Arts Residencies in Malaysia 2015

This update to Malaysia Art Residency comes timely as we continue to see heightened interest in Malaysia as a destination for artistic development. Perhaps it is the personal touch of art collectives that fuels grassroots initiatives; or the growing interest in art as culture and a lifestyle in general; it is probably also because Malaysian artists from all vocations have brought a new perspective to what art is to our country.

Whatever the reason, we are very pleased to see the appetite for art projects continuously grow, and with that more opportunities have opened up as platforms for art development have mushroomed.

Here is our list of Art Residencies in Malaysia as of April 2015:

1. Rimbun Dahan – in Kuang, SelangorRimbun Dahan

It goes without saying that Rimbun Dahan continues to carry the torch in championing art development, in not only providing a complete experience for artists at their residency, but also enabling international artists to experience the unique environment they have created at their premise in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

2.  sembilan Art Residency Program – in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan


sembilan logosembilan Art Residency Program (a joint venture of Chalk and Raddy) may be relatively new to the residency scene, but this passion project by the founders has been gaining steadfast popularity, mainly attributable to their interest to create a community that creates, shares and grow together. It has also breathed new life to the quaint Seremban town that holds a place close to the founders’ hearts. Artists reside in the 1950s heritage style Hotel Sun Lun Yik (, partner and founder of sembilan.

3. WOLO – in Kuala Lumpur WOLO

WOLO welcomes international artists to their studio and hotel located right in the heart of KL city centre. With high profile host Wei Ling Gallery helming this platform, WOLO is a force to be reckoned with. It aims to develop artistic developments for the artist in residence and for local artists through their programs. This concept of bringing new experiences to town has been well received as a great initiative to inject some variety and new perspectives into the Malaysian arts scene.

4. HOM Art Trans – in Kuala Lumpurlogo HOM2-01``Founded by renowned artist Bayu Utomo, the art space has hosted an impressive line up of talented emerging artists since their opening in 2007. In addition to the A-Res programme, HOM Art Trans has been active in promoting South East Asian arts, bringing to Malaysia artists mainly from Indonesia and in doing so bridging the neighbours closer through the art world. Recent outstanding exhibitions include Four Corners, (P)RESIDEN, Contemporary Mantera #1 to name a few.

5. Run Amok – in George Town, Penang

Run Amok2 (2) Run Amok

Based in the heritage city of Penang, Run Amok is an upcoming artist-run space in Hutton Lane. Focusing on the exchange and sharing of the arts, its main objective is to produce art and cultural events with a focus on the format of visual art exhibition supported by collateral programs. Rather than hosting an exhibition at the end of the residency, Run Amok encourages artists in residence to host workshops and events where they will share their findings, creations and experiences with the public. Run Amok collaborates with local/regional art and cultural practitioners to revision the histories by responding to the current socio-political conditions through a language that is relevant to contemporary locality and everyday experiences.

6. Cherrycake Studios – in George Town, Penang

Cherrycake Studios

Cherrycake studios is a privately-run artists residency established in 2012 by Australians Tim Craker, an artist, and David Chye. With strong ties to Malaysia through family and by birth, Tim Craker and David Chye in cherrycake studios hope to provide the potentially life-changing experience of both the residency and of Malaysia to other artists, to the mutual benefit of both the artists and George Town itself. Cherrycake is a fee-paying residency, offering homely and spacious accommodation with a generous studio space in a nostalgic environment.

7. China Tiger – in George Town, Penang

CHina Tiger

China Tiger has contributed to the conservation and sustainbility of our World Heritage Site, Penang. In addition to working closely with the Penang Heritage Trust, CT has also hosted three PhD researchers to support the conservation efforts, and also opened their doors to international artists to experience life in Penang. Sponsored artists are welcomed to the China Tiger home with a self contained accommodation and studio space. Past residents have had the opportunity to participate in the annual George Town Festival too.

 8. Shalini 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).

9. Hotel Penaga – in George Town, Penang Penaga

A heritage hotel preserving the Penang architectural heritage and hosting artists in residence with a studio space nearby. The residency program is managed by Rimbun Dahan (#1 above). Artists are expected to socialize with hotel guests in the studio a few evenings a week, for which the hotel provides refreshments. Usually an art work is left for the hotel’s collection or a public performance is given somewhere in the hotel. 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!

As always, do write to us if you are/know of an Art Residency in Malaysia that has not been mentioned. We would be more than keen to update this list further.

– all photos and images have are taken from the respective residencies’ websites.

– Feature image taken from


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