Malaysia Art Residency

 Art residency in Malaysia scene has been growing thanks to the recognition of its rich cultural background and heritage that has fueled creativity in the country.

 Some notable enthusiasts who provide artist residency programs:

Rimbun Dahan ( rimbundahan_penang_house_d79fdc932dartist_studio

With highly regarded founder Hijjas Kasturi at its helm, it is almost impossible not to mention his, and RD’s contribution to creative concepts in Malaysia.

Hijjas is most popular as an award winning architect and for designing many of Kuala Lumpur’s skyscrapers that define the skyline of the capital city. In pushing boundaries further, he extended his non conventional ideas to his own home by incorporating not just his residence, but also a workspace for artists (visual and performance art) in residence to call home, an indigenous garden, as well as exhibition and performance areas (indoors and outdoors!). On top of that, he has also transported four traditional homes from Penang and Perak to his own backyard (left pic). (Pictures from rimbundahan webpage)

Cherrycake Studios ( in Penang – founded by Artist Tim Cracker and enthusiast David Chye. Tim is an early alumni of Rimbun Dahan and became well acquainted with Malaysia after his residency at RD, choosing Penang as his art-space.

Hotel Penaga ( in Penang getlstd-property-photo– A wonderful, luxurious (and expensive) hotel preserving the Penang architectural heritage and opening up its penthouse style rooms as art residences. Now this is what I call an Art Hotel! It is also RD (no.1 above) extension. The original intention was to provide art residency in Penang. But circumstances changed when the opportunity to occupy not one but fifteen shop-lots showed itself. Now… why not!


studio-bigShalini Ganendra Fine Art – ( in Petaling Jaya, Selangor

 Founded by ex-corporateur Sri Lankan Shalini Ganendra, who not only turned her interest into a career and kept a 14 year old art gallery going and growing, but also gave it a new life with highly acclaimed mentions in architectural aesthetics. The gallery represents more than 20 artists, and is host to two residency programs – the Vision Culture Art Residency (for artists) and Exploring East Residency (Art Management). (Pictures from SGFA webpage)

An impressive program which may or may not still exist is Malihom-air. Updates on their events stopped after December 2011, and the estate (Private estate of the Yeap family) seems more like a hotel now (see The Residency Program Malihom-air ( is (was?) a collaboration by Royal Bank of Scotland, Malihom Sdn Bhd, and Wawasan Open University, at an out of town space in Balik Pulau, Penang. 20malihommalihom-private-estate

Since 2007 it has hosted 20 artists in residence, with programs which do not take a single penny from the artists at the end of the exhibition. The set up provides a truly supportive and fully sponsored residency program. (images from,

If you know of other interesting Residency programs in Malaysia, do let us know! We’d love to find out more about them.


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