Rumah Air Panas Art Society

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A brief history of RAP

R.A.P. began in September 1997 as a studio space for visual artists. It was a result of casual conversation when artist Liew KungYu, photographer Phuah ChinKok and others decided that there was a need for studio space for visual artists to meet and produce work. Both Liew and Phuah took up as sponsor in the initial stage and subletting to other artists.  Through out the years, there has been a constant flow of artists coming in and out of the studios, this has kept the place vibrant and exciting, whereby artists of different background, and practices intermingled and grew together.


In 2000 artist Chuah ChongYong has taken over as the main tenant. During this period of time, together with assistance from studio artists from R.A.P. and friends, the people at R.A.P. have organized many art activities, for example the Ctrl-Alt-Del-works on paper, the e-monk in town-recent works by Anthonie Chong, 3 Instalasi +3@rap art exhibition and open studio sessions. Other include the Artist Survival Workshop, in collaboration with Spacekraft, another artist collective; as well as numerous artist slide presentations, dialogue sessions and a gig of local bands.


The artist collective was formed in July 2003, after a long discussion initiated by Chuah in late 2002. It is now undergoing the registration process as the R.A.P. Arts Society. The discussion period has taken some time for members to look into the issue of independent art space; the vision and direction as well as logistics of running the collective and the space. One of the major spin-off of the discussion was the SPACE[S] dialogue and exhibition project running from March to May 2003.


Since May 2003, R.A.P. has organized 11art and cultural dialogue/talks, 14 exhibitions, and projects in collaboration with other groups. In September 2004, RAP was invited to participate at the International Meeting Between Autonomous Cultural Centers Stemming from Citizen and Artistic Initiatives forum in Shanghai. 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.


R.A.P. is an independent art space supported and run by a group of art enthusiasts. It is both an artist studio and also an art venue, which has featured numerous exhibitions; artist slides presentation and dialogue sessions. Aims to explore and bring together 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.


There were 15 founding members for the R.A.P. collective; and the current members are Chai Chang Hwang, Chan Thim Choy, Chong Kim Chiew, Chuah Chong Yong, Hiew Wei Yong, Liew Kwai Fei, Liew Teck Leong, Low Yi Chin, Ng Swee Keat, Phuan Thai Meng, Wong Tay Sy and Yap Sau Bin.


R.A.P has officially gained it society status on 17th August 2006 and it is known as Persatuan Seni Rumah Air Panas/ R.A.P. Art Society  (Registration No. 1107-06-WKL)



Sept 2006


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