, the residency programmes will go for a duration for a few months with which the artist will then produce a whole new series of artworks based on the experience. In Malaysia, art residency programmes are usually offered in:

  1. Permanent programmes – These residencies are offered every year or periodically
  2. Ad-hoc residencies – Usually offered for a cause or as and when the need arises

Why residency programmes?

For organizations, art residency programmes are usually offered as part of their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) efforts while some art organizations offer these to help promote the local artists. For the artists meanwhile, there are several reasons why they enter into an art residency programme which include:

  1. To create new work apart from those that have already been done
  2. To find new inspiration
  3. To get away from the usual painting in the comfort zone
  4. and many other reasons

The Rimbun Dahan Residency Programme

Perhaps the most notable residency programme in the Malaysian art scene. Home to renowned architect Hijjas Kasturi and Angela, his wife, there are 14 acres of land space here for the artist to be inspired. Here, buildings are specially designed by Hijjas where this programme is open to artists not only from Malaysia but across Asia and Australia as well. The artist will stay here between 1 to 3 months in the progamme where he gets a monthly allowance. This is among the most established residency programmes in Malaysia having been running since 1994 where it involves all types of media like visual arts, architecture, sculpture and literature, among others. The minimum duration is 1 month where it can accommodate up to 10 artists at any time. The artist is allowed to bring their family members.

The WOLO Artist Residency

This is one of the recent additions to the art residency programmes in Malaysia. It is set across all disciplines where the artist stays in the Kuala Lumpur premises for 2 months. It can be in disciplines like sculpture, painting, video, digital art and such where the project will be fully funded for the entire 2 months. Throughout this duration, the artists stays in the boutique hotel with breakfast provided and monthly allowance. The WOLO Artist Residency is a collaboration with Wei-Ling Gallery which mostly involves international artists.

ECAiR – East Coast Artist in Residency

The artist eligible for this residency programme will be based in Kuantan, Pahang. The artist will need to pay the RM1,200 per month cost once the application is approved. This will include a private bedroom with a shared space for working. Besides that, the artist can use a bicycle as well while there will be an optional exhibition at the end of the term.

Shalini Ganendra Vision Culture Art Residency

Hosted by Shalini Ganendra Fine Art, this is a recent residency programme aimed at growing the Asian contemporary art and design scene. This programme is held at the gallery space of SGFA where the artist gets several spaces like studio and exhibition as well as a resource centre to build the body of work. The duration of this programme is for 6 weeks where it is open only for those who are in their mid-career with some proven track record. Previous artists who joined this programme include Paul Timings, the sonic artist from Christchurch and Sam Thomas, among others.

Sembilan Art Residency

The idea of this residency programme was to grow the local art scene by offering a space for local and eremging artists to build and create art. This is housed in a pre-ware building in Seremban which is open and totally conducive. The artist will stay here for 3 months at the former Sun Lun Yik Hotel where they are within walking distance to the location to create their art. At the end of the term, the artist will be able to showcase the works produced during the stay at the exhibition.

Matahati Art Residency Programme

The Matahati Art Residency is hosted by HOM Art Trans. This is a programme specially designed for local young artists who will join this space under a mentorship of this art space. Public transport allowance will be provided together with accommodation and art materials. The duration of stay here is 6 months which will be workshop-based. The residency will involve a lot interaction between the artist and the established artists from Matahati and other practitioners. An exhibition will be planned at the end of the residency. Former artists who have been involved in this programme includes Ruzzeki Harris and Melissa Lin, to name a few.

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