[Image from] http://www.eonsbetween.net/kl.html
The 3 organising partners selected 22 participants in September 2007: 11 persons from Asia and 11 persons from Europe. The selection was made according to the relevance of the needs of each applicant regarding the content of the training, and also according the motivation of the applicants to get involved in a future international collaboration. One of the selected applicants could eventually not come, due to unexpected political events in his country, Pakistan, so we eventually ended up with 21 participants, coming from 19 different countries.
8 trainers/speakers/facilitators were appointed, coming from Europe and Asia. Please check more about participants, trainers and moderators by clicking on their names on the right hand side window of this blog!
PARTICIPANT: Kok Yoong LIM, Malaysia.
Name of your organisation:
Rumah Air Panas (R.A.P.) Art Society
Website of your organisation:
How is your organsation funded?
R.A.P. is solely funded by monthly membership fees collected from R.A.P.’s members.
Explain what your organisation is about (to somebody who does not know about it).
Established in 1997, R.A.P. is an independent art space run by art enthusiasts. It is both an artist studio and also a venue, which has featured numerous exhibitions, artist slides presentation and dialogue sessions. Aims to explore and coalesce visual arts and other cultural practices through collaboration in exhibition and project; documentation and exchange of ideas in discussion, the members of R.A.P. support an independent, aware and concerted artistic practice in engaging the artistic community and the art public.
In July 2003, the artist collective was finally formed. Since then, R.A.P. has organized more than 20 art and cultural dialogue/talks, 9 exhibitions, and projects in collaboration with other groups.
R.A.P has officially gained it society status on 17th August 2006 and it is currently known as R.A.P. Art Society/ Persatuan Seni Rumah Air Panas (Registration No. 1107-06-WKL).
Describe how your organisation is engaged in international cooperation and exchange.
Starting from year 2005, R.A.P. has extended and expanded its networking to a wider regional network. R.A.P. is also part of the Intra Asia Network. R.A.P. has been working closey with other art organisations / art groups in the region by participating in workshop, symposium, discussion and joint project, in fostering exchange as well as sharing of knowledge. In the case of LetArtsMoveYou (LAMU), a visual art in automobile project, R.A.P. has coordinated the regional collaboration by bringing a number of artists from the SEA region.
Just to name a few, in September 2004, R.A.P. was invited to participate at the International Meeting Between Autonomous Cultural Centers Stemming from Citizen and Artistic Initiatives forum in Shanghai. In September 2005, R.A.P. participated in the ‘SeptFest Foum: Art Spaces and Artistic Directions’, organused by Singapore’s Substation. In September 2006, R.A.P. participated in the Intra Asia Network 2006 Symposium and workshop, Seoul and Gwangju Korea.
R.A.P also very often hosts artist talks by artists or researchers from the foreign country i.e. Singapore, Myanmar, Spain, America etc. in creating a module of the exchange that benefits speakers / researchers and the local art scene as well as to inform others about the art / cultural practices in Malaysia.
Describe how your art space relates to the local community. If you are about to open an art space, explain how you related to the local community in your previous experiences.
The space R.A.P. formerly used were sublet to artists and there was a constant flow of artists coming in and out of the studios and this had kept the place vibrant and exciting, whereby artists of different background and practices intermingled and grew together. Not only that, the surrounding non-art community was also benefited by being invited to witness the show or performance/ gig R.A.P. organized. Occasionally, R.A.P., members also went in to the local market to sell artworks to raise fund for project. In 2005 RAP has started an outreach project inviting artist to give art talks and coordinating art tour for secondary students from the Kuala Lumpur Klang Valley region, which is not far from R.A.P. space.
Even while R.A.P. is space-less after it parted its premises, R.A.P. still continued carry on with its project and activities by holding them in other organisation’s premise and other non-art space. R.A.P. also co-organised project, show and activities with other artistic collective i.e. SICKL in the ‘Crossing Over’ show by Evolutioary Girls Club. (Artists, Scholars and Activists – The Evolutionary Girls Club is an inclusive group of artists and activists who work and show work globally), the ‘Walk in Walk out’ project in Notthatbalai Art Festival, the LAMU project with Collective Art Developers (see image below) etc.
[Image from] http://www.eonsbetween.net/kl.html
What are the major internal and external challenges your organisation is facing?
The major internal problem R.A.P. is facing is that there is no full time staff to do the administration and managerial work. R.A.P. members consist of artists & cultural workers working Provo no and very often have to perform multi tasking in running the organization. Many are breadwinner of the family and can not be fully committed to organization; juggling between tasks make members quite versatile to a certain extent.
Externally, R.A.P. is struggling to keep itself abreast with the contemporary art movement/ development which stresses on artist mobility and professionalism. With limitedresources, the collective cannot afford to offer the same exposure on the global platform to all members but only in a selective manner.
What are the main achievements and strengths of your organisation?
R.A.P. has established quite a good reputation at a national level, through its dedication to community work and engagement with local art & non art community by providing an alternative space for artists & cultural workers to showcase, present, share and do work. R.A.P was also an important catalyst of artists run space and alternative art platform in Kuala Lumpur art scene. Following the footstep of R.A.P, many other artists run spaces sprang up and diversity the cultural offerings in KL.
R.A.P’s persistency & perseverance in sustaining itself in a hostile situation is strength of the organization.