A roundtable discussion on Independent Initiatives in Malaysia organised by MARS and Narratives in Malaysian Art (NMA) project was held on 6 April 2013 at MARS.

Each collective/initiative invited was asked to send 1-3 representatives to attend the roundtable. In addition, they were also invited to submit some basic details for a timeline chart of independent initiatives in Malaysia, and to contribute a mini-presentation of their work/practice/projects to be exhibited at MARS.


  • To map the activities of independent artist-led initiatives who have been active on the Malaysian art scene, mounted as an exhibition and timeline chart
  • To discuss the roles and practices of such initiatives, and how and why they have been formed over the years
  • To offer an opportunity for the sharing of experiences, ideas and challenges among participants


  • Images of the exhibition, the timeline chart and extracts from roundtable discussions will be edited and published in the upcoming book Narratives in Malaysian Art Volume III: Infrastructures/Naratif Seni Rupa Malaysia Jilid III: Infrastruktur, scheduled for launch in early 2014
  • The timeline chart and recording/transcript of the discussions will also be kept by MARS as part of their archives. Participants may also choose to donate materials from the exhibition to MARS


  1. T.I.G.A (Tindakan Gerak Asuh)
    TIGA consist of three core members whom are full time artists.actively participates in local and international art programmes as well as facilitating art workshops for Community groups, conducts art Therapy workshop, Carnival and Festival.
  2. Komuniti Jalan Kempas
  3. BUKA Kolektif
    BUKA KOLEKTIF is a collective of young Malaysian artists founded in 2010, who have interests in PERFORMANCE ART as a powerful form of expression that can easily be appreciated by all members of society. They believe in INCLUSIVENESS, DIALOGUE and the idea of ‘ART FOR ALL’. Going by the name BUKA, they keep the spirit of openness at the heart of our activities.
  4. Sasaran International Arts Festival
    Sasaran is a small fishing village at the fringe of Selangor, Malaysia. As the founder, Ng bee’s home, he initiated the formation of Sasaran Art Association in 2009 for the objective of developing Sasaran Town into an artistic centre which encourage locals to participate in workshops or projects to establish educational activities for all levels of community to propagate artistic talent, which also increase the accessibility of art to the public by organizing various forms of art events and activities. They also provide venues for art exhibitions and aim to internationalize Malaysian artwork.
  5. SiCKL
    SiCKL, founded in 2006, is an alternative artist collective based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Its mission is to create an open platform for arts with an alternative and avant-garde interest, to encourage and promote adventurous artistic expressions through experimentation and improvisation, and to facilitate learning, friendship and collaboration among local and international alternative art communities.
  6. FINDARS Art Space
    Findars, the unbounded cultivation of self-exploration in arts, is represented by a group of local aspiring artists, graphics designers, photographers, filmmakers and musicians. Formed in early 2008, these lads share strong passion and influence of the arts and independent music both local and international. The main goal is to have a space as a platform to cultivate curatorial process, creating good and broader social network and providing a sanctuary for aspiring independent artists and musician.
  7. Cracko Art Group
    In 2010, 10 local unknown Sabah artist join a collaboration project and the Cracko Art Group was formed. This is an independent art movement consist of artists with “cracko” personality which mean a bit weird/eccentric/creative/freaks/OCD but with a strong personal character.
  8. Spacekraft
    Consist of five key members namely, Wong Tay Sy, Gan Siong King, Jerrica Lai, Tan Sei Hon and Chang Yoong Chia. Spacekraft is a catalyst in the promotion of new/alternative media and interdisciplinary art/cultural practices, a vehicle to push and encourage young artists to exhibit/market their artworks and also a nucleus for artists of diverse beliefs and artistic backgrounds.
  9. Anak Alam
    Founded on 1 May 1974, Anak Alam Gallery was opened officiated by Director of Culture, Ismail Zain, on 2 June 1978. Anak Alam is a place where a ‘clump’ of artists exchange feelings and sensitivities. Where love, freedom and imagination unite and mean no different from the other.
  10. Rumah Air Panas
    Established in 1997, RAP 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 RAP support an independent, aware and concerted artistic practice in engaging the artistic community and the art public.
  11. Lost Generation Space
    Lostgens established in early 2004 by a group of artists. This self-managed experimental space aims to encourage originality, creativity, individuality, as well as to promote contemporary arts. It provides an alternative space for budding innovative exhibitions and performances. What started as a small private group has now moved out into the public, Lostgens aims to weave itself into the multicultural artistic atmosphere. More than just a place that brings together artists, it also provides a platform for a dynamic growth of multi-layered artistic culture.
  12. HOM Art Trans
    Founded in 2007, HOM is an independent art space comprising of a gallery, a studio and an art archive. The space seeks to assist and support the development of visual art in Malaysia and facilitates networking with the Southeast Asian counterparts. HOM’s core objective is to promote and nurture young artists through its key programmes: The Residency, The Art Fund and The Art Award.
  13. Rumah YKP
    Also known as Yayasan Kesenian Perak (Perak Arts Foundation), conceptualised in 1996, formally established in 1997. Their objectives are to provide opportunities for artists and art activists, to cultivate our development of traditional and to promote an active cultural life as well as communicate with other countries for art and culture references. They also publish printed materials, and have their own space called “rumahykp” since 2002.
  14. Five Arts Centre
    Five Arts Centre is a collective of artists and producers dedicated to generating alternative art forms and images in the Malaysian creative environment.  The collective’s scope of work includes theatre, dance, music, visual arts and young people’s theatre.
  15. Parking Project
    An alternative art space run by Roslisham Ismail @ Ise.
  16. 12 Art Space
    12 opened its door to the public in January 2007. Its location in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur was chosen for its historical significance and this quality resonates well with 12’s goals of making a lasting impression on the development of contemporary visual art in Malaysia. Eschewing the definition of a gallery, 12 prefers to be left open to interpretation. 12’s exhibitions are helmed by artist-cum-exhibition-maker, Shooshie Sulaiman, whilst Fatina Alfis Zolkifli leads 12’s archival team.
  17. DAMi
  18. Best Art Show in the Univers (BASITU)
    The Best Art Show in the Univers are chitoo, Dill Malik and Munkao. Usually curated by The Stone of Destiny, Simon Soon.


  1. http://www.linkedin.com/pub/aisyah-baharuddin/31/7b4/34
  2. http://bukakolektif.blogspot.com/p/about.html
  3. http://sasaranarts.org/about
  4. https://www.facebook.com/groups/231173182422/
  5. https://www.facebook.com/FINDARS/info
  6. https://www.facebook.com/crackoart/info
  7. From NMA2 pg 171, 182
  8. from NMA2: Reactions – New Critical strategies, pg 24, 25
  9. http://www.rap.twofishy.net/
  10. http://lostgenerationspace.blogspot.com/
  11. http://homarttrans.blogspot.com/
  12. http://universes-in-universe.org/eng/nafas/articles/2006/perak_arts_foundation
  13. http://www.fiveartscentre.org/about.php
  14. Non found, typed by Xi Ning after digesting informations from website
  15. http://www.arts.com.my/12-art-space/
  16. DAMi
  17. http://basitu.blogspot.com/



1. Tan Hui Koon 2. Hasnul J. Saidon 3. Nani Kahar 4. Ray Langenbach